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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 BAME people in the media. He continues to balance comedy, drama, activism and entertainment on radio, TV and live.
Lenny Henry is one of Britain’s best loved and most versatile performers. He is at home on television and on stage, in drama and in cabaret, fronting his band, voicing film characters, exploring how humour differs around the country, touring, and raising money for Comic Relief.
After winning the New Faces talent show over four decades ago, Lenny made his mark on Tiswas then progressed 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 Atkinson. More recently Lenny has picked out the funniest videos on the internet in lennyhenry.tv. He has starred in Radio 4’s sitcom Rudy’s Rare Records (as well as performing the show live), and presented radio documentaries investigating whether life coaches, method acting and Bob Dylan are all they’re cracked up to be. Lenny has also developed another string to his bow; 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.
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Lenny Henry JLA The Real Variety Show