Sir Lenny Henry looks at the changing face of British comedy over the past five decades in Lenny Henry’s Race Through Comedy on GOLD
Sir Lenny Henry opens the comedy vaults and goes back in time to chart the progression of sitcoms, stand-up and sketches over the past 50 years in GOLD’s new three-part series Lenny Henry’s Race Through Comedy, airing over consecutive nights starting tonight (9pm, see our TV Guide for full listings).
In the 1960s and 1970s, some 20 million viewers watched sitcoms like Love Thy Neighbour, Mind Your Language and Curry and Chips, which were packed with racial stereotypes and slurs.
‘I remember new terms of abuse springing up overnight’, says Lenny. ‘The words being bandied around were not nice. Weirdly, my parents liked Love Thy Neighbour. The fact that there were finally black people being shown on screen was like oxygen to them.’
Featuring interviews with writers, TV bigwigs, performers past and present (such as Richard Blackwood, pictured above with Lenny), not to mention some toe-curling clips, it’s fascinating viewing, which shows how far TV comedy has evolved in terms of diversity.