No Laughing Matter III – ITV News can’t tell the difference between Sir Lenny Henry and Ainsley Harriot

Sir Lenny Henry received his knighthood from the Queen today at Windsor Castle. Many congratulations to Sir Lenny Henry for that great achievement. It’s just a great shame that despite being in show business for 40 years the country’s biggest commercial TV station (ITV) couldn’t tell him apart from Chef Ainsley Harriot! If they looked the same you could perhaps understand, but they do not. They don’t even operate in the same field!

ITV News must be squirming with embarrassment at being the news instead of just reporting the news. Whilst Twitterers and Facebookers have had a lot of fun at ITV’s expense, this has actually highlighted something that really is no laughing matter.  It’s somewhat ironic ITV have made this error as only last month they showed real commitment to giving new Black comedic talent a break.

Sir Lenny Henry aka Ainsley Harriot

Sir Lenny Henry (aka Ainsley Harriot)

Ahead of November’s MOBO awards they commissioned and broadcast four new pilot shows – All About The Bants, Pranksterz, The Comedy Basement and The Ty and Ky Show. The shows were of varying quality but ITV is to be applauded as it was a step in the right direction to broadcasting more diverse comedy shows on TV. This has been sorely lacking throughout Lenny Henry’s 40 long years time in show business and resulted in a joke doing the rounds about no black comedians getting their own TV show until Lenny Henry passed away! Well thank God he hasn’t and other black comedians are getting a break.

I hope today’s error was just an unfortunate blip and that ITV’s commitment to black comedy is genuine and we see those four shows and other black comedy shows, sit-coms and dramas commissioned and broadcast in 2016. If not viewers may consider that this huge error in misrepresenting the country’s biggest black comedian, the only knighted comedian (of any hue) no less, may have revealed a lack of respect that the channel has for black comedians.

© Tiemo   Talk of the Town

Links:

  1. Tiemo’s review of the current and future prospects for Black comedy on television – No Laughing Matter: Black Stand up Comedy – Media Diversified – 23rd November 2015
  2. Arise Sir Lenny Henry – Knighthood for Sir Lenny Henry announced – 29th June 2015
  3. What were the judges doing? Lenny Henry fires a broadside at BAFTA – 23rd May 2013
  4. Tiemo article – Why has Black comedy failed to progress beyond the Real McCoy? – 30th December 2013
  5. Review – Fences starring Lenny Henry – 17th March 2013
  6. Review – The Comedy of Errors starring Lenny Henry- 31st March 2012
  7. Tiemo Entertainments Funny Ha Ha on-line store
  8. No Laughing Matter –  Race, Identity and the Humour of Sacha Baron Cohen – 19th March 2015
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