Lenny Henry leaves Comic Relief with heartfelt message after four decades

Sir Lenny Henry has announced that he will host Comic Relief for the last time this year, as he believes it is “time to hand on to the new generation”. The actor and comedian, who co-founded the charity in 1985, has been at the helm of Red Nose Day for many years. While he will still be involved in fundraising events and make special appearances, he will no longer host the main evening show. Sir Lenny explained, “There’s all these new, wonderful comedians with podcasts and nine million followers and those guys or women should be hosting Comic Relief now.” He added that it is important to pass on the reins so that the younger generation can contribute to the next stage of Comic Relief.

To pay homage to how Comic Relief began, a special night of comedy will take place at the London Palladium with Sir Lenny as the host. Comedian Rosie Jones, actress Aisling Bea, presenter Joel Dommett, and host Sara Pascoe will also feature in Comic Relief – Live At The London Palladium. Jones, who has ataxic cerebral palsy, expressed her gratitude for being part of the fundraising effort and mentioned that she won’t make jokes about Sir Lenny during the event, as he has been a hero and an incredible supporter of Comic Relief.

Comic Relief has been instrumental in raising awareness and funds for various causes, especially for people with disabilities worldwide. In addition to the live event at the Palladium, there will be a sketch featuring Sir Lenny and other celebrities to launch Red Nose Day 2024. The fundraiser aims to support those affected by homelessness, poverty, war, and climate change.

Comic Relief – Live At The London Palladium will take place on February 26, while Red Nose Day will be broadcast on BBC One on March 15.

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