Rising to the surface


‘Rising to the Surface’ traces Lenny Henry’s career through the 80s and 90s. The 16-year-old who won a talent competition, now has to navigate his way through the seas of professional comedy, learning his craft through sheer graft and hard work. We follow Lenny through a period of great creativity – prize-winning tv programs, summer seasons across Britain, the starring role in a Hollywood film, stand-up gigs in New York and a gala wedding to Dawn French. But with each rise there is a fall, the most traumatic being the death of his mother. But by the end of the book he has been able to rise through a sea of troubles and breaks out to the surface to accept the Golden Rose of Montreaux for his work in television.

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‘The king of character comedy.’ Good Housekeeping

‘A lynchpin of British comedy.’ Alan Moore

The nation’s favourite comedian opens up about two extraordinary decades at the heart of British comedy. Packed with inside stories and wisdom, this is a heartfelt, inspiring and always-hilarious memoir of a true comedy legend.

‘Relayed with characteristic exuberance and self-deprecation.’ Fiona Sturges, Book of the Day Guardian

‘Highly enjoyable . . . Funny, pacy and sharp.’ Mail on Sunday

‘Moving and honest.’ Observer

This paperback edition contains a new chapter in which Lenny Henry wrestles with Shakespeare as he searches for a new direction in his career.

Additional information

Weight 0.305 kg
Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 × 2.1 cm






vii, 342 , 8 unnumbered of plates




New edition


791.092 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K