Birmingham & Black Country

Lenny Henry gets freedom of home town Dudley

Lenny Henry
Image caption Lenny Henry's name has been added to the roll of freemen at the town hall

Comedian and actor Lenny Henry has been officially given the freedom of his home town of Dudley.

He was given the honour for his "outstanding contribution to charity" and services to entertainment, the council said.

Henry said that his home town "has fuelled everything I've done for 36 or 37 years".

"I've always been proud of being from Dudley - this just cements it," he said.

He was presented with a scroll at a ceremony at the town hall, and his name has been added to to the plaque listing the freemen of the borough.

'Incredible blessing'

Peter Collins, who lives in the town said: "There aren't many famous people from around here, so it's fair enough I say - good on him."

Another local told the BBC Mr Henry's charity work has made him "quite a popular man around here".

Henry said it was "fantastic" for someone who was "brought up working class in Dudley" to be given the honour.

"This just wasn't on the cards for me because I worked in a factory as a welder and then I had this incredible blessing, so this feels like the cherry on the sundae," he added.

Mr Henry was part of ITV children's programme Tiswas, starred in The Lenny Henry Show and Chef on BBC TV and has presented appeals for Comic Relief.

He shot to fame after he won the New Faces talent competition in 1975 at the age of 18.

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