Date of Birth 29 August 1958, Dudley, West Midlands, England, UK Birth Name Lenworth George Henry Height 6' 3" (1.91 m) Henry was born in Dudley, West Midlands, the son of parents who migrated to England from Jamaica in the 1950s. He studied at Bluecoat Secondary Modern School, WR Tewson School, and Preston college, and has since obtained a degree in English literature from the Open University. His earliest TV appearance was on the New Faces television talent show in 1975 where he repeatedly won. The following year he appeared in LWT's sitcom The Fosters alongside Norman Beaton, Britain's first comedy series with predominantly black performers. His formative years were in working men's clubs where his unique act — a young black man impersonating white characters such as the Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em character Frank Spencer (whom he impersonated on New Faces) — gave him an edge in what were racially divisive times. He also toured for five years as a comic performer with The Black and White Minstrel Show, the only black performer in a troupe where the men all appeared in blackface. He co-hosted the children's programme Tiswas from 1978 until 1981, and subsequently performed and wrote for the show Three of a Kind, with comedians Tracey Ullman and David Copperfield. Around this time, he met his future wife, Dawn French, who encouraged him to move over to the fledgling alternative comedy scene, where he established a career as a stand-up comedy performer and character comedian. He introduced characters who both mocked and celebrated black British culture, such as Theophilus P. Wildebeeste (a Barry White-a-like), Brixton pirate radio disc jockey DJ Delbert Wilkins and Trevor MacDoughnut (a parody of Trevor McDonald). His stand-up material, which sold well on LP, owed much to the writing abilities of Kim Fuller. During this time he also spent three years as a DJ on BBC Radio 1, playing cutting edge soul and electro tracks and introducing some of the characters that he would later popularise on television. Henry's television work started principally with his own self-titled show, which has appeared in variant forms ever since. A principal scriptwriter for his television and stage shows during the 1990s was Jon Canter. Henry was also a part-time member of The Comic Strip.