Comedian Lenny Henry discusses his new book and why he loved being on the Masked Singer

Virgin Radio

9 Dec 2021, 15:53

Credit: Getty

Credit: Getty

British TV legend, Lenny Henry, joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk all about the inspiration behind his new children’s book and what it was really like to compete on the Masked Singer.

His new book, The Boy with Wings, follows the story of a 12-year-old black boy called Tunde who gets bullied at school for being too dark. However, one day during a football match, Tunde realizes he has the superpower to sprout wings leading him on an exciting and sinister journey of self-discovery.

Lenny told Chris the bullying Tunde experiences in the book chimes with things that happened to him as a child.

He said: “When I was at school and I was being bullied everyday by this kid that shall remain nameless, I just thought, ‘God if I had a superpower of heat vision, this kid would be toast.’

“I always loved Spiderman, and Peter Parker was bullied at school by Flash Thompson. He has that catchphrase, ‘with great power comes great responsibility,’ and Tunde has that moral imperative.

“When you get something that is yours and yours alone, you choose to use it for the power of everybody, not just for yourself.”

In a way, Lenny did have a superpower in the form of his school friends, and he says he wouldn’t be where he is today without them.

He said: “They stood up for me, and as a result of them, I was able to have more confidence.

“My mates were like a pedestal for me. They lifted me up and pushed me, and that’s what friends do”.

The comedian said he was still in touch with his school mates and even though he went into show business, nothing had changed between them.

Speaking of show business, Lenny Henry appeared on The Masked Singer this year as The Blob, and Chris asked the question that we’ve all been wondering- what is it actually like to be inside one of those whacky costumes?

Well, according to Lenny, pretty bizarre. He said: “I felt like Kenny Baker inside R2D2. It was extraordinary. You're basically inside a Dalek singing ‘Word Up’

“You can't hear yourself. You've got a little earpiece, and you've got a face mic, and you're singing live. But it was really good fun.

“Every week the audience was great, and when they saw my little face, there was also a lovely reception.”

To hear more of what Lenny had to say about his other new book, Black British History, listen to the Chris Evans show on catchup. The Boy With Wings is available to buy now.

For more great interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.