ITV ‘sorry’ for Harriott and Henry blunder

Lenny Henry with actor Martin Clunes  after receiving their awards. Picture: PA
Lenny Henry with actor Martin Clunes after receiving their awards. Picture: PA
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ITV News has apologised after using a video clip of celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott instead of Lenny Henry who picked up his knighthood yesterday.

The clip was in a report about Henry receiving the knighthood from the Queen and detailed the Comic Relief co-founder’s rise to fame. It featured clips from his TV shows, including BBC’s Three of a Kind.

However the footage of celebrity chef Harriott dancing on stage at London’s Comedy Store was also used in the middle of the segment.

An ITV spokesman said: “ITV News apologises for the error broadcast in the lunchtime news package today regarding Sir Lenny Henry’s knighthood.

“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.”

It is understood that ITV News has been in touch with representatives of both Henry and Harriott to apologise.

ITV removed the clip from the report on its +1 channel, but a number of TV stars have commented on the error.

Goodness Gracious Me’s Sanjeev Bhaskar tweeted: “ITV news used a clip of Ainsley Harriott when interviewing Lenny Henry about his knighthood. They may have misunderstood diversity issues.”

Comedian and The One Show contributor Hardeep Singh Kohli posted, “Dear @itvnews I’m Lenny Henry” on Twitter.

Henry, who was knighted for services to charity and drama, dedicated the honour to anyone who had taken part in Comic Relief and vowed to continue campaigning to improve diversity in the media.

Last year an LA reporter was forced to apologise to Samuel L Jackson after confusing him with fellow actor Laurence Fishburne during a live television interview.

KTLA journalist Sam Rubin was talking to the star about his new film RoboCop.

He asked if Jackson had received a lot of reaction to his recent Super Bowl advert, when it was actually Fishburne who had starred in the commercial.

When Jackson asked, “What Super Bowl commercial?” the reporter realised his mistake and tried to apologise.

The Pulp Fiction actor, who was doing the interview by satellite from Atlanta said: “I’m not Laurence Fishburne. We don’t all look alike. We may be all black and famous but we don’t all look alike.”

Rubin continued to try to say sorry, while the actor listed black actors and their adverts. “I’m the ‘What’s in Your Wallet,’ black guy,” he said of his own advert for a credit card firm.