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4 December 2015

ITV News confused Lenny Henry with Ainsley Harriott

Ready, steady, cringe.

By media mole

Everyone loves Lenny Henry, don’t they? Kids, grown-ups, Her Royal Highness: the comedian is so well-loved that he has been awarded a Knighthood at Windsor Castle today. Well, the journos at ITV this afternoon expressed their adoration for Henry with a loving news segment that confused him with popular TV chef Ainsley Harriott. The report showed Henry speaking to an ITV presenter about what a “mind-blowing” honour recieving the Knighthood was, before switching to an unrelated clip of Harriott wildly waving maracas at the Comedy Store.

(Who are the Calypso Twins, I hear you cry? Nope, it’s not another one of Ukip’s racist musical acts, but Harriott’s early 1990s comedy/music act with schoolfriend Paul Boross, of course. You know, with familiar hits like “World Party”. He does a Caribbean accent and everything.)

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The clip was then removed from repeats of the report.

A spokesperson for ITV News said, “ITV News apologises for the error broadcast in the lunchtime news package today regarding Sir Lenny Henry’s Knighthood at the palace. This was the result of an error in the production process in a piece intended to celebrate Sir Lenny’s significant achievements in British entertainment.”

Henry has written in the New Statesman of his desire to see more BAME people on television. This cringing mole is not sure this was quite what he meant.