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Sir Lenny Henry, Stormzy and Michaela Coel among most influential black Britons

John Lewis chair Dame Sharon White has topped The Powerlist 2023.

Connie Evans
Friday 28 October 2022 06:25 BST
Sir Lenny Henry is among a number of famous faces who have been identified as some of the most influential black Britons for 2023 (Ian West/PA)
Sir Lenny Henry is among a number of famous faces who have been identified as some of the most influential black Britons for 2023 (Ian West/PA) (PA Wire)

Sir Lenny Henry, Stormzy and Michaela Coel are among those to have been named on a list of the UK’s most influential black people.

The Powerlist, which has been published annually since 2007, identifies the UK’s most powerful people of African, African Caribbean and African American heritage.

The 2023 list includes actors Sir Lenny, 64, Coel, 35 and Idris Elba, 50, as well as 29-year-old rapper Stormzy, UK Cyber Security Council chief Simon Hepburn and footballer Marcus Rashford.

The Powerlist 2023 has been topped by chair of the John Lewis Partnership Dame Sharon White.

Dame Sharon, 55, who is the first ever female chair of the department store chain, said: “It is an incredible honour to have been chosen to receive this year’s Powerlist Award – particularly given the outstanding contributions of the other nominees.

“My hope is that we can take the serendipity out of social mobility – everyone should have the chance to be who they want to be in life, with their background as a source of pride, not a disadvantage.”

Also featuring in The Powerlist top 10 is podcast host and Dragons Den star Steven Bartlett.

The list was launched “to showcase black role models to young people”, according to its organisers.

Many of those on the newly announced list, such as former professional footballer and sports presenter Alex Scott and Get Out actor Daniel Kaluuya have also featured in previous years.

Among those featuring on the list for the very first time are the Bank of England’s chief financial officer Afua Kyei and its senior advisor Tangy Morgan, as well as chair of the UK Cyber Security Council Dr Claudia Natanson.

Raheem Sterling, Edward Enninful, David Lammy, and Munroe Bergdorf are also on the list.

The Powerlist is selected by an independent panel of judges led by chair Dame Linda Dobbs, a judicial commissioner and former High Court judge.

The judging panel also included businessman and winner of the first series of The Apprentice Tim Campbell.

Michael Eboda, chief executive of Powerful Media who published The Powerlist 2023, said: “The Powerlist continues to be the leading showcase, acknowledgement and reminder of the amazing individuals of African, African Caribbean and African American heritage we have in the UK and I would like to hugely congratulate each and every one on the list.

“Dame Sharon White totally deserves to be recognised as the UK’s most powerful black Briton on the Powerlist 2023.

“She is an example of true excellence and this is evident throughout her valuable input and work as chair of John Lewis and her academic and professional journey to date.

“She has been able to have a huge impact in one of the top retail companies in the UK which is truly remarkable. I applaud the great work she is doing.”

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