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1 item from 2014

Lenny Henry: diversity in the TV industry 'is worth fighting for'

20 June 2014 9:45 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

As a boy of 16 he did impressions of Tommy Cooper. Now, as he prepares to mark his 40th year on TV, Lenny Henry is on a mission to make broadcasters reflect ethnically diverse Britain and never mind the potshots

Lenny Henry isn't laughing. I've told him a joke but he doesn't crack a smile. Instead, he wearily tells me that it's too old, and not funny any more. Perhaps it's not surprising. Now a critically acclaimed actor, Henry is almost unrecognisable as the cuddly comic whose suits were once as loud as his bellowed catchphrases. Lean and aloof, today he remains straight-faced as I repeat a quip told by comedians from Gina Yashere to Stephen K Amos that the only way for a black comedian to get their own TV show, is "to wait for Lenny Henry to die".

"I guess when I had the Lenny Henry Show that was a decent joke to make, »

- Homa Khaleeli

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