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Lenny Henry: Lack of black people in audience at Glastonbury is ‘interesting’

Sir Lenny Henry (Richard Kendal/RTS/PA)
Sir Lenny Henry (Richard Kendal/RTS/PA)

Sir Lenny Henry has said it is “interesting” to see the apparent lack of black people in the audience at Glastonbury Festival.

The actor and comedian, 63, also said he was “surprised” by the lack of diverse faces at festivals in the UK generally.

He made the comments while in conversation with BBC journalist and presenter Clive Myrie for Radio Times.

Mastermind host
Sir Lenny Henry congratulated Clive Myrie on becoming host of Mastermind. (BBC/PA)

Discussing diversity and places where different groups do not mix, he said: “It’s interesting to watch Glastonbury and look at the audience and not see any black people there.

“I’m always surprised by the lack of black and brown faces at festivals. I think, ‘Wow, that’s still very much a dominant culture thing’.”

Glastonbury takes place next week at Worthy Farm in Somerset, finally celebrating its 50th anniversary after being delayed by the pandemic, with Sir Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish and rapper Kendrick Lamar confirmed as headliners.

Sir Lenny, who is fronting a two-part documentary about Caribbean culture in the UK, also addressed Myrie recently becoming the first black host of long-running BBC quiz show Mastermind.

Lenny Henry
Sir Lenny Henry said the lack of black people at festivals was ‘interesting’. (Steve Parsons/PA)

He said: “It’s great to have David Olusoga on television talking about black British history that goes back to Hadrian’s Wall.

“Somewhere the gatekeepers have changed, because now we’re allowed to have you on Mastermind. But how long did that take?

“We still want more representation because we deserve it. We are British citizens, we are colonials.

“We’ve been in this country, we have grown up in this country, we’ve contributed and a lot of us feel it still isn’t being reciprocated enough.

“That’s also what this documentary is about. It’s about that feeling of ‘Well, come on, I fitted in. Now what? I’ve integrated, now what happens?’”

Glastonbury has been contacted for comment.

Read the full interview in Radio Times, out now.

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