Lenny Henry’s Race Through Comedy – GOLD

Lenny and Richard Blackwood Lenny Henry's Race Through Comedy

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.

Lenny and Carmen Munroe Lenny Henry's Race Through Comedy

Lenny talks to his Fosters co-star Carmen Munroe in Lenny Henry’s Race Through Comedy on Gold

TV Times rating: ****

Tess Lamacraft
Senior Writer for What's On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite week, Whattowatch.com

Tess is a senior writer for What’s On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite and WhattoWatch.com She's been writing about TV for over 25 years and worked on some of the UK’s biggest and best-selling publications including the Daily Mirror where she was assistant editor on the weekend TV magazine, The Look, and Closer magazine where she was TV editor. She has freelanced for a whole range of websites and publications including We Love TV, The Sun’s TV Mag, Woman, Woman’s Own, Fabulous, Good Living, Prima and Woman and Home.