TV Series about Jamaicans Lured to England by False Promises Launches on BBC Studios BritBox

A limited series titled “Three Little Birds,” which tells the stories of Jamaicans who were lured to England in the 1950s by false promises, was launched this month on BritBox, the online digital video subscription service of the BBC and ITV. The initial three episodes debuted during the first week of February, with the remaining three following in the second week of February.

Inspired by real-life events

The six-part drama series created by Sir Lenny Henry and co-authored with Russell T Davies focuses on love, sisterhood, and friendship. it was inspired by the mother of series creator Sir Lenny Henry. As part of the Windrush generation, Winifred Louise Henry traveled from Clarendon in Jamaica to Dudley in the United Kingdom’s West Midlands. “Three Little Birds” stars Rochelle Neil, who previously appeared in “The Nevers” and “Guilt,” and Saffron Coomber, who was in “Small Axe” and “C.B. Strike,” performance newcomer Yazmin Belo, and Javone Prince of “Dodger” and “Phone Shop.”

A take of celebration and struggle

The series tells the tale of Leah and Chantrelle, two Jamaican sisters, and their friend, Hosanna, a character described as “pious.” The three have been lured by promises made by the sisters’ older brother, Aston, to move to England. Aston has enticed them into making the life-changing trip with assurances that they will find many money-making opportunities in a country where “the streets are paved with gold.” While the drama is warm-hearted and celebrates the life and community spirit of the 1950s era viewed through the eyes of the Jamaican community in the UK, it also highlights the struggles of this community as it faces the issues of segregation and racial discrimination. “Three Little Birds” illustrates the challenges confronting the newly arrived Jamaican women as they adapt to their new and frequently unwelcoming country. However, the grim reception they receive does not stop them from discovering joy, love, and laughter in their lives and only emphasizes their inborn resilience to hardship.

About the series creator, Sir Lenny Henry

The British Jamaica actor, comedian, singer, television presenter, and author, Sir Lenworth George Henry, was born in 1958 in Dudley, the fifth of seven children but the first to be born in the United Kingdom. He earned a degree in English literature from the Open University in 2007 and an MA in screenwriting from the University of London in 2010. He received a PhD in media arts in 2018 from the University, focusing on the role of Black people in the media. He has openly criticized the lack of ethnic diversity in the programming of British television and continues to raise the issue to the public. He started his career as a stand-up comedian in the 1970s and 1980s and became the most famous Black British comedian of the era, with much of his comedy celebrating his African-Caribbean roots. His many honors include an appointment as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1999, the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Comedy Awards in 2003, a knighthood at the Queen’s Birthday Honors in 2015, and the Alan Clarke Award at the 2016 BAFTA TV Awards. He also received an honorary doctorate from Nottingham Trent University in recognition of his contribution to British comedy, and drama, and his achievements in global charity work. He is the chancellor of Birmingham City University and was ranked fourth on the Powerlist of the 100 Most Influential Black Britons in 2016. He received the Special Recognition award at the 27th National Television Awards in 2022.

Photo – BritBox