Lenny Henry is presenting a BBC special about his comedic hero Tommy Cooper to tonight – is he married and why did he split from Dawn French?
The special, Tommy Cooper at the BBC, will celebrate the comedic legend’s most famous acts.
Lenny has close ties to the late star, as he won talent show New Faces aged just 16 with his spot on impersonation of Tommy.
But what about Lenny? When did he become a household name? And when was he married to Dawn French?
Find out about the famous comedian below…
How old is Lenny Henry?
Sir Lenny Henry was born in Dudley on August 29, 1958.
As of March 2021, he is 62.
What is he famous for?
Lenny is a famous stand-up comedian, actor, writer, singer and television presenter.
In the 1970s he began stand-up and even appeared on the controversial The Black and White Minstrel Show.
He also established himself as a successful children’s presenter, appearing in Tiswas.
But it was in the 1980s when his comedic career truly took off.
During this time he teamed up with alternative comedy group The Comic Strip.
Here he perfected his impressions and stand-up routine.
This led to his own comedy show, The Lenny Henry Show, in 1984.
A huge success, it ran until 1988 and has been revived twice.
In the 1990s he continued with his stand-up comedy and also established himself as a serious actor.
Since then he’s appeared in seemingly endless television shows, movies, stage productions and has written numerous books.
Did he start Comic Relief?
Lenny Henry co-founded Comic Relief in 1985 with Richard Curtis.
It was initially set up in response to famine in Ethiopia.
The first ever Red Nose Day was celebrated in 1988, and £15 million was raised for charity.
When was Lenny Henry with Dawn French?
Lenny met Dawn when he was a member of The Comic Strip.
They married in 1984, and adopted their daughter Billie, in 1991.
In 2010 they announced they were separating and their divorce was finalised that same year.
Did Lenny have an affair?
Lenny reportedly spent the night with Merri Cheyne at a hotel in 1999. She was photographed at several hotels while he was on tour that year by the press.
However, Merri has denied it was a sexual relationship.
How many children does Lenny Henry have?
Lenny has one daughter, Billie.
In 2012, he said his divorce from Dawn had made him closer to his child.
Speaking to The Mirror, he said: “We lived together for a year and we did lots together and we watched a lot of movies together.
“She’s very bright and sparky, so I miss her now she’s not here. I go to see her a few times a month to see how she is getting on.”
Who is Lenny Henry married to now?
Lenny has not remarried.
However, he has been in a long-term relationship with theatre casting director Lisa Makin.
They met in 2013 and have reportedly been together ever since.
What’s next for the star?
In addition to his new Tommy Cooper special, Sir Lenny Henry is filming the upcoming Amazon Prime series Lord of The Rings.
*Tommy Cooper at the BBC airs on BBC One Friday March 5 at 19.35.
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