Lenny Henry was born in Dudley in the West Midlands in 1958, one of seven children. His career as a stand up comedian was launched after he appeared on talent show New Faces in 1975 and he went on to appear in children's TV show TISWAS. After appearing in The Young Ones and Comic Strip Presents he had his own show, The Lenny Henry Show, on the BBC. He starred in the Disney film True Identity in 1991 before returning to sitcom with Chef!. He received a CBE in 1999 was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Black Entertainment Comedy Awards in 2003 and the Montreux Golden Rose in 2001.