02 Oct 2017


Paris, 2 October 2017 – British comedian, writer, award-winning actor and tireless charity and diversity campaigner, Sir Lenny Henry, is to deliver a keynote address at MIPCOM 2017 as part of the event’s expanded Diversity Programme. This coincides with the inaugural edition of the Diversify TV International Excellence Awards championing diversity, equality and inclusion on the small screen.

The world’s entertainment content market, MIPCOM takes place in Cannes, France from 16-19 October. Henry’s keynote is scheduled for Wednesday 18 October at 10:50am in the Grand Auditorium.

Sir Lenny Henry has been a comedian since the age of 16, and has risen from cult star on children’s television to becoming one of Britain’s best loved comedians, as well as a writer and award-winning actor.  In recent years, he starred in “The Comedy of Errors” at the National, and “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” at the Donmar Warehouse.  As a co-founder of the Comic Relief fundraiser, he announced this year that the public has donated over £1billion to the charity over the last 30 years. Sir Lenny Henry has been an instrumental voice in raising awareness around the lack of diverse representation on and off screen and has long been at the forefront of campaigns to make British broadcasters address issues of diversity.

The Diversify TV International Excellence Awards were created by Diversify TV, a pressure group co-founded by Scorpion TV Managing Director, David Cornwall; Senior VP of Format Production at All3Media International, Nick Smith; Little Black Book CEO, Bunmi Akintonwa; and Liliane Da Cruz, Key Account Manager at Reed MIDEM, which organises MIPCOM.

Dedicated to championing and promoting diversity in all its forms across the international television industry, the inaugural Diversify TV Awards will be supported by A+E Networks President, International & Digital, Sean Cohan; EbonyLife TV CEO, Mo Abudu; EVP, Managing Director Africa at Viacom International Media Networks, Alex Okosi; and the PR agency Franklin Rae.

Entries open today for producers and production companies across the international TV industry.  The inaugural awards comprise three categories:

-    Diversify TV’s Excellence Award for Representation for Race and Ethnicity
      . Scripted
      . Non-Scripted

-    Diversify TV’s Excellence Award for Representation of LBGTQ
      . Scripted
      . Non-Scripted

-    Diversify TV’s Excellence Award for Representation of Disability
      . Scripted
      . Non-Scripted

Each category will be judged by charitable organisations that campaign for equality and inclusion. These include: GADIM (Global Alliance for Disability in Media), SCOPE, Minority Rights Group International.

To be eligible, programmes must provide a fair and accurate representation of BAME, LGBTQ and disabled communities, have made a positive impact and stand out in originality in terms of storytelling, casting and production values, and must have aired within the past year on a linear and/or non-linear platform. The deadline for entries is Friday 6 October at midnight BST. The winners will be announced at ceremony which will take place at MIPCOM on the evening of Tuesday 17 October at the Carlton Hotel.

This year’s awards and conference line-up follows on from the Diversity Summit, which took place at MIPCOM 2016, and which this year has been remodelled as an extended two-day Diversity Programme. This will include networking events on Tuesday 17 October, with a lunch and a cocktail following the awards, plus conferences comprising Sir Lenny Henry’s keynote followed by a panel of broadcasters and producers pushing the agenda for diversity and inclusiveness in the creation of bold and ambitious content that appeals to a global audience.

The Inaugural Diversify TV International Excellence Awards will be sponsored by A&E Networks, Viacom International Media Networks, EbonyLife and Franklin Rae.

For press enquiries, please contact:

Jane GARTON, Entertainment Press Director

Philippe LE GALL, Press Manager

Yassia FEKIR, PR / Press Officer

Edith YAHIAOUI, Press Officer




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