The director of the captivating film, Gone Too Far; Destiny Ekaragha, has been chosen to direct Danny and the Human Zoo, which is an embellished account of actor/comedian Lenny Henry’s life as a talented teenager in Dudley, England in the 1970s. This is the first time the British-Nigerian born director, a BAFTA Rising Star, will be calling the shots on a BBC project.
Written by Lenny Henry himself, beginner Kascion Franklin has been cast as Danny while Lenny Henry will be playing his dad, Samson, and Cecilia Noble, his mum, Myrtle. According to indiewire.com, Henry, in a press statement, remarked that he is lucky to be a part of the project directed by a wonderful director, Destiny Ekaragha.
Danny and the Human Zoo is a feature length telepic, which is being filmed in and around the Dudley area with Juliet Charlesworth producing and Destiny Ekaragha directing. The drama was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Controller, BBC One, and Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning. It is made by RED Production Company for BBC One.
The official synopsis reads: “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 the local club, he soon finds himself working the comedy circuit. Audiences can’t get enough and applaud Danny as he effortlessly morphs into Mohammed Ali, Tommy Cooper and Frank Spencer, eventually hitting 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 – 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.”