Firsts with Lenny Henry: My TV debut, the posters on my wall, my first football match

Virgin Radio

4 Oct 2023, 11:12

Lenny Henry at Virgin Radio.

National treasure Sir Lenny Henry stopped by to reminisce on Virgin Radio Firsts.

The actor, writer and comedian has a brand new children’s book, The Boy with Wings: Clash of the Superkids, out tomorrow (5th October), and his new ITV drama, Three Little Birds, hits screens later this month.

He joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch to talk about both, and while he was at the top of the tower, he took the time to tell us some of his firsts. 

He spoke about the first gig he went to, his first car, his go-to karaoke song and more…

First record?

The first record I ever bought was Skin Tight by the Ohio Players. I think I was about 15 and a half, and I liked the cover.

First poster on your bedroom wall?

I had lots of posters on my bedroom wall. I used to collect a comic called Smash! and another one called Wham!, and other comics called Fantastic and Terrific. And the back page was always a picture of the Scarlet Witch or Quicksilver or Captain America or Spider-Man, and I used to tear them off, spit on them and put them on my bedroom wall. 

First gig?

The first gig I ever went to was at Dudley Tech, and it was a band called Home, and they were kind of wannabe David Bowies, and they were pretty good actually. 

First song you'd sing at karaoke? 

Because I've been on The Masked Singer, I'd sing Uptown Funk because I know the words. 

First car?

My first ever car was a Triumph Toledo. It was green and it did not go when it was supposed to. 

First football match?

The first football match I ever went to was at West Bromwich Albion, and it was when ‘The Three Degrees’ were playing. So, Cyrille Regis, the legendary Laurie Cunningham and the fantastic Brendon Batson, who's got a book out soon. And I loved it. To see three guys that look like me, playing Brazil-style football in West Bromwich was something to see, my friends. 

First time on TV?

My first time on TV was on a television show called New Faces, which was sort of like Britain's Got Talent, but old and in black and white. And I won! And then I won again, and then I came second, by one point. And then I came third. But it was a very tightly-knit group when we did the big, big final. But it was an extraordinary show and it gave me my career.

Lenny Henry joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch today (4th October). Read what he had to say here.

Three Little Birds is out on ITVX later this month.

The Boy With Wings: Clash Of The Superkids is published Thursday 5th October.