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Greg James explains why he did not postpone book release due to coronavirus

The BBC Radio 1 DJ said he feels ‘odd’ when musicians shelve their albums because of the pandemic.

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Greg James said he wanted to stand by his promise to release the book in time for Easter (Ian West/PA)

Greg James said he wanted to stand by his promise to release the book in time for Easter (Ian West/PA)

Greg James said he wanted to stand by his promise to release the book in time for Easter (Ian West/PA)

Greg James has said it was important to him to honour his promise to release his latest children’s book as planned and added he feels “odd” about musicians delaying their albums due to the coronavirus crisis.

The BBC Radio 1 DJ has released his fourth and final book in the Kid Normal series, which he writes with his friend and collaborator Chris Smith.

Discussing how he feels about launching Kid Normal And The Final Five while book shops and schools are closed, he told the PA news agency: “We are incredibly fortunate that our readers know about our book already, and we are in that position where they have known this book was coming out for a while, and there is certainly an argument to not disappoint people when they may well have been looking forward to it.

(Bloomsbury)

“Because this is the fourth in the series and there would have been kids that would have got this for their Easter present and stuff like that so I don’t know the right or wrong answer at the moment but I do feel a bit odd when you see particularly music artists going ‘We are going to delay this to the summer’ and it’s like ‘No! I wanted to hear that!’

“We wanted to make sure we stood by our promise to get it out now.”

He added: “There is a real appetite for stuff and things to distract you and joyful silly things and stories like this and that is what we have always found with our books, that they are used by mums and dads and carers and kids to distract and to inspire them to do nice fun things.”

Asked if he would make the case for other creatives to release their content as planned rather than delay it, he said: “We can’t speak for each person because there are some people who have written their first book and they want to give it a real fighting chance.”

He added: “I would never judge anyone for postponing or delaying but on a personal note, if my favourite artist suddenly went ‘Oh, you know that album you were looking forward to for six months? We are going to wait until November so we can sell more copies,’ I would be like ‘No, no, no, I want to hear it now!”

Smith added: “It’s a good time to put a book out in the world because we need stories now, more than ever, and hopefully people will enjoy an adventure and a bit of escapism  and a bit of silliness and some laughs.

“There is a real lovely tsunami of reading going on at the moment, because everyone is stuck at home, and what people are doing is finding a lot of solace in books and kids particularly.

“We know that reading books is fantastically good for their brains and we all need to look after our brains and mental health at the moment.”

He added: “Hopefully we will get to go and meet lots of readers when this is all over.”

Kid Normal And The Final Five by Greg James and Chris Smith is out now in print and e-book from Bloomsbury.

PA