Thursday 27 October 2016

Gong gave Lenny 'lemonade feeling'

Published 09/06/2015 | 09:01

Lenny Henry will be knighted in the Queen's Birthday honours
Lenny Henry will be knighted in the Queen's Birthday honours

Lenny Henry has said being offered a knighthood was "a lovely feeling" and "like being filled with lemonade".

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The comic told BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans that the honour, expected to be officially confirmed on Friday, was "wonderful".

He said: "It was lovely, it was a lovely feeling, it was like being filled with lemonade for 10 or 15 minutes."

Henry, a mainstay of Comic Relief for years, said his knighthood was for "services to charity", adding: "T hat's not just me, that's everybody that works for Comic Relief."

He said: " I'm being reeled and pummelled from all sides by my family, saying 'Do we get some land? Do we get a castle now? Do we get 100 men in plate armour following us around Dudley? What's going on?'

"It's not something you think about really when you grow up in Dudley. But it's a fantastic thing, I'm very pleased and my mum would have loved it, my mum would have absolutely been chuffed. When we were at the Royal Variety performance she was sat on the same balcony as the Queen and she kept waving to her so this would have sent her into fits of joy."

The star - real name Lenworth Henry - said the title made him sound like "an old blues singer".

He said: "Sir L enworth Henry sounds like I'm making a very grand rock 'n' roll record."

Henry, who grew up in Dudley in the West Midlands, started out working on the controversial Black And White Minstrel Show before getting his big break doing impressions on talent show New Faces.

His career as a stand-up comic led to him joining children's TV show Tiswas alongside Chris Tarrant, and its late-night adult sister show OTT before h e went on to work on BBC1's Three Of A Kind.

He also fronted h is own series, appeared in films and starred in the successful sitcom Chef! before receiving critical acclaim for his stage performances, including Othello and The Comedy Of Errors, at the National Theatre.

Henry, who separated from his wife Dawn French in 2010 after 25 years of marriage, hit the headlines last year when he called for ring-fenced funding to promote ethnically-diverse talent in the media.

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