Comedian and actor Lenny Henry is set to be honoured with a knighthood in the Queen’s birthday honours.
And the 56-year-old star said he is “very chuffed” to officially become Sir Lenny Henry.
The honours will be officially revealed on Friday but the Henry announcement has been leaked to the press ahead of time.
Speaking to Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2, Henry said:
It’s not something you think about really when you grow up in Dudley. But it’s a fantastic thing. 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. 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.
The star, who is already a CBE, found fame on TV talent show New Faces in 1975 before starring in children’s classic Tiswas and sketch shows including Three of a Kind and his own long-running Lenny Henry Show, all alongside a successful stand-up comedy career.
In recent years, he has received acclaim for his roles in BBC drama Hope and Glory and on stage in plays including Othello and The Comedy Of Errors. He has also been a vocal campaigner for greater diversity on British television.
However, it is his role as a charity fundraiser and the co-founder of Comic Relief which has earned him the most recognition. The British charity has earned over £1 billion over the past three decades for projects at home and abroad.
(This is) for everybody who’s helped make Comic Relief what it is. I think it’s for all of us and that’s what I’m pleased about. The thing said ‘services to charity’. Well that’s not just me. That’s everybody who works at Comic Relief and has helped us raise over £1bn. It’s a huge huge thank you. It’s for us, not just for me.
Congratulations to Mr. Henry! Hopefully he has a special Premier Inn room reserved for the occasion.