UK Television

BBC One Announce Sir Lenny Henry Birthday Special


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In 2018, after a long and glittering career, Sir Lenny is 60 – the perfect excuse to celebrate a man who has made a unique impact on British comedy.

Commissioned by Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, this one hour special will be produced by BBC Studios in association with Douglas Road for BBC One.

Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning, says: “Lenny’s unparalleled career is down to his superb versatility and huge charisma. This landmark special hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald gives audiences the chance to celebrate this well-loved larger than life talent by going back to his origins as a comedy whirlwind with a phenomenal talent to create and inhabit characters. It’s going to be more than oookaaay!”

Hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald and filmed in front of a studio audience, Lenny will take a light-hearted look back at his career. The special will feature archive clips from a TV career that started 43 years ago and hasn’t stopped since. We’ll revisit all his favourite characters, from Theophilus P. Wildebeeste to Delbert Wilkins, Deakus to Mister Lister. And there’ll be new sketches featuring a number of special guests.



Lenny says: “This is a great honour. I’m very chuffed to have my comedy work celebrated like this. One of the reasons I became a comedy performer was because of the rich and varied palette of comedy broadcast on the BBC throughout my childhood. I was hooked and my early career displays the connection. I’m a comedy consumer now, but my teens were marked by my family’s tendency to sit round the television and watch everything. So big up Auntie Beeb – you’re the reason I’m here…”

Chris Sussman, Head of Comedy, BBC Studios says: “Lenny has been on our TV screens for so long it’s hard to believe he’s only sixty. Given how much he’s done for the BBC over the years, it’s only fitting we’re celebrating his birthday with a glorious special on BBC One.”

The special will be produced by BBC Studios in association with Douglas Road Productions for BBC One and will air later this year.