Lenny Henry: receiving a knighthood is “like being filled with lemonade”

The comedian confirms rumours of his place on the Queen's Birthday Honour list

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Arise Sir Lenny. The comedian has confirmed he will be made a knight in the Queen’s Birthday Honour list. A formal announcement is due on Friday, but the face of Premier Inn put the rumours to bed while chatting with Chris Evans on Radio 2 this morning. 

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Henry described receiving the title as “a lovely feeling”, like “being filled with lemonade for 10 or 15 minutes.”

The honour is in recognition of the 56-year-old’s role in founding Comic Relief with Richard Curtis. “It’s not something you think about really when you grow up in Dudley,” he told Evans. “My mum would have loved it, my mum would have absolutely been chuffed. When we were at the Royal Variety performance she was sat on the same balcony as the Queen and she kept waving to her, so this would have sent her into fits of joy.”

Thoughts soon turned to some of the perks his elevation might bring.

“I’m being reeled and 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?”

Henry began his television career aged 16 on New Faces, before moving through the Black and White Minstrel Show, Tiswas and Chef! to the long-running Lenny Henry Show. He has also taken on more dramatic roles, including the BBC’s Hope and Glory, and has won acclaim for his performances on stage in Othello and The Comedy of Errors.

He is currently filming Danny and the Human Zoo, a dramatised version of his life story, and stars in the third series of The Syndicate which continues on BBC1 tonight.

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But even more impressively, he is now officially called Sir Lenworth Henry, which makes him sound like “an old blues singer.”