Lenny’s credits stretch from classical theatre to arena tours, TV dramas, a blues album and Comic Relief. He continues to balance comedy, drama, and entertainment and campaigns for diversity in TV.


Lenny Henry is one of Britain’s best loved and most versatile performers. He is at home on television and on stage, in drama and in cabaret, fronting his band, voicing film characters, exploring how humour differs around the country, touring, and raising money for Comic Relief.

After winning the New Faces talent show over four decades ago, Lenny made his mark on Tiswas then progressed to sketch show Three of a Kind alongside Tracy Ullman and David Copperfield. But it wasn’t until he landed his own vehicle that his best-known comic creations emerged in the forms of Delbert Wilkins and the one man sex machine Theophilus P Wildebeest. It established Lenny as a versatile comic pioneer, as comfortable with sketches and standup as he was with sitcoms, musical comedy and impressions.

Lenny’s career went on to include more sketch series, Christmas specials, his own comedy series, Chef!, and a Hollywood debut in Disney’s True Identity. He has also starred in the hard-hitting drama Alive and Kicking with Robbie Coltrane and the acclaimed Hope And Glory, based on the real-life work of headteacher William Atkinson. Other appearances include Broadchurch, Doctor Who and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Lenny has also another string to his bow; treading the boards to great acclaim as Othello, leading to other critically praised stage roles in The Comedy of Errors, Educating Rita and King Hedley II. 

As well known as his performing is Lenny’s tireless campaigning work. One of the co-founders of Comic Relief he has travelled the world seeing the charity’s work first hand and has been a part of every event the organisations has staged. He is also a vocal campaigner for higher profile roles for BAME people in the media, including undertaking a PhD on the subject.

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Lenny Henry JLA The Real Variety Show


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JLA Presents

Event - 30/04/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Understanding AI Now

Priya Lakhani and Anne-Marie Imafidon

Please join us in our JLab studio near Oxford Circus at 08:30am on Tuesday 30th April for our next speaker’s breakfast event. Following our sell-out event for IWD back in February, we will be joined by three fantastic speakers for an exploration of the uses, myths and concerns surrounding AI.


JLA, 14 Berners Street, London


Event - 06/02/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Looking Ahead to International Women’s Day

Samira Ahmed, Eniola Aluko, and Alex Mahon

We were joined by four fantastic speakers to look ahead at International Women’s Day. With the theme of this year’s event being #InspireInclusion, we were lucky enough to hear from four women who have each blazed a trail in their respective fields: CEO of Channel 4, Alex Mahon; the former Australian Prime Minister and Chair of Kings’ Global Institute of Women’s Leadership, Julia Gillard; one of the leading voices in football, Eniola Aluko MBE; and broadcaster and journalist, Samira Ahmed.


Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 4QH