'Three Little Birds' Kicks Off Black History Month for BritBox

Yazmin Belo as Hosannah, Rochelle Neil as Leah, and Saffron Coomber as Chantrelle in 'Three Little Birds' Key Art

Yazmin Belo as Hosannah, Rochelle Neil as Leah, and Saffron Coomber as Chantrelle in 'Three Little Birds' Key Art


BritBox has formally announced that the first series penned by Sir Lenny Henry, Three Little Birds, will premiere on the streaming service in two parts in February 2024. ITV initially announced the project in 2020 as part of the production studio's efforts to diversify storytelling, with Russell T Davies (now the head honcho at Doctor Who) mentoring Henry through his first time going through the script writing process. BritBox boarded the series in June 2022, a few months before casting was announced and filming got underway. Henry's six-part series, inspired by his own mother's history, focuses on a part of British history rarely dramatized on TV, known in the U.K. as "Windrush.

In the years following World War II, as England struggled to rebuild its labor forces, Parliament passed the British Nationality Act 1948, which gave "Citizenship of the UK and Colonies" to all people living in the United Kingdom and its colonies. That citizenship extended "the right of entry and settlement in the U.K." to anyone born within any British Empire holding, from Canada and Australia to African countries like Uganda and Nigeria and Caribbean islands like Jamaica and Dominica. While people emigrated from all over the world, most of those who took up the idea of a new and better life in "the mother country" were those from the Caribbean nations. 

One of the ships used to sail those emigrating to the U.K. was a captured German vessel that the British government rechristened the "HMT Empire Windrush," its voyages came to represent those traveling to England from across the Atlantic. By the time the waves of ocean crossers ended, they had become known as "The Windrush Generation." Henry's series aired in the U.K. in 2023 as part of the 75th anniversary of this era; it was the first time the U.K. acknowledged how much these brave immigrants sacrificed to help rebuild the country. For Americans, BritBox will bring it over as part of Black History Month, introducing a piece of 20th-century history most viewers won't know.

Here is the series synopsis:

Lured to the UK in search of new beginnings, and by their older brother Aston, 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.

Three Little Birds stars a new generation of powerhouse British talent: Rochelle Neil (The Nevers) as Leah; Saffron Coomber (Small Axe) as Chantrelle; and newcomer Yazmin Belo, making her screen debut as Hosanna. The supporting cast includes Javone Prince–Dodger (Yesterday), Bobby Gordon (Hollyoaks), Arthur Darvill (The Sandman), Beth Hayes (Mr. Selfridge), Malachi Hall (The Flatshare), and newcomer Tierney Turner.

Henry wrote all six scripts assistance from Davies, inspired by Henry’s mother’s stories of leaving Jamaica in the 1950s for Great Britain, which became her lifelong home. Directors Charles McDougall (Queer as Folk), Yero Timi Biu (Chloe), and Darcia Martin (Call The Midwife) each helm two episodes. Henry and Davies are also executive producers on the series, along with McDougall, Lucy Bedford, Kate Crowe, and Angela Ferreira.

Three Little Birds will premiere the first three episodes on BritBox on Thursday, February 1, 2024, with the final three installments arriving a week later.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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