Lenny Henry's career spans almost thirty years and counting. He made a triumphant televisual debut in 1975, when he won the New Faces talent competition at the age of 18.
He anchored the Saturday morning children's show, Tiswas, from 1978 to 1980, using the show to develop his comic persona to great effect.
But Lenny didn't just stick to children's entertainment. He appeared on The Black and White Minstrel Show for five years and then joined the hugely popular sketch show, Three of a Kind, alongside Tracey Ullman.
Lenny teamed up with the Comic Strip in 1980, when he met comedienne Dawn French, who would later become his wife.
By 1984, Lenny was ready for his own show and the Lenny Henry Show ran for a decade, becoming hugely popular with audiences. A return to his stand-up roots followed, with Lenny embarking on the Live and Unleashed shows, bringing him to the attention of Hollywood.
Lenny took the lead in the Hollywood film, 'True Identity', with mixed results. But the BBC sitcom, Chef, followed and it was a big success for Lenny, who also wrote and produced the show.
Critical acclaim followed in 1999, when Lenny acted in the straight role of Ian George in the BBC comprehensive school drama, Hope and Glory. He revived his sketch show persona with the show, Lenny Henry in Pieces, in 2000, which won Lenny the Golden Rose Award at the Montreux Television Festival. Another special of the same show was transmitted at Christmas 2001.
During 2002 the first series of Lenny Henry in Pieces was transmitted on BBC1. Lenny also completed a tour of the UK with his live show 'Have You Seen This Man' which was recorded for release on CD and filmed for the BBC (Lenny Henry - This is My Life)
Lenny is also famous for being one of the founding figures of Comic Relief. He has won numerous awards throughout his career, including BBC British Personality of the Year and the Edric Connor Inspiration to Black People Award.
Very happy thanks! Lenny was a dream to work with….
We were thrilled at Lenny's entrance song, and could not get over what a fantastic singer Lenny is and how tightly rehearsed the whole thing was. Lenny was spot on… and superb throughout the whole awards show he was really funny and the audience loved him. There are certainly some excellent comments on Twitter this morning….Lenny adlibbed, kept control and his experience showed through. Lenny was a consummate professional through the whole booking start to end.
I wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks to Lenny for such a sterling effort last week….Please also pass on my massive appreciation to Lenny. He was a complete star on the night in the face of some sharp-end show-cutting shenanigans and he was the perfect host for the show. Everyone loved him…
The event was a triumph and in no small way thanks to Lenny. He was absolutely great. He changed the mood as ever with his stand up and was really good with all the winners of awards in the presentations. What a pro!