Comedian and actor, Lenny Henry will receive a knighthood from Her Majesty the Queen during her birthday honours.
The news was first reported over the weekend, when the Comic Relief host was told interviewers he was ‘chuffed’ upon receiving the news. In an interview with BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans, Henry said it has come as a bit of a surprise:
“It’s not something you think about really when you grow up in Dudley. But it’s a fantastic thing,” he said. “I’m being pummelled from all sides by my family, saying, ‘Do we get some land? Do we get a castle now? Do we get 100 men in plate armour following us around Dudley?’ I’m very pleased. And my mum would have loved it.”
The comedian found fame back in 1975 on television talent show New Faces, before moving on to Saturday morning television with children’s favourite Tiswas. He then went on to work on sketch shows such as Three Of A Kind and his own long-running series, The Lenny Henry Show.
“It is a wonderful thing and my family are really, really chuffed. My friends have not stopped ringing up and saying congratulations. It is an extraordinary thing and I’m very chuffed,” he concluded.
The 56-year-old brummie has also acted in BBC drama Hope and Glory and earned acclaim for his stage performances in plays such as Othello and The Comedy Of Errors. Currently though, Henry can be seen in the third series of The Syndicate on BBC One, playing a gardener with Asperger’s Syndrome.
He is perhaps most well-known, however, for co-founding the charity, Comic Relief, which has raised more than £1billion over the past 25 years to help disadvantaged people in Africa and here in the UK.
The honours will be officially announced on Friday.