It was lonely being a black actor in the 70s. It’s even lonelier now behind the camera | Lenny Henry

Only tax breaks will persuade the film and TV industry to employ more people from ethnic minority backgrounds In the 1970s in black and Asian households up and down the country, there’s a familiar story that when we saw a non-white person on TV we would call the rest of the family to the sitting room to have a look. The story that is less well known is what it was like to be that one black person on TV. That one person was often me and it was a very lonely experience. Thankfully, 45 years since my career began, a lot has changed. It is now common to see black and Asian people on our TV screens, although progress still needs to be made. However, in many ways I am even lonelier now as a black person working in TV and film than I was back then. That is because I am now more often working behind the scenes, behind the camera as a producer and a writer – and just like those bad old days in the 1970s in front of the camera, I am still all too often the only black person in the room. Continue reading...