The Lenny Henry Show (2004)

  • TV stand-up / sketch show
  • BBC One
  • 2004 - 2005
  • 16 episodes (2 series)

In his first topical series since Saturday Live, Lenny Henry returns to his stand-up roots with his unique blend of comedy. Also features Sheridan Smith.

Key details

Stand-Up, Sketch Show
2004 - 2005
16 (2 series)
Lenny Henry and Sheridan Smith
Michael Cumming
Lissa Evans and Alex Jackson-Long

In his first topical series since Saturday Live, Lenny Henry returns to his stand-up roots with his unique blend of comedy.

Joined every week by BBC Three favourites Ninia Benjamin, Tameka Empson and Jocelyn Esien of 3 Non-Blondes fame, Lenny combines topical stand-up, character sketches and music performance in this fast moving show.

Only Lenny Henry could provide viewers with his unique impersonations of Beyoncé and 50 Cent alongside characters including Ronson, the poetry writing prisoner, and a church going woman. All the characters in Lenny's new series are based in Holder, a fictional part of London, and include Lister, the affable, elderly, opinionated West Indian who owns and runs the cornershop.

Ronson is a prisoner-poet who has been encouraged by the education unit at Holder Prison to try his hand at creative writing. The Nail Bar Girls are Vivienne, who owns Kreation Nails and has aspirations to branch out to the West End; Joan, an experienced beautician who follows the lead of Tina Turner in the bid for eternal youth, and Shanissa, Vivienne's strikingly incompetent, chatty cousin.

The Big Hatted Ladies, Tiny and Daphne, attend the Pentecostal church, sit in the back row and talk about what women talk about, with added sauce. The African Midwife, Funkazi, takes a dim view of the fuss that British women make when it comes to giving birth: "They are not contractions! Are you going to give birth to a pencil? Now keep your mouth shut."

The Chuggers: Charity Muggers, Sam and Chris, accost passers-by in the street with a tabard, a grin and a clipboard and pride themselves on the fact that they will go to any lengths to get another signature. Pushy Mum, Mrs Omokorede, is obsessed with the desire to be the mum of a famous doctor. Her daughter Fumi is just 12 years old.

Community Radio DJ is an insanely cheerful, chatty radio presenter, working from a tiny room that overlooks Holder High Street and provides a window directly onto 'the weather', 'the travel' - "Well, there's a few cars about" - and 'what's happening in Holder'. Ragga Girl, 22-year-old Tanya, hangs around on street corners, posing in her new Moschino jacket and waiting for her friends to take her clubbing. They are yet to arrive.

Stepdad Mike is the new man in Jan's life. Jan's copping out, not giving the discipline required to keep her teenage daughter under control. She regularly sets Mike up to do the telling off, then abandons him when her daughter responds with teenage traumas. In another new addition to the series, Lenny is joined each week by a celebrity guest in a spoof CNN sketch - Sound Bite News Digest - where Lenny and his long suffering co-host, Tamsin Greig (Love Soup), provide a round-up of the world news.

Additional details


Website links

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Friday 30th April 2004 at 9pm on BBC One
Most recent repeats
  • Wednesday 29th November 2023 at 2:35am on Gold - Series 2, Episode 6
  • Tuesday 28th November 2023 at 2:25am on Gold - Series 2, Episode 5
  • Sunday 19th November 2023 at 3:30am on Gold - Series 2, Episode 6

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