ITV shows video of Ainsley Harriott during report on Sir Lenny Henry being knighted

Broadcaster has removed footage after shocked viewers complained 

Heather Saul
Friday 04 December 2015 16:08
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Lenny Henry
Lenny Henry

ITV has apologised for showing footage of Ainsley Harriott during a segment about the actor Sir Lenny Henry being knighted by the Queen.

Sir Lenny, the co-founder of Comic Relief and a campaigner for diversity in British television, was recognised for his services to drama and charity during the ceremony at Windsor Castle.

ITV put together a package about the ceremony which moved between footage of Sir Lenny and archive footage. But viewers were left confused when it suddenly switched from Sir Lenny to old footage of the celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott singing, prompting a number to tweet at the broadcaster and ask what was going on.

ITV package uses Ainsley Harriot instead of Lenny Henry

Sir Lenny paid tribute to everyone who had helped him succeed after receiving his knighthood.

"I'm one of the pointy ends of it so I've been recognised as something, but the British public will all possibly get a turn at wearing this, because they're part of this too,” he said.

"And anybody who's given me work really, anybody who's elevated me to this position. There's a huge amount of gratitude there. I'm very thankful."

In comments about improving diversity in the industry, he added: "We're at the beginning of the journey, we're not at the end. There's a long way to go.

"Perhaps we've made progress as far as on-screen representation is concerned, but there's a lot of work to be done in the furthering of diversity behind the camera.

"It's happening. I believe we're pushing against the open door. It's just that people need to be encouraged to work a bit faster."

ITV News apologised for the “error” in a statement. A spokesperson said: “This was the result of an error in the production process in a piece intended to celebrate Sir Lenny’s significant achievements in British entertainment.”

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