Sir Lenny Henry

Stephen Fry and Sir Lenny Henry join the new series of Doctor Who

Stephen Fry and Sir Lenny Henry (credit: BBC)

The two British TV icons have landed major roles in what showrunner Chris Chibnall has called “one of [Doctor Who’s] biggest ever stories to kick off the new series”.

As for whether Fry and Henry will play friends or enemies remains under wraps.

Reprising her role as the Thirteenth Doctor at the helm of the TARDIS will be Jodie Whittaker, alongside her usual time-travelling team with Tosin Cole as Ryan, Mandip Gill as Yaz and Bradley Walsh as Graham.

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.

Liz Reynolds’ TV Diary

RTS Cambridge Convention 2019 (Credit: RTS/Richard Kendal)

It’s September. That means back to school. And not just for the kids.

With Edinburgh hangovers barely forgotten, and TV execs and politicians still reeling from Dorothy Byrne’s outlandishly honest Mac­Taggart Lecture, conference season gets into full swing.

Not in Bournemouth but in Cambridge, courtesy of ITV, for the RTS biennial convention. There’s no prorogation for us.

Sir Lenny Henry delivers his speech at the RTS Cambridge Convention 2019

Check against delivery.

It is a massive honour to be speaking today at the RTS. The Royal Television Society, the only place left where the word Royal isn’t followed by the words “shuts down Parliament”.

The RTS has consistently been at the forefront of highlighting the issue of diversity in the television industry. 

I gave my first speech at the RTS over ten years ago, talking about how TV desperately needs more diversity and it’s a mark of how far society has come that I’m back today - to talk about how TV desperately needs more diversity.

Lenny Henry documentary, Race Through Comedy, coming to Gold

Lenny Henry (Credit: UKTV)

Lenny Henry’s Race Through Comedy, will chronicle and celebrate British TV comedy over the years and focus on iconic shows that have highlighted Britain’s mix of multiculturalism.

Henry is a fellow of the RTS and has previously been recognised for his work in helping to raise awareness of issues surrounding diversity within the television industry. 

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.”