Belfast Telegraph

Henry to receive broadcasting award

Comic and actor Lenny Henry will take a break from preparations for tonight's Comic Relief show to be honoured at a broadcasting awards ceremony.

The star will be at the Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG) Awards in central London to accept the Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting.

BPG chairman Gideon Spanier said: "Forty years ago, as a young black performer, Lenny Henry smashed stereotypes on British TV.

"He has gone on to star in Othello and much else - but there's so much more to him than that.

"Thirty years ago, he co-founded Comic Relief which has so far raised £950 million for charity, and we're delighted he'll receive the award on Red Nose Day.

"There is a second reason we felt this award was particularly fitting this year.

"No-one has done more in recent years to speak out against what he calls the 'appalling' lack of diversity in broadcasting.

"His campaigning has at last started to pay off, as all the major broadcasters have pledged to meet new targets in the last few months."

Last year, Henry called for ring-fenced funding to promote ethnically diverse talent in the media and as guest editor of Radio 4's Today Programme he changed the on-air line-up to ensure every member of the team was from a black or ethnic minority background.

Previous winners of the award include Sir Terry Wogan, Cilla Black, Melvyn Bragg and Sir David Frost.

The BPG awards, voted for by journalists who write about TV and radio, take place at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

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