Acclaimed comedian Lenny Henry travels the UK exploring what makes us
laugh and how we use our humour in everyday life in Lenny’s Britain, a
new series for BBC One which starts next week.
The 4 part documentary series, a collaboration with the Open
University, promises to show Lenny “as we’ve never seen him before” as
he gets up close and personal with people all over Britain exploring
how we use humour in the family, at work, during leisure, and in our
Lenny experiences of making the documentary series are woven into his
stand up gigs which also appear in the films. The series also features
The Joke Booth, which toured the country with Lenny collecting
everyone’s favourite funny stories and jokes.
In the first programme Lenny begins the journey in the bosom of the
family where humour is a way of dealing with everyday tensions caused
by family events including birth, marriage and when we grow old.
To appreciate how other families generate humour, Lenny returns to his
birthplace, Dudley in the West Midlands. There he heads for Sunday
lunch with local family – The Bonners.
Lenny subtly identifies joker in the family, any taboo subjects, and
really get under the skin of what it is you can only joke about within
the confines of your family.
Lenny then heads off on the bus from Dudley to Birmingham where he
attends the wedding of Gucci and Tom. He joins them for the rehearsal
of the best man’s speech and their last minute attempts to find a
seating plan for their divided family.
Next, it’s the birth of Mathew and Julie’s daughter where Lenny
experiences the humour of midwives up to their armpits in a birthing
pool. And finally, in complete contrast, Lenny mucks in for the day at
Henry Court, a sheltered housing scheme for the elderly and which was
named after his mum.
Here Lenny comes face to face with the exceptionally bawdy Doreen, a seventy nine year old who hasn’t got a clean joke to tell.
BBC One, Tuesday 12th June at 9.00pm (Monday 11th June at 9.00pm in Scotland)