Comedian Lenny Henry has been announced as the new host of Christmas variety festival Rock of Laughter.

Taking the reins from previous compere Jasper Carrott, Henry will preside over a comedy and musical lineup at the Birmingham LG Arena.

Alongside award-winning comedians such as Lee Mack and Alan Carr are musical guests including 80s legends the Blockheads - with Phill Jupitus - and chart-topping girl trio the Sugababes.

Speaking about the Rock of Laughter shows in December, Henry commented: "Jasper's done a brilliant job of rocking the audience during his tenure and now that task falls to me and I'm really beside myself with joy."

He added: "We've got our best line up ever this year. In the house we have - the gorgeous Alan Carr, the Abbaesque Bjorn Again, the absolutely hilarious Lee Mack, the very funny Shappi Khorsandi, the tres funky Blockheads with Phill Jupitus, the mighty Dara O Briain, the absolutely flipping fantastic Sugababes and - dig this - the bloody brilliant Village People!

"For those about to Rock with Laughter – we salute you - this is gonna be a show!"

Rock of Laughter 09 takes place at the LG Arena at The NEC in Birmingham on Friday December 18th and Saturday December 19th.

Tickets are priced at £32.50 plus booking and transaction fee and are on sale now at or by calling The Ticket Factory on 0844 33 88 000.

08/05/2009 07:01:01