In his long-awaited autobiography, Sir Lenny Henry tells the extraordinary story of his early years and sudden rise to fame.
Born soon after his Jamaican parents had arrived in the Midlands, Lenny was raised as one of seven siblings in a boisterous working household, and sent out into the world with his mum’s mantra of ‘H’integration!
H’integration! H’integration!’ echoing in his ears. But 1970s Britain was a hard place, and a bewildering experience for a lone black teenager.
A natural ability to make people laugh came in handy.
At school it helped subdue the daily racist bullying.
In the park, it led to lifelong friendships and occasional snogs.
Soon, it would put him on stage at working men’s clubs and Black Country discotheques -before an invitation to a TV audition changed his life for ever.