Nick Grimshaw on taking his parents to celebrity parties: 'I'm not rushing a pie for Madonna'

Virgin Radio

25 Oct 2022, 12:32

Nick Grimshaw at Virgin Radio

Radio and TV personality Nick Grimshaw joined The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk about his debut book, Soft Lad.

The book - which hits shelves this Thursday 27th October - is not an autobiography, but rather a collection of stories about Nick’s life. He told Tom Allen, who is in this week for Chris: “I didn’t want to do an autobiography, and… I don’t have an attention span, so I wanted to make a book like what I like reading. You know supplements on the weekend? I love flicking through a supplement. Bit of a bit on that, bit of a bit on that. I don’t like to sit and study something for a long time, so I thought, why don’t I do that but the book version? So, loads of snapshots of stories of my life.”

Soft Lad is divided into chapters, each one discussing a different topic. “There’s one about radio, and about leaving radio, but most of them are about my formative years, and growing up, and my mum and dad,” the former DJ explained.

Talking about his mum Eileen and his late dad Peter, Grimmy said: “Whenever I came to London and started doing radio, and DJing, and getting invited to silly celebrity parties, I’d always be like, ‘Well, my mum and dad are coming.’ So, I did take them to the Madonna party once, and my dad really didn’t want to go, because we were eating a pie at the time, and when I got the text my dad was like, ‘I’m not rushing a pie for Madonna. Forget it. I’m having the pie.’ And he did rush the pie in the end, when we got to the party, there was no-one there, so he was like, ‘Told ya. Should have not rushed that pie!’ 

“So, the whole chapter’s called Pies Over Pop Stars, and the importance of not choosing a pop star over a pie!”

Grimmy went on to tell another story about his folks. “I’d always bring them to work with me. Because work was quite fun, if I ever had to do a fun interview, they’d come, and they’d never know who anyone was,” he said. “They used to come to T4 and we did a Mariah Carey special and they’d never heard of her. My dad was like, ‘She is lovely, that Marie.’” 

Soft Lad sees the Celebrity Googlebox share his outlooks, surprising obsessions, the things that have shaped him and his personal experiences with the world. He told Tom: “I think there’s a lot of realisation in the book, because I’d sort of not really stopped on life until I left Radio 1 last year, and when I sat to write it, it was a moment to take a breather and sit back and look on life, and the transitions, going from north to south, and growing up, and figuring out my queerness. 

“I’d not really seen gay representation when I was growing up in the 90s, when I was ten… I felt a bit like an outsider, so that’s all discussed, and the moment that I realised I am a massive gay! One of the biggest,” he said, before joking: “Not in this room!” 

Nick continued: “I pinpointed the exact moment of realisation in the book. I never fitted in with the lads, so I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll get a football magazine’, and I flicked through it, and I saw a moment where I was like, ‘Hey, I like football. I want to put this on my wall,’ and it was a picture, the least laddie football picture ever, and it was a black-and-white picture of a wet David Beckham! And I took it to my mum and I was like, ‘Would you look at this picture, it’s amazing!’ And I was like, ‘Can I put it on my wall?’ and she was like, ‘Go and ask your dad.’

“My dad’s only concern was, ‘Use Blu Tack! Don’t use sellotape!’”

Soft Lad is out on Thursday 27th October. Nick is doing two live shows, one of which will be live streamed. This evening (25th October) he will be at EartH in London, interviewed by Miquita Oliver. Next Sunday (6th November) he will be at The Lowry in Salford. Tickets at

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.