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‘You are not alone,’ Sir Lenny Henry assures A-level students

Celebrities joined him in sending encouraging messages to nervous students.

Lenny Henry.

Actor and comedian Sir Lenny Henry has assured hopeful A-level students that they are “not alone”, whatever their results.

The star spoke from the clearing office at Birmingham City University on Thursday morning in the nerve-racking hours before the official release of the national test results.

Sir Lenny, who was last year appointed chancellor of the university, said he believed higher education had become more “egalitarian” and that there would be a place somewhere for every student.

“This is a fantastic day to make decisions” he told BBC Breakfast viewers.

“Education is for everybody. It has become more egalitarian … even people with the weirdest of results, there’s a place for them, and that’s what clearing is for.

“One in eight people get university positions from clearing, so you’re not alone if your marks are all over the place and there is probably a place for you.”

The star, who is answering calls on the clearing hotline today, gave himself as the best example to prove his point, telling viewers how he is now in the final stages of a PhD course after completing his basic education at the age of 40.

He joined a number of celebrities sending their best wishes to sixth-formers around the country on Thursday, including Child Genius host Richard Osman, who tweeted: “Good luck to everyone getting their #AlevelResults today. I’ve really tried my best over the years to help you learn the Periodic Table.”

Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Theo Paphitis added: “It isn’t one size fits all, often people find their passion beyond school, don’t give up if it hasn’t gone your way #alevelresultsday”.