Are Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities under represented in the British media?

Lenny Henry

Barnie Choudhury, my colleague on the Advisory Committee for England (ACE), brought my attention to Lenny Henry’s BAFTA speech, which is available on YouTube at

He makes a very well documented and engaging case that the UK television, film and media industries are not making real progress on the representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities on and behind the screens. He contrasts this with the progress made in the representation of content from outside London, for example, from the nations and regions of the UK.

I would encourage people to view Lenny Henry’s speech, but also to suggest ways in which all relevant actors, including Ofcom, might accelerate progress in diversity in UK.

Bill Dutton is Chair of Ofcom's Advisory Committee for England


Lenny Henry's agenda is gaining traction in the news media.

Since his BAFTA lecture, Lenny Henry's case for diversity has been gaining more coverage in the media, as well as on Advice to Ofcom. The Independent on 19 April 2014 provided coverage of his efforts to link progress on diversity to the payment of the BBC License Fee, should non-payment be decriminalised. He also has made the case, similar to that made by the Advisory Committee for England, that the coverage of BAME should be considered in ways analogous to efforts aimed an increasing coverage anchored in the devolved nations. See: