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Great Mobo speech...I only wrote it this morning, Lenny admits

Published 05/11/2015

Sir Lenny Henry with his Paving The Way award
Sir Lenny Henry with his Paving The Way award

Sir Lenny Henry has admitted he only gave himself a few hours to learn his rousing acceptance speech for the Paving The Way award at the 2015 Mobo Awards.

The comic had the audience on its feet during his speech as he said he "could only have got here from standing on the shoulders of giants" and went on to name-check famous faces from Bob Marley to Michael Jackson and "that bloke from the Halifax advert".

But he revealed that he only "wrote it this morning" when asked how long it took to memorise the list of names.

Speaking about the award, which celebrates musical trailblazers and influencers, he said: "It's an honour to say you've paved the way for people because my career isn't over. I don't feel like anything's finished yet.

"It's a huge honour. I'm very, very happy. It's wonderful."

Henry was the second winner of the inaugural prize after the "Godfather of Grime" Wiley accepted his earlier this week with a plaque placed at his former secondary school in Bow, East London.

Sir Lenny revealed that his paving slab would be laid in Buffery Park in Dudley, where he used to play as a child.

He admitted he was surprised to see The Great British Bake Off's Nadiya Hussain and his former co-star, actor Vas Blackwood, present his award.

"I loved meeting Nadiya from Bake Off, she's fantastic, I watched it every week, her little face!" he said.

"She was in the green room and I said, 'What's she doing here?' And then she was on stage doing this thing for me with Vas Blackwood."

Hussain was not the only surprise host of the evening, with actor Idris Elba making an appearance to present best album to Krept and Konan for The Long Way Home.

The duo also won best hip hop act which tied them for the most wins with Stromzy, who won best male and best grime act.

X Factor judge Rita Ora lost out in the best female category to Waiting All Night singer Ella Eyre, but still managed her moment in the spotlight with a seductive performance of her hits Body On Me and Posion before being joined on stage by best newcomer winners Section Boyz.

Best song was won by grime artist Skepta for his track Shutdown but he was unable to attend to accept his award, presented by boxer Nicola Adams.

Twilight actor Robert Pattinson joined his girlfriend FKA Twigs, real name Tahliah Barnett, to celebrate as she took home the gong for best video for her self-directed accompaniemnt to song Pendulum.

Best international album, voted for by the public, was won by Drake for If You're Reading This It's Too Late, while CeeLo Green was honoured with the Outstanding Achievement Award.

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