Sir Lenny Henry lost weight for his new role as a slave.

Sir Lenny Henry

Sir Lenny Henry

The 59-year-old actor has shocked fans with his recent slimline look and he's now revealed he adopted a largely vegetarian diet in order to look convincing as Godfrey, a servant in the 'big house' of a sugar plantation in Jamaica in an upcoming three-part adaptation of Andrea Levy's novel 'The Long Song'.

He told the Daily Mail newspaper: "I have heard that I've lost all this weight for a variety of reasons. None of them true."

Lenny explained the "true" story was that he couldn't portray a man "who doesn't get three full meals a day without losing a few pounds."

As soon as he was cast, Lenny adopted his new mainly-vegetarian food plan and it has been paying off.

The comic's role in the show is a servant who has worked on the plantation for 45 years and become a mischievous master of small deceptions and minor rebellion.

He has been filming in the UK and on location in the Dominican Republic, and is scheduled to fly back out to the Caribbean for further shooting.

The drama will also star Tamara Lawrance as July, the tale's unreliable narrator; Hayley Atwell as Caroline, the plantation owner's sister; and Jack Lowden as lothario Robert.

Arinzé Kene will play July's adult son, who wants to publish her memoirs.

The series is a joint production between David Heyman and the BBC and is expected to air on the network some time in spring 2019.