UK / BBC One – Red / 1×90 minute episode / Broadcast Monday 31 August 2015 @ 9.00pm
Writer: Lenny Henry / Producer: Juliet Charlesworth / Executive Producers: Nicola Shindler, Caroline Hollick / Director: Destiny Ekaragha
Danny and The Human Zoo is the fictionalised account of Lenny Henry’s life as a talented teenager in 1970s Dudley.
Danny’s world is a series of complex minefields which he has to negotiate: his home life – which his ebullient mother rules with an iron fist in an iron glove; his love life – where the Irish girl he’s in lust with won’t give him the time of day until he wins his first competition; and finally the ups and downs of his emerging career.
When Danny wins a talent competition at his local club it’s not long until he’s working the comedy circuit. Audiences can’t get enough, applauding as he effortlessly morphs into Mohammed Ali, Tommy Cooper and Frank Spencer, and eventually he hits the big time on TV – an unheard-of achievement for a young black boy.
But an unscrupulous manager takes advantage of Danny and forces him to star in a show, the ‘Musical Minstrel Cavalcade’. Danny hits rock bottom. Having made his name by becoming other people, Danny has to save himself by finding out who he really is.
Kascion Franklin as Danny
Cecilia Noble as Myrtle
Lenny Henry as Samson
Peter Bankole as Larrington
Brenton Hamilton as Lamont
Cherelle Skeete as Dee Dee
Natasha Gordon as Pearl
Leonie Elliot as Cherry
Michael Crump as Terry
Reis Bruce as Bern
Lee Hodge as Georgie
Jack Loxton as Skinner Bailey
Arthur Darvill as Jonesy
Mark Benton as Syd Bolton
Richard Wilson as James Broughton
Quinn Patrick as Francis Riorfan