Sir Lenny Henry CBE

Sir Lenny Henry CBE

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Actor & Comedian

To book Lenny Henry CBE please contact your JLA Agent.

Synopsis

Lenny’s credits stretch from classical theatre to arena tours, TV dramas, a blues album and Comic Relief. He continues to balance comedy, drama, and entertainment and campaigns for diversity in TV.

Biography

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 stand-up 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 film True Identity. He has also starred in the hard-hitting drama Alive and Kicking with Robbie Coltrane and the acclaimed Hope and Glory, based on the real-life work of headteacher William Atkinson. Other appearances include Broadchurch, Doctor Who and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Lenny has also another string to his bow; treading the boards to great acclaim as Othello, leading to other critically praised stage roles in The Comedy of Errors, Educating Rita, and King Hedley II. 

His memoir Who am I, again?, charts Lenny’s journey from performing prodigy to mainstream entertainer with wit, honesty and immense charm. It tackles the casual racism, he received as a teen and the stresses and strains of fame. His second memoir Rising to the Surface, charts the earlier parts of Lenny’s acting and comedic career, taking in the creative and personal highs and lows.

Lenny is also well known for his 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 have staged. He is also a vocal campaigner for higher profile roles for BAME people in the media, including undertaking a PhD on the subject.

His book Access All Areas: The Diversity Manifesto for TV and Beyond, written with Marcus Ryder, considers why efforts to diversify media have been thus far ineffective, and why they are simply not enough. In response to the international outcry at George Floyd's death, Lenny Henry and Marcus Ryder commissioned Black British Lives Matter: A Clarion Call for Equality, a collection of essays to discuss how and why we need to fight for Black lives to matter - not just for Black people but for society as a whole.

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Video

Lenny Henry JLA The Real Variety Show

Books

Book written by Sir Lenny Henry CBE
Book written by Sir Lenny Henry CBE
Book written by Sir Lenny Henry CBE
Book written by Sir Lenny Henry CBE