Adam Hills on his debut children's book and the importance of showing disability as 'an advantage'

Virgin Radio

4 Feb 2022, 11:44

Stand-up comedian and The Last Leg host Adam Hills is breaking into the world of children’s fiction with his first kids book Rockstar Detectives. He sat down on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to reveal where the inspiration came from and why his daughters should be taking some of the credit. 

In between writing and hosting The Last Leg, Adam has been busy behind the keyboard for his very first foray into kids writing, and revealed how his daughter sparked the inspiration behind the story.

He told Chris: “I came up with the idea because my daughter, when she was nine, said to me ‘daddy when I grow up, I can't decide if I want to be a rockstar or a detective.’

“And being the supportive parent, I said ‘you can be both. You can be a rockstar and a detective.’ Then we started improvising an idea for a story and I wanted it to be a story where it looks like these guys are committing the crimes so they have to solve them."

The story centres around 12-year-olds George and Charlie, who are performing around Europe together on their first rockstar tour. When a piece of art is stolen in every city they perform in, the pre-teens must track down all the evidence they can to clear their name and catch the real culprit. 

George is in a wheelchair, and Adam explained how important it was to show how a disability could be seen as nothing but an advantage in life. 

He added: “You have to look at life slightly differently…His wheelchair is an advantage because he looks at life from a different angle, he sees clues nobody else sees. He wants to be a comedian so again looking at life in a different angle makes you see things other people don't see.”

George’s disability is inspired by Adam’s own life. The comedian was born without a right foot, and while he confessed to spending years considering himself without a disability, Adam revealed the moment that changed his relationship with disabilities forever. 

He explained: “There was always a stigma around disability that I didn’t want to be a part of. I could separate myself from that, and then I was at the 2012 Paralympics, and I saw the GB Paralympics team come into the stadium with fireworks and ‘We Can Be Heroes’ was playing and suddenly I went ‘actually no, I do want to be in that club. I’d like to be in that club now please.’"

Adam is back with Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker with another episode of The Last Leg on Channel 4 tonight (Friday 4th February) and with the tumultuous nature of news, especially this week in the world of politics, Adam admitted there are only so many jokes you can write beforehand. 

“We've changed the script three or four times already” Adam revealed. 

“We've learned not to start writing too early in the week because you start writing on a Monday and by the time you get to Friday, the news has changed and everyone's made the jokes about the news that happened on the Monday. 

“Wednesday when we wrote the show, it was all going to be about the mess at Downing Street, and then yesterday, we were thinking OK, the mess is subsiding to a degree, maybe it's more about the cost of living and the energy crisis. 

“Then last night, there were resignations and now there’s more resignations. We got a tweet yesterday and it said: ‘is it OK to save my question about Boris Johnson until 9.59 on the Friday because I want to be topical.'”

It seems any decisions on topics or news will have to made quickly as Alex and the gang are back with The Last Leg tonight at 10pm on Channel 4. 

Adam’s debut children’s book Rockstar Detectives is out 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.