The National Television Awards have announced ahead of tonight's ceremony that this year's Special Recognition Award will go to Sir Lenny Henry, honouring his nearly 50 years on television.

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The coveted gold award, which is the only award not voted for by the public, has in the past been presented to stars including Sir Billy Connolly, Sir Trevor McDonald and David Tennant. Last year it was awarded to BBC smash hit show Line of Duty.

Among those set to congratulate Henry during tonight's ceremony will be Whoopi Goldberg, who says: "If you want to know what a superhero looks like, take a look at Sir Lenny Henry."

The NTAs will be from 8pm at The OVO Arena Wembley tonight (Thursday 13th October), and will be broadcast live on ITV and ITV Hub.

Sir Lenny Henry
Sir Lenny Henry David Levenson/Getty Images

An actor, comedian, singer, presenter and writer, Henry first appeared on the talent show New Faces in 1975 aged 16, before going on to appear in shows such as Tiswas and Three of a Kind.

His own sketch comedy show started airing in 1984 and more recently he has been seen starring in Amazon's The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and in a small role in Netflix's The Sandman. Throughout his career he has campaigned for greater diversity and equality in the entertainment industry, as well as playing a key role in the formation of Comic Relief.

He will be presented with the award this year's ceremony, where shows such as Heartstopper, This is Going to Hurt, Call the Midwife and Peaky Blinders are all in contention.

The show will be presented by Joel Dommett and was originally set to take place in September, but was postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The National TV Awards will air on ITV on Thursday 13th October. Find something to watch with our TV Guide or visit our Entertainment hub for all the latest news.

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