You’ll know him from Comic Relief, or Twiswas, or both. You’ll know his Birmingham accent, his hysterical stand up and observations on every day life and from starring in so many documentaries, dramas and stage shows – we can’t fit them all into one feature.
Our very own Pete Price chats with Lenny ahead of his Liverpool show. Listen above as they talk comedy, drama, racism, family and growing up in the Black country in the 1970’s.
Sir Lenny Henry hails from Dudley and began his early career on shows like New Faces (with our Pete), Tiswas, Celebrity Squares and entertaining the masses in Blackpool with the likes of Cannon and Ball. Cut to 2019 and Lenny has been and still is an integral player in the very best British entertainment. He is also a co-founder of Comic Relief, or Red Nose Day as you might know it – which to date has raised over £1 billion for UK and world wide causes.
Sir Lenny told Pete: “The show is all about my book, I’ve written a book called ‘Who Am I, Again?’ it goes from 1958 to Tiswas. It’s basically about my mum and what she was like and growing up in Dudley. I don’t know what it was like in Liverpool during that time but it was quite a troubled time in Dudley.
“There was racist graffiti on the walls everywhere, my mum got chased down the road by some kids saying where’s your monkey tail hiding. And I grew up in this. So the first half of the show is bringing the stories of the book to life. I’ll also be talking about my Dad, Winston who came out with beautiful pearls of wisdom like ‘stop the noise, I want to watch the cricket’.”
“The second half of the show is like an interview, like Adele with Graham Norton except its not Adele, it’s me and there’s no singing.”
Lenny told Pete about how he learned from older comedians to learn his craft and he looked to the likes of Stan Boardman for advice. Lenny’s scouse accent is a work in progress! These two comedians talking about how stand up has changed over the years. Being able to talk about politics, sexuality, race and gender now is a real revelation and we can’t wait to hear Lenny elaborate about his early days in the working mens clubs to shocking audiences on New Faces.
There are a few tickets remaining for An Evening with Sir Lenny Henry at the Liverpool Empire on Wednesday 6th November 2019, by heading this way. You can get updates on Sir Lenny’s career and tour dates by following him on Twitter @LennyHenry.
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