#015 - Sir Lenny Henry


Manage episode 268784000 series 2679547
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Lenny’s work stretches from classical theatre to arena tours, music to film, Comic Relief to studying a PhD on the role of people of colour in the media. He continues to balance comedy, drama, activism and entertainment on radio, TV and live.

Since bursting onto our screens as winner of New Faces, Sir Lenny Henry has been firmly established as one Britain’s most well known comedians. From Tiswas to Shakespeare via singing the Blues - Sir Lenny Henry is a diverse and well loved comedian and sometime actor. Best known as co-founder of Comic Relief, Sir Lenny Henry has won numerous awards, including Lifetime Achievement at the National Comedy

Awards, and a Special Award from BAFTA.

Working his way around working men’s clubs, and eventually gaining some recognition in the form of the New Faces talent show in 1975, Lenny enjoyed his TV breakthrough in LWTs sitcom The Fosters – the UK’s first comedy series featuring predominantly black performers. Lenny then made his mark on Tiswas before progressing to sketch show Three of a Kind alongside Tracy Ullman and David Copperfield. But it wasn’t until he landed his own vehicle that his best-known comic creations emerged in the forms of Delbert Wilkins and the one man sex machine Theophilus P

Wildebeest. It established Lenny as a versatile comic pioneer, as comfortable with sketches and standup as he was with sitcoms, musical comedy and impressions.

Lenny’s career went on to include more sketch series, Christmas specials, his own comedy series, Chef!, and a Hollywood debut in Disney’s True Identity. Returning to Britain he starred in the hard-hitting drama Alive and Kicking with Robbie Coltrane - winning a Golden Nymph Award at the Monte Carlo Television Festival, as well as the acclaimed Hope And Glory, based on the real-life work of headteacher William


Lenny has also developed another string to his bow with his love of Shakespeare; treading the boards to great acclaim as Othello, leading to other critically praised stage roles in Fences and The Comedy of Errors.

As well known as his performing is Lenny’s tireless campaigning work. One of the co-founders of Comic Relief he has travelled the world seeing the charity’s work first hand and has been a part of every event the organisations has staged. He is also a vocal campaigner for higher profile roles for BAME people in the media, including undertaking a PhD on the subject.

The music for the podcast is Twiggy's version of "Waterloo Sunset" by the Kinks and can be found on Apple Music at this link https://music.apple.com/gb/album/romantically-yours/693460953

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● Many thanks to James Carrol and all the team at Northbank Talent Management

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