Comic Relief Bids Farewell To Sir Lenny Henry

Sir Lenny Henry will be hosting Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day for the final time on BBC One on Friday 15th March.

The comedian, who co-founded the charity with director Richard Curtis in 1985, said it was time for new faces after nearly 40 years at the helm.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said “There’s all these new, wonderful comedians with podcasts and nine million followers, and those guys or women should be hosting Comic Relief now so that the young people and the new influx of viewers can plug into the next stage of Comic Relief, because there will be a next stage, and because we want to continue tackling issues of poverty and injustice. It’s time to hand over the reins, as it were.”

Sir Lenny co-hosted the inaugural Comic Relief show in 1988 where more than 30 million people tuned in to watch a Blackadder special episode, the stars of The Young Ones on University Challenge, Rowan Atkinson and Monty Python sketches and a final comedy routine from Jonathan Ross, Lenny Henry and Griff Rhys Jones.

That first show raised more than £15 million in eight hours and donations have since surpassed £1.5bn, with money raised each year helping to tackle poverty, provide food, healthcare and safe shelter for people in the UK and around the world.