Lenny Henry is one of Britain’s most well-known and well-respected comedians. A veteran of the comedy circuit, Lenny has been a star of the stage and screen for over four decades and continues to use his public profile for good. As the man behind the iconic Comic Relief charity, Lenny admired internationally for his charity work, as much as his comedy work. Now, aiming to change the conversation surrounding inclusion, Lenny is a leading speaker on the challenges and solutions faced by a lack of diversity.
Having spent more than 40 years in the spotlight, Lenny’s comedy is popular across generations and continents. His earliest work on Tiswas for three years led to his own series ‘The Lenny Henry Show’ in 1984. The sitcom included sketches, cameos and laugh out loud humour, ensuring it appealed to a diverse range of audiences and aired periodically until 2005. Other memorable television appearances for Lenny include Chef!, Lenny Henry in Pieces and The Magicians. In the past 10 years, Lenny has taken his talents to the stage, appearing in classics such as Othello and The Comedy of Errors.
Motivated by the famine in Ethiopia to action support for global issues, Lenny co-founded Comic Relief in 1985. With the aim of using prominent comics to entertain audiences and promote fundraising, Comic Relief has become a highly anticipated televised charity event celebrated throughout the UK. Lenny has presented the telethon, supported publicity, and spearheaded the efforts that have raised over £1 billion for global causes. For his unprecedented commitment to charity and comedy, Lenny was honoured with a Knighthood in 2015 and received the 2016 BAFTA Television: Special Award.
Equally prominent as a voice for change in the race debate, Lenny has continually challenged racism in politics, the media and beyond throughout his career. Named on the Powerlist of 100 Most Influential Black Britons, Lenny, who has been subjected to horrific racial abuse over the decades, acts as a transformational keynote speaker on championing diversity. Backed by his first-hand experience, Lenny is sought after to instigate progressive change in corporate environments with regards to racial equality.