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Lenny Henry to receive BAFTA honour

Published 27/04/2016

Lenny Henry
Lenny Henry

Lenny Henry will be honoured for his outstanding contribution to TV.

British comedian Lenny Henry is set to receive an honorary BAFTA TV award in May (16).

The funnyman will be presented with the Alan Clarke award, named after the late TV director, for his outstanding contribution to British TV throughout his career, from his first appearance on 1975 show New Faces to 2015 drama The Syndicate.

"This is fantastic," Lenny, 57, said. "I am truly humbled and truly hopeful that this award is a pan-industry acknowledgement that diversity must be at the heart of our industry if we are to reflect British society now and, most importantly, in the future."

Krishnendu Majumdar, chairman of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)'s Television Committee, said, "There is no-one more deserving of the Special Award this year than Lenny Henry. He has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a performer and writer, appearing in dozens of shows from Tiswas to the hugely popular Lenny Henry Show and most recently in the drama, The Syndicate; proving his appeal spans all generations and genres."

He also explained Lenny's campaigning for diversity in British TV "coupled with his incredible contribution to the industry, makes him the perfect choice for the special award."

Lenny, who was knighted last year (15), had previously received two BAFTA nominations for his sketch program The Lenny Henry Show, which was broadcast in the 1980s and revived in 1995 and 2003.

The BAFTA TV awards will be held at London's Royal Festival Hall on 8 May (16). Historical drama Wolf Hall, which stars Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance, leads the nominations with four, while the Leading Actor prize is a battle between Mark, Idris Elba, Ben Whishaw, and Stephen Graham.

The ceremony will be hosted by Graham Norton.

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