SIR Lenny Henry will have his decades-long career honoured with a celebratory broadcast on BBC One to coincide with his 60th birthday this year.

The programme was announced as the BBC unveiled its new slate of comedy commissions.

The Sir Lenny special, which will air later this year, will be filmed in front of a studio audience as the comedian takes a light-hearted look back at the Dudley born star’s career, which started in 1975 when he appeared on talent show New Faces.

The show will also include archive clips from his years on the small screen, and there will be new sketches featuring special guests.

Sir Lenny, who turns 60 in August, said the broadcast is “a great honour”, and that he is “very chuffed” to have his comedy work celebrated.

He added: “One of the reasons I became a comedy performer was because of the rich and varied palette of comedy broadcast on the BBC throughout my childhood. I was hooked and my early career displays the connection.

“I’m a comedy consumer now, but my teens were marked by my family’s tendency to sit round the television and watch everything. So big up Auntie Beeb – you’re the reason I’m here…”

Shane Allen, controller of BBC Comedy commissioning, said: “Lenny’s unparalleled career is down to his superb versatility and huge charisma.

“This landmark special hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald gives audiences the chance to celebrate this well-loved, larger than life talent by going back to his origins as a comedy whirlwind with a phenomenal talent to create and inhabit characters. It’s going to be more than ‘oookaaay’!”