BritBox, the streaming service from ITV and the BBC Studios that offers the biggest streaming collection of streaming British TV, today revealed a first look at its upcoming drama series, Three Little Birds.
Spirited, moving, funny, and heartfelt, the series was created as a celebration of immigration, community, and the strength of Black womanhood inspired by the life-affirming stories of Sir Henry’s mother and all those who have traveled to make Britain their home.
Today’s announcement offers a first look at the show and its three leads — rising stars Rochelle Neil (The Nevers, Guilt), Yazmin Belo (What Just Happened), and Saffron Coomber (Tracey Beaker Returns, Eastenders).
Set in 1957, post-Windrush, and amidst the booming decade set alight by promise, the rhythm of rock and roll, swing, Hollywood starlets, and fabulous fashion, Three Little Birds will introduce Dudley and the rest of the world to gregarious sisters Leah (Neil), and Chantrelle (Coomber) and their virtuous, bible-loving acquaintance, Hosanna (Belo), as they board a cruise ship from Jamaica bound for a new life in Blighty.
Lured to the UK in search of new beginnings by their older brother Aston (Javone Prince, Dodger), who asks Leah and Chantrelle if they’ll bring him a potential wife from back home, they convince Hosanna to give up her job as a trainee nurse and embark upon the journey to the mother country.
An effervescent mix of strong personalities, they all have very different reasons for leaving their family and friends behind in Clarendon, Jamaica, though they soon discover it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, not least the dramatic change in weather.
While we learn shocking truths about the lives they left behind the voyage of discovery is not smooth sailing for our trio, but they are determined to succeed and overcome the many obstacles of integration and build a new life in Britain.
The series also stars Bobby Gordon (Hollyoaks) as the sisters’ new factory-worker colleague Shelton, and Arthur Darvill (The Sandman, Broadchurch) and Beth Hayes (Mr Selfridge, Black Mirror) as Chantrelle’s employers Mr and Mrs Wantage, who expect far more from her than just cooking shepherd’s pie and minding their three children as their new live-in Nanny.
Three Little Birds was filmed in The Midlands and has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill, working alongside Nana Hughes who is overseeing production for ITV. The drama will premiere on ITV1 and be available for streaming on ITVX.
Tiger Aspect Productions produces the six-part drama, written by Sir Lenny Henry and guest episode writers Carol Russell and Avril Russell, in association with his production company Douglas Road Productions. Both companies are part of the Banijay UK group.
The series is co-produced by BritBox International, with Diederick Santer as Executive Producer. Banijay Rights handles international distribution.
Charles McDougall, Yero Timi Biu and Darcia Martin will direct two episodes each and Sir Lenny Henry, Lucy Bedford, Kate Crowe, Russell T Davies, Charles McDougall, and Angela Ferreira serve as Executive Producers, with Stella Nwimo producing.