The life of award-winning author Alex Wheatle is to be the basis of a new film from Academy Award-winning director Steve McQueen for BBC One. Episode 5 of McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ series for BBC One and iPlayer is entitled ‘Alex Wheatle’ and stars Sheyi Cole playing the part of the author as a young adult. The episode will be live on iPlayer and on BBC One on Sunday 6th December. [In the USA the series will premier on Amazon Prime on 15th November.]
The BBC has released the following description of the episode:
Having spent his childhood in a mostly white institutional care home with no love or family, he finally finds not only a sense of community for the first time in Brixton, but his identity and opportunity to grow his passion for music and DJing. When he is thrown in prison during the Brixton Uprising of 1981, he confronts his past and sees a path to healing. Sheyi Cole stars opposite Jonathan Jules.
This announcement comes alongside the publication of Wheatle’s latest novel, Cane Warriors from Andersen Press.
On the release of the new novel, Alex has said “On Remembrance Sunday every year, the UK honours its fallen dead from the First and Second World Wars and other significant wars. With CANE WARRIORS, I wanted to honour my ancestry and our glorious dead. I wanted to lend power to their voices and realise them on the page. I would like my children’s children to learn about the mighty CANE WARRIORS just as they read about Richard the Lionheart, Joan of Arc and Queen Elizabeth I repelling the Spanish Armada.”