John Boyega and Letitia Wright are to star in a new Steve McQueen series for BBC One.

John Boyega

John Boyega

The 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' actor and the 'Black Panther' actress will join forces with the 'Widows' director for 'Small Axe', a London-set 1970s anthology, which has begun shooting on location in the capital.

The six hour-long episodes will tell five stories, with the first told across two episodes, set within London's West Indian community from the late 1960s to the early 80s.

Steve said: "I felt these stories needed to be shared. I wanted to re-live, re-evaluate and investigate the journeys that my parents and the first generation of West Indians went on to deliver me here today calling myself a black British person.

"What's important about our stories is that they are local but at the same time global.

"I think audiences will identify with the trials, tribulations and joy of our characters as well as reflecting on the present environment in which we find ourselves.

"The dynamic nature of the series allows us to confront injustice in the face of adversity hence the proverb Small Axe, 'If you are the big tree, we are the small axe' (Bob Marley)."

'Line of Duty' actress Rochenda Sandall is also part of the cast, as are Malachi Kirby, Shaun Parkes, Alex Jennings, and Jack Lowden.

The hour-long stories have been conceived and written by Steve alongside Alastair Siddons and Courttia Newland.

Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, added: "It is an honour to have Steve McQueen, along with this stellar cast, tell these important and inspiring stories on BBC One.

"'Small Axe' will air on BBC One next year, and this powerful drama is not to be missed."