Lenny Henry

Broadcast Hotshots shine at RTS Futures event

RTS Futures and Broadcast Magazine BAME Hotshots Christmas Party at the Hospital Club

RTS Futures turned the spotlight on TV’s diversity – or lack of it – at its final event of the year where a panel of young Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) talent revealed their struggles and triumphs in the industry.
 
The panel was drawn from Broadcast’s 26 BAME Hot Shots of 2015, which the magazine announced in August.
 

Sir Lenny Henry: Diversity makes TV better

Sir Lenny Henry (Credit: RTS/Richard Kendal)

Following his speech, in a Q&A with diversity campaigner and advertising executive Karen Blackett, Lenny Henry described the pace of change in the hiring of women and disabled and ethnic-minority people behind the screen as “glacial”. His point was reinforced by the findings of Ofcom’s latest diversity report, discussed in earlier Cambridge sessions.

RTS Midlands Student Awards 2019

Sir Lenny Henry (Credit: Jack Lawson)

The Dudley-born comedian sent a message to the awards. “Thank you for sending me these films to peruse, enjoy and, in some cases, spit out my tea with laughter,” he said.

“The hard work and perspiration that has gone into these little gems is very easy to see. The makers care about their films and filled each frame with emotion, enthusiasm and energy. I laughed a lot at the winning entry, but I was also moved by the other pieces.”

BBC Four announces season celebrating British diversity

(Credit: BBC)

Four part series A Very British History will tell the stories of various communities around Britain, including the Jewish community in Leeds, Afro-Caribbeans in Birmingham, Ugandan Asians in Leicester and Romany Gypsies in the home counties.

Photojournalist Don McCullin will travel the country, capturing its diversity in Don McCullin: Looking for England. After sixty years as a photographer, 83 year-old McCullin will visit communities around the UK, from inner cities to seaside towns, and lets TV cameras inside his darkroom for the first time.  

Lenny Henry blasts Ofcom 'Fake Diversity' targets

Speaking at an event at the Houses of Parliament earlier this week, RTS Fellow Lenny Henry criticised new Ofcom diversity targets which only focus on those in-front of the camera, saying that it would promote “fake diversity”.

In the speech, attended by members of parliament, the public and representatives of the broadcast industry, he argued that the regulator should also require the BBC to report on the number of BAME staff working behind the scenes.

Lenny Henry’s production company acquires rights to My Name is Leon

Sir Lenny Henry’s production company, Douglas Road Productions, has acquired the broadcast­­ rights to the novel which follows the story of nine-year-old Leon discovering a new family where he leasts expects it.

Told from Leon's point of view, My Name is Leon is a story of love, identity and loss, seeing the process of foster care and adult decisions through the eyes of a child in 1980s Britain.

Was 2016 TV's defining year for diversity?

For many people who believe in diverse, multiracial societies, 2016 was a year of profound political setbacks. But, paradoxically, it may also go down as the year in which British television finally embraced real and permanent change in how it deals with diversity.

As we begin a new year, many influential voices are convinced that TV’s decision-makers are now determined to move towards a genuinely diverse workforce. They also hope to see big improvements in the on-screen ­representation of people from marginalised groups.

Ofcom to launch annual diversity monitoring scheme

Ofcom's Sharon White at the RTS Cambridge Convention 2015 (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

The move was announced by Sharon White, the regulator’s CEO, speaking in London at a debate on diversity organised by Ofcom and Sky.

White said: “We will be looking at diversity data across the broadcasters we regulate helping us to get the most comprehensive picture yet of how well each broadcaster is doing.

“This is an important step towards greater transparency and greater accountability.”

Ofcom aims to collect a range of information regarding the diversity of people employed by broadcasters and gauge what steps are being taken to monitor diversity.