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Lenny Henry 'chuffed' with civic honour

CHUFFED: Lenny Henry recognised for outstanding achievements to entertainment and global fundraising

ACTOR AND comedian Lenny Henry has been honoured with the Freedom of Dudley Borough.

The Dudley-born star was awarded last night (Oct 9) by the council in “recognition of his outstanding achievements” to entertainment and contribution to global fundraising.

Henry said: “It is a real honour and I’m really chuffed. I had the freedom of Dudley as a kid now I feel like it’s been made official.

“My family are incredibly proud of me. I grew up here and was raised here. This is not supposed to happen to someone like me, but I feel like this is a blessing."

He added: “When you see that we have raised nearly £800million for Comic Relief it’s all people from the Midlands and around here. It makes me proud to be part of this community.”

The 55-year-old was presented with a scroll at the prestigious ceremony at the town hall and his name has been added to the plaque listing the freemen of the borough.

Historically the Freedom has only been awarded to long-serving councillors and the military, making Henry the first individual to receive the honour for 13 years.

Councillor Alan Finch, Mayor of Dudley, said: “It was a pleasure to meet Lenny Henry and honour him with the Freedom of the Dudley borough. Lenny has entertained millions of people over the years on stage and screen and has raised millions of pounds for charity as a co-founder of Comic Relief. It is fitting that he has become the first celebrity to receive this honour.”

The honour follows on from the CBE Henry received from the Queen in 1999.

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