Interviewed in ThisIsLondon, comic and now actor Lenny Henry has talked about his remarkable nomination as best newcomer this year playing Othello. The comic – who once spoofed Doctor Who in his 1980s sketch show – used the interview to bemoan opportunities for black actors.
Notably, he opined:
“…I can imagine Othello working his way up the career ladder, the only black guy among several generals who can run the country.
“Because it has striking parallels with black people in my industry. Even today, which is a shame in the 21st century.”
He suddenly seems conscious of being too gloomy: “But, you know, things are slowly changing. We’ve got a black President so maybe one day we can have a black Doctor Who.”
Just 12 months ago many Doctor Who fans – us included – were chattering excitedly about the possibility of a black star, with many pundits tipping Chiwetel Ejiofor. While this of course never ultimately transpired, rumours suggested that it was a strong possibility.
The question has to be asked Lenny – would you be happy with a black Doctor who wasn’t you?