'It's not Dudley, but it'll do!!' Sir Lenny Henry delights fans at Birmingham book signing - with VIDEO and PICTURES
"It's not Dudley, but it'll do." Comedy legend Sir Lenny Henry jokingly made no secret of the love he had for his Black Country home town – as he met fans in Birmingham city centre.
The Dudley-born comedian gave a talk at Birmingham City University, where he is Chancellor, during the university's open day on Saturday for prospective new students.
He also signed copies of his new book, Who Am I, Again?, and posed for selfies.
Talking to the Express & Star about his day so far in Birmingham, Sir Lenny said: "It's not Dudley but it'll do.
"I love being here. I'm Chancellor of the university and it's great that people recognise that a person of colour can have access to something like this, and represent.
"I've heard people say they are surprised to see me when they come in, as Chancellor. It's fantastic and I'm just so chuffed. I love the graduation ceremonies, people seem to really enjoy it."
After a quick talk about his new book, to a packed audience, Sir Lenny sat down to meet and greet fans and sign copies of his latest book.
Who Am I Again? tells the honest and revealing tale of Sir Lenny's life growing up – described as a "heart-breaking, inspirational and very funny story".
Savannah Rai, age 17, attended the book signing with her mother Surrinder, both from Wednesbury.
Surrinder, who works for Dudley Council, said Sir Lenny was a "true gentleman" when she met him.
"We just really wanted to meet him," she said. "We were here for the open day as well so we've had a good look around.
"He wrote 'Black Country rules!' in one of our books, and 'Boing Boing for the Albion!' in another."
Michael Small, of Bromsgrove, also attended the talk and signing with his 20-year-old son Luke.
Marketing manager Michael said: "I grew up in Birmingham and was there watching Lenny's first appearance on New Faces, and that stuck in my mind.
"His story is our story. My parents were Jamaican too, my dad worked in the Black Country, in and out of factories.
"We were sneered at, and found it difficult to find somewhere to live. Lenny's story about identity reaches deeper with us, we are all different people in different worlds. It really resonates with us."
Head of communications at the university Kara Griffiths added: "It's been absolutely wonderful to show Sir Lenny the other side of our student journey to the one he normally sees.
"We often see him at graduation when he is celebrating the hard wok of the students so it's a privilege to show him the start of the process as well."