Who is Lenny Rush, the first child presenter of Children in Need? From his life in Essex to acting stardom

When Lenny Rush hosts BBC Children in Need tonight, he will be his first child presenter. The 14-year-old Essex-based actor has risen to stardom in recent years, winning a BAFTA Award for Best Male Comedy Performance for his role as Ollie in the BBC series Am I Being Unreasonable.

But who is the child star and how did he rise to prominence so quickly? Lenny Rush was born in Burnham, born in Burnham-on-Crouch in March 2009. He has spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita, a form of dwarfism similar to that of fellow-actor Warwick Davis.

Speaking to the Guardian, he said he wanted to help increase representation of people with dwarfism: “There weren’t a lot of people out there (with my condition). There’s Warwick, and I remember Verne Troyer, and there’s Peter Dinklage, but those are the only actors I know, which is a shame. There should be more.”

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Despite rising to fame recently, the actor has actually been on our screens for quite some time. It all started when he was seven years old and his mother, Lisa, applied to be part of the CBeebies docu-soap Our Family series, which celebrates the lives of a diverse group of young people and their families.

It was this experience that inspired Rush to work on TV, as he was fascinated by the process and enjoyed being in front of the camera. From there he went to acting school and joined an agency called Quirky Kids, run by Birds of a Feather actress Pauline Quirke.

Rush got several roles, first in the CBeebies shows Apple Tree House and The Dumping Ground, and then in the BBC’s Dodger. He played Tiny Tim in a production of A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic in 2017 and 2018, before reviving the role in a BBC TV version of the Charles Dickens classic in 2019, directed by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight.

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