Children of the Third World have once again joined together with Comic Relief in their biennial campaign to raise awareness of the plight of Lenny Henry’s dying career.
This year, fundraisers hope to raise more than three weeks of air-time for the fading star.
Henry, who rose to fame in the seventies after an appearance on New Faces, was once one of Britain’s most cherished comics with “loads of work on his plate”.
Despite a successful career spanning ten years and a cracking impression of David Bellamy, Lenny’s career fell into hardship in the late eighties and has never recovered.
“If it weren’t for Comic Relief we’d have forgotten all about him long ago,” said Mr. Henry’s agent yesterday.
“Those kids are bloody marvellous. Their biennial sacrifice is the only thing that’s kept Lenny’s career going.”
“Year after year, millions of them are there to help keep his public image alive. I think it’s a bloody disgrace that his own country don’t help him out. Just an advert would do.”
Mark Thomspon, head of the BBC, had this to say: “We are aware of Lenny’s suffering but he’s not the only one. There are plenty of others who badly need our help: Bobby Davro, Jimmy Cricket, Brian Conley; there’s only so much work to go around.”
“Besides, we donated a film to Lenny in 1991: True Identity, the one where he dresses up as a white man. But let’s be honest, he was shit.”
Showbiz cold shoulder
Showbiz pals have rallied together to raise money for ‘The Bumper Book of New Jokes’ which it is hoped will help get Lenny back on his feet.
“Somebody has to help him” said former comedy cohort Tracey Ullman.
Ullman recently paid a visit to see the stricken star at The Queen’s Theatre in Minehead and was shocked at how “thin and frail” his material had become.
“Together we can give this man the material and publicity he needs to support himself.”
However, Ullman did acknowledge that since she lives in America, she wouldn’t have to bear any potential resurgence in his popularity.
Not everyone is happy with the efforts of this years Comic Relief.
“We’re just putting good air time to waste,” said John Shrimpton of Gloucester.
“I mean, what’s the point in having him on every other year and then just letting him fall back into obscurity for the next 23 months? It’s not fair on him.”
“I respect the efforts of the third world in keeping Lenny’s career alive. But surely it’s time to let the annoying fucker die.”
“Just like he did on stage when I saw him in Plymouth.”