Entertainment & Arts

Lenny Henry honoured for work championing diversity

Lenny Henry
Image caption Henry has attacked Britain's broadcasting industry as "predominantly white".

Lenny Henry will be honoured later at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards for his work championing diversity.

The comedian, who is fronting Friday's Comic Relief activities, will pick up the Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting.

Awards chairman Gideon Spanier said "no one has done more... to speak out against what he calls the 'appalling' lack of diversity in broadcasting".

Henry's contribution to television will also be recognised.

Best known for TV shows such as Three of a Kind and Chef!, Henry became a household name in the 1980s. He has since won critical acclaim for his theatre performances and become a vocal campaigner for diversity.

"His campaigning has at last started to pay off, as all the major broadcasters have pledged to meet new targets in the last few months," said Spanier.

Henry is currently part of BBC director general Tony Hall's working group - including broadcaster Floella Benjamin and DJ Nihal - to improve diversity at the corporation.

Last year, delivering a lecture to Bafta, the comedian said funds should be set aside to boost the presence of BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) people in the broadcasting industry.

He put the presence of those from BAME backgrounds in the creative industry at 5.4%, a figure he described as "appalling".

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