National treasure Sir Lenny Henry is widely known as being the co-founder of Comic Relief, which this year teamed up with Children In Need to raise over £70 million to support those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to his charitable work, Henry is known for stand-up comedy and acting. Come Christmas Day 2020, Henry will also be on our screens, as the narrator of BBC's Zog and the Flying Doctors. But what else do we know about the entertainer? And is Lenny Henry married?
According to The Mirror, Sir Lenny is no longer married, and is currently in a relationship with theatre director Lisa Makin. The pair reportedly began dating two years after splitting with ex-wife, fellow comedian Dawn French, back in 2010. “I am very happy. I am in a happy place,” he told the newspaper. “It’s different and it’s nice. Life changes and life moves on. It’s like one chapter closes and another opens. It’s good and it’s on the upswing — and that’s fantastic.”Henry and the Vicar of Dibley star met back in 1984 after first meeting on the alternative comedy circuit. The pair then went on to adopt their daughter Billie in 1991, however after 25 years of marriage, Henry and French decided to go their separate ways.
As previously mentioned, Sir Lenny is perhaps best known for co-founding Comic Relief. He has been working as a presenter for the charity since 2003 and, in 2015, Henry received a knighthood in the Queen's birthday honours, where he thanked all those who have contributed to Comic Relief. According to The Sun, he said "This is not just for me, this is for everyone who has done something for Comic Relief. Every person who has helped us raise £1 billion and for everyone who works at Comic relief, this is for you."
In response to the ongoing pandemic, Comic Relief partnered up with Children in Need to raise money for those hit hardest by COVID-19 and the national lockdown. Aptly called The Big Night In, the telethon aired on April 23 and ended up raising nearly £30 million, of which the government doubled to over £70 million. Per the BBC, £20 million of the funds raised went to the National Emergencies Trust, with a further £4 million given to NHS Charities together. The remaining £46 million was “split equally between BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief.”
The program featured dozens of familiar faces and special guests, including the start of French’s Vicar of Dibley lockdown sermons. Miranda also had a reunion of sorts over Zoom, and one of Comic Relief’s most recognised sketches got a reboot thanks to David Tennant and Catherine Tate, as well as Peter Kay attempting to return to Amarillo in a new music video featuring key workers and members of the public.
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