Sir Lenny Henry, stand-up comedian and co-creator of British charity Comic Relief, has been named a keynote speaker at PromaxBDA Europe 2018.

Henry is a groundbreaking entertainer and storyteller with experience in acting, writing and television production, who will take the stage at PromaxBDA’s conference taking place this year in Rome at the Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria.

The event from March 12-13 brings together creatives and marketers from around the world to share in learning, networking and a cross cultural exchange of ideas.

Henry was knighted in 2015 for his services to drama and charity, which includes co-founding Comic Relief, an organization with a mission to end child poverty that’s perhaps best known throughout the U.K. for Red Nose Day, part of an annual telethon held in March.

Henry has been making people laugh since the age of 16. He got his start as a comedy impressionist on the ‘70s talent show New Faces, and is also known for appearances on TISWAS, Three of a Kind, The Lenny Henry Show, Hope & Glory, Lenny Henry in Pieces and Chef!

In radio, he has worked as a DJ on BBC Radio 1, and as well starring in the comedy Rudy’s Rare Records and presenting the series Lenny and Will for Radio 4.

He made his acting debut as Othello in the Northern Broadsides production at the Trafalgar Studios—a role for which he received the London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Newcomer. He returned to the stage in 2017 as the lead in an adaptation of Brecht’s “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, and was also a regular on the third season of ITV series Broadchurch.

Additional honors include the Monaco Red Cross and The Golden Nymph Award at the Monte Carlo Television Festival, the Radio & Television Industry Club Award for BBC Personality of the Year, The Golden Rose at the Montreux Television Festival and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Comedy Awards.

Henry also has a B.A. in Literature from Open University, and an M.A. in screenwriting for television and film at Royal Holloway, where he is currently pursuing a PhD in screenwriting.

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