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Danny and the Human Zoo (BBC Drama, Lenny Henry)

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Danny and the Human Zoo BBC Drama, Lenny Henry

Danny and The Human Zoo is the fictionalised account of Lenny Henry’s life as a talented teenager in 1970s Dudley.

Danny’s (Kascion Franklin) 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.

Cast: 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

Writer: Lenny Henry / Producer: Juliet Charlesworth / Executive Producers: Nicola Shindler, Caroline Hollick / Director: Destiny Ekaragha

UK / BBC One – Red / 1×90 minute episode / Broadcast Monday 31 August 2015 at 9.00pm