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Interview with Bedtime Story Competition 2017 Judge, Christian O'Connell!

We were thrilled to sit down with the hilarious Christian O'Connell last week to chat to him about being a Bedtime Story Competition 2017 judge, what he thinks makes a bad baddy and who his fictional best friend would be...

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Check out the video or read the transcript below...

What's Your Favourite Bedtime Story?

My favourite bedtime story is The Tiger Who Came to Tea, what a great idea about a tiger that comes around someone's house but doesn't do anything dangerous! He doesn't even eat them, he just helps himself to the food. Then the dad comes home, he doesn't call the police or the local zoo, he just takes his family out for tea. I must have read that book to my children a thousand times and I always used to love it and my kids did too. At no point did they say 'this doesn't make any sense'. I love that. I think it's a great, simple story with loads of imagination.

If you could be best friends with anyone from a book, who would it be?

If I could be best mates with anyone from a book I think it would be Harry Potter. I'm not particularly interested in hanging out at Hogwarts with him, however, just having him as a friend who can cast spells on people I don't like or maybe hypnotise my parents to let me stay up later, that would be pretty cool.

Did you have an imaginary friend growing up?

I didn't have an imaginary friend growing up and I've got to be honest, I find that people who do used to scare me because I didn't think they were imaginary, I thought they were real.

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What is your favourite word?

My favourite word is bed because I don't really get enough sleep. I get up at 4 o'clock in the morning and every time my alarm goes off at twelve minutes past four I pat the bed and almost cry, 'See you later'. So, one word? Bed.

What makes a good goody and a bad baddy?

I think the bad baddy, let's talk about that first because that's the more fun one, isn't it? I think if I was an actor I it would be more fun to play a baddy. If I was going to be in a Bond movie, I wouldn't want to be James Bond, it would be too boring. It would be more fun playing the baddy and why do we like baddies? It reminds us of being a kid again and it's the monster in the cupboard or under the bed. We still need and enjoy being scared, even from a young age until we're older. So a bad baddy has to be really bad and completely over-the-top but with just enough realism that you think that they actually do exist. So, a baddy has got to be completely over-the-top and really vivid, maybe with a scary voice as well. Then the goody has just got to not be that person and they're automatically better, aren't they?

Who is your best friend?

I've got three best friends. My two daughters, Ruby and Lois, they're my best friends; there's no one I enjoy hanging out with more. I don't think I'm their best friend but that's ok, that's what it is to be a dad. My other best friend is my wife but she's also my biggest critic. She'll be brutally honest about what I'm wearing and if I make a mistake. I think that's what a good friend must do, not just pat you on the back and say 'well done' but also to say 'what did you do that for, you fool!'.

Tell us something we don't know about you...

When I was sixteen, I won a big competition. I was really into my martial arts and I was the Under-16 National Nunchuck Champion.

Check out Christian's brilliant children's book, Radio Boy, and get your entries in to the Bedtime Story Competition before the deadline on the 2nd October.

  • Radio Boy

    Christian O'Connell

    Product Code: RAO2
    Paperback 9 years +
    Hand-picked favourites
    When Spike is sacked from his job on hospital radio, he decides to make the most of a bad situation by launching his own show from a makeshift studio in his dad's shed. To avoid being found out, he takes on the secret identity of Radio Boy...

    Spike soon has a hit on his hands but can he handle this newfound fame? He decides that Radio Boy should call a homework strike, but quickly reconsiders if this is a good idea. Spike's also desperate to impress Katherine Hamilton... But how can he do this when he needs to keep his Radio Boy identity a secret?

    Absolute Radio (and Book People Bedtime Story Competition judge!) Christian O'Connell's debut children's book is a laugh-out-loud read about a boy who stumbles upon something extraordinary. This book features illustrations from Rob Biddulph and will appeal to fans of David Walliams, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and David Baddiel.
    • £4.49
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £2.50
    More info