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My Name Is Leon cast revealed for BBC drama

Tufty (MALACHI KIRBY), Leon (COLE MARTIN) - (C) Douglas Road Productions - Photographer: Ben Gregory-Ring
My Name Is Leon: Tufty (MALACHI KIRBY), Leon (COLE MARTIN) - (C) Douglas Road Productions - Photographer: Ben Gregory-Ring

Here's who's on the cast of BBC's new TV adaptation of award-winning novel My Name Is Leon.

Kit de Waal’s lauded debut novel My Name is Leon has been turned into a one-off film written by Shola Amoo and directed by Lynette Linton.

My Name Is Leon airs on BBC Two and iPlayer on Friday, 10 June at 9PM.

My Name Is Leon cast

My Name Is Leon stars Malachi Kirby (Small Axe; Devils; Black Mirror; Roots) as Tufty Burrows, Monica Dolan (A Very English Scandal; Talking Heads) as Maureen, Olivia Williams (Counterpart; The Father) as Sylvia and Christopher Eccleston (The A Word; King Lear) as Devlin.

Joining them are Poppy Lee Friar (In My Skin; Ackley Bridge) as Carol and Sir Lenny Henry CBE (The Lord Of The Rings; Doctor Who) as Mr Johnson and Shobna Gulati (Coronation Street; Murder, They Hope) as Salma.

Cole Martin will play the lead, Leon, in his first TV role.

A teaser shares: "Set in 1980s Birmingham, this special one-off film tells the uplifting and incredibly moving story of nine year-old Leon, a mixed-race boy, and his quest to reunite his family after being taken into care and separated from his blond and blue-eyed baby brother.

"Told through Leon’s eyes, we follow his journey, full of energy and hopefulness despite the hardships he encounters, and witness the touching relationship between him and his foster carer Maureen.

"With his favourite action figure Sergeant Smith by his side, Leon’s adventure teaches him valuable lessons about himself, the world, love, and what family, in its various guises, really means.

"Set against the backdrop of the race riots in the 1980s, this tender and inspiring tale balances gritty realism with charm and gentle humour, exploring the issues of identity and belonging with both urgency and wit."

Malachi Kirby says: “It’s rare, in my experience, for projects such as this to be made and even more rare to be seen, so I’m really excited and grateful to be a part of it."

Monica Dolan added: “Rarely do you get the chance even to read a script of such heart, soul and wisdom as Shola’s.

"And it could not have come at a more appropriate time. I am thrilled and privileged to be working with such a great cast and to be part of Lynette Linton’s TV debut.”

Olivia Williams commented: “This film is a real challenge for me. The subject matter has deep resonance, and my character is both grotesque and very real. I’m so excited to be involved."

My Name Is Leon airs on BBC Two and iPlayer on Friday, 10 June at 9PM.

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