Ahead of the film adaptation of bestselling book ‘My Name Is Leon‘ coming to BBC Two this Friday, actor and executive producer Sir Lenny Henry joined the Birmingham writer behind the story, Kit de Waal, and the programme’s young star Cole Martin on the red carpet last night.

They appeared along with the film’s director Lynette Linton at the IET Austin Court in central Birmingham where they shared exclusive clips of the programme and talked about filming it in the city, in an evening chaired by BBC Radio WM presenter Nikki Tapper.

Lynette Linton and Cole Martin on the red carpet for the My Name is Leon preview screening Lensi Photography
Lynette Linton and Cole Martin on the red carpet for the My Name is Leon preview screening

The film is Shola Amoo’s first screenplay for television, with 9-year-old Cole Martin playing the lead, Leon, in his first TV role.

The entire production was filmed in and around Birmingham, including spots like Cannon Hill Park, Moor Green Lane Allotments, and the Jewellery Quarter.

Sir Lenny Henry said: “One of the best things about being involved in the TV adaptation of My Name Is Leon is that I’m from Dudley in the Black Country and the story is set in eighties Birmingham. We shot the film in Moseley and it was great to be in and around the familiar-sounding voices of home.”

“It takes a lot to get a small film made in Birmingham on our screens these days – but it was worth it in my eyes. My Name Is Leon is a great novel, full of moving and laugh-out-loud moments. I hope everyone enjoys it. We made it in the Midlands and it’s Bostin’.”

The adaptation of Kit de Waal's novel is set against the backdrop of the race riots in the city during the 1980s and tells the story of nine-year-old LeonBBC / Ben Gregory-Ring
The adaptation of Kit de Waal’s novel is set against the backdrop of the race riots in the city during the 1980s and tells the story of nine-year-old Leon
Sir Lenny Henry speaks to Salman Mirza about 'My Name is Leon' Lensi Photography
Sir Lenny Henry speaks to Salman Mirza about ‘My Name is Leon’

My Name is Leon stars Malachi Kirby, Monica Dolan, Olivia Williams, Christopher Eccleston, Poppy Lee Friar, Shobna Gulati, and Sir Lenny Henry CBE.

The film is set in 1980s Birmingham against the backdrop of the race riots and tells the uplifting and moving story of nine-year-old Leon – a mixed-race boy with a quest to reunite his family after being taken into care and separated from his blonde and blue-eyed baby brother.

Stuart Thomas, Head of the Midlands for BBC England, said: “We are delighted to bring this story to our local audiences – amid the heart-warming storyline, the film depicts the reality of life in Birmingham in the eighties whilst also showing off this wonderful city.”


IN PICTURES: ‘My Name Is Leon’ red carpet preview event


#1  Cole Martin

Cole Martin on the red carpet for the My Name is Leon previewLensi Photography

#2  Sir Lenny Henry

Sir Lenny Henry on the red carpet for the My Name is Leon preview eventLensi Photography

#3  Kit de Waal 

Kit de Waal on the red carpet for the My Name is Leon previewLensi Photography

#4  Lynette Linton and Cole Martin

Lynette Linton and Cole Martin on the red carpet for the My Name is Leon preview screening Lensi Photography

#5  Lynette Linton

Lynette Linton on the red carpet for the My Name is Leon previewLensi Photography

#6  Kit de Waal and Cole Martin 

Cole Martin and Kit de Wall on the red carpet for the My Name is Leon previewLensi Photography

#7  Lynette Linton and Kit de Waal

Lynette Linton and Kit de Wall on the red carpet for the My Name is Leon previewLensi Photography

#8  Kit de Waal and Lenny Henry

Sir Lenny Henry and Kit de Wall on the red carpet for the My Name is Leon previewLensi Photography

#9  Cole Martin and Sir Lenny Henry

Cole Martin and Sir Lenny Henry on the red carpet for the My Name is Leon previewLensi Photography

#10  Lynette Linton, Cole Martin, Lenny Henry and Kit de Waal 

Lynette Linton, Cole Martin, sir Lenny Henry and Kit de Wall on the red carpet for the My Name is Leon previewLensi Photography

#11  Visual artist Amrit Singh

Visual artist Amrit Singh attending My Name is Leon preview event Lensi Photography

#12  Guests queue for ‘My Name Is Leon’

Guests queue for the BBC 'My Name is Leon' preview eventLensi Photography

#13  Guests queue for ‘My Name Is Leon’

Guests queue at Austin Court in Birmingham for the BBC 'My Name is Leon' preview eventLensi Photography

#14  ‘My Name Is Leon’ discussion panel 

Discussion panel at the BBC 'My Name Is Leon' preview eventLensi Photography

#15  Kit de Waal 

Kit de Waal during the BBC 'My Name Is Leon' discussion panel Lensi Photography

#16  Sir Lenny Henry 

Sir Lenny Henry during the BBC 'My Name Is Leon' discussion panel Lensi Photography

#17  Martin Cole with his parents 

Young actor Cole Martin in the audience for 'My Name Is Cole' with his parents Lensi Photography

#18  Nikki Tapper hosts the panel discussion 

Nikki Tapper hosts the panel discussion for BBC drama 'My Name Is Leon'Lensi Photography

#19  Stuart Thomas, Head of the Midlands for BBC England

Stuart Thomas, Head of the Midlands for BBC EnglandLensi Photography

#20  Lynette Linton and Kit de Waal 

Lynette Linton and Kit de Waal at the 'My Name Is Leon' BBC preview event in Birmingham Lensi Photography

#21  Sir Lenny Henry 

Sir Lenny Henry during the BBC 'My Name Is Leon' discussion panel Lensi Photography

#22  Sir Lenny Henry 

Sir Lenny Henry during the BBC 'My Name Is Leon' discussion panel Lensi Photography

#23  Director Lynette Linton 

Direcotr Lynette Linton during the BBC 'My Name Is Leon' discussion panel Lensi Photography

#24  Nikki Tapper 

Nikki Tapper chairs the panel discussion for BBC drama 'My Name Is Leon'Lensi Photography

#25  Lenny Henry speaks to Nikki Tapper 

Sir Lenny Henry in conversation with Nikki Tapper at the 'My Name Is Leon' BBC preview event in Birmingham Lensi Photography

#26  Lenny Henry speaks to Salman Mirza

Sir Lenny Henry speaks to Salman Mirza about 'My Name is Leon' Lensi Photography

#27  Sir Lenny Henry 

Sir Lenny Henry during the BBC 'My Name Is Leon' discussion panel Lensi Photography

#28  Sir Lenny Henry 

Sir Lenny Henry during the BBC 'My Name Is Leon' discussion panel Lensi Photography

#29  Young actor Cole Martin 

Cole Martin on the red carpet for the My Name is Leon previewLensi Photography

#29  Kit de Waal, Lynette Linton and Salman Mirza

Reporter Salman Mirza with Kit de Waal and Lynette Linton at the BBC 'My Name Is Leon' preview event in Birmingham Adam Yosef

#30  Lenny Henry and Salman Mirza 

Reporter Salman Mirza with Sir Lenny Henry at the BBC 'My Name Is Leon' preview event in Birmingham Adam Yosef

#31  Audience members enjoy the panel discussion

Audience members enjoying a panel discussion with Sir Lenny Henry and the cast and crew of BBC drama film 'My Name Is Leon' at a preview event in Birmingham Adam Yosef

#32

Nikki Tapper interviews 'My Name Is Leon' cast and crew including Kit de Waal, Sir Lenny Henry and Lynette Linton in Birmingham Adam Yosef

#33

Writer Kit de Waal and director Lynette Linton during the BBC 'My Name Is Leon' discussion panel in BIrmingham Adam Yosef

#34

Sir Lenny Henry during the BBC 'My Name Is Leon' discussion panel Adam Yosef

#35

Audience members enjoying a panel discussion with Sir Lenny Henry and the cast and crew of BBC drama film 'My Name Is Leon' at a preview event in Birmingham Adam Yosef

#36

Lynette Linton and Cole Martin on the red carpet for the My Name is Leon preview screening Adam Yosef

#37

Cole Martin on the red carpet for the BBC 'My Name is Leon' preview screening in BirminghamAdam Yosef

#38

Author Kit de Waal on the red carpet for the BBC 'My Name is Leon' preview screening in BirminghamAdam Yosef

#39

Sir Lenny Henry on the red carpet for the BBC 'My Name is Leon' preview screening in BirminghamAdam Yosef

#40

Film director Lynette Linton on the red carpet for the BBC 'My Name is Leon' preview screening in BirminghamAdam Yosef

My Name is Leon will air this Friday 10 June at 9pm on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.

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https://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/My-Name-is-Leon-Screening-©-Lensi-Photography-426411-800x534.jpghttps://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/My-Name-is-Leon-Screening-©-Lensi-Photography-426411-300x200.jpgStaff ReporterBlack ExcellenceBLMBooksEntertainmentEventsFilmMediaNewsRacismShowbizWhat's OnYoung peopleAdam Yosef,Austin Court,Author,B,B'ham,BBC,BBC Birmingham,BBC England,BBC Two,Birmingham,Book,Brum,BrumFeed,care,care homes,Christopher Eccleston,Cole Martin,discussion,Drama,Film,foster care,I Am Bham,I Am Birmingham,IET Austin Court,ingterview,Kit De Waal,Lenny Henry,Lensi Photography,Lynette Linton,Malachi Kirby,Midlands,Monica Dolan,My Name is Leon,Nikki Tapper,Novel,Olivia Williams,Poppy Lee Friar,Premiere,Q&A,Racism,Red Carpet,Salman Mirza,Shobna Gulati,Sir Lenny Henry,West MidlandsAhead of the film adaptation of bestselling book 'My Name Is Leon' coming to BBC Two this Friday, actor and executive producer Sir Lenny Henry joined the Birmingham writer behind the story, Kit de Waal, and the programme's young star Cole Martin on the red carpet last night. They appeared along...The latest news, updates and events in Birmingham