Wirksworth children’s author enjoys a brush with the BBC Eggheads

Daniel Henshaw, front left, an author and teacher from Wirksworth was part of a team of writers taking on the Eggheads in the BBC television quiz

A budding children’s author from Wirksworth had a brush with 15 minutes of television fame, when he was part of a team taking on BBC Two’s resident Eggheads.

Daniel Henshaw, 32, was one of five authors from across the UK who travelled to Glasgow earlier this month to film an episode of the long-running quiz show.

Daniel released his second self-published work, The Curious Case of the Missing Organutan, in November 2017.

He said: “I went as the reserve in case anything happened to one of the first team, but it was a fantastic experience to be part of it.

“It all started as a bit of a joke between writers on Twitter talking about entering.”

The team featured Robin Stevens, Maz Evans, Lisa Thompson, Nick Oster and Mark Huckerby, who between them have racked up thousands of sales of young fans.

Robin is best known for the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, Lisa for the Goldfish Boy, Maz wrote Who Let the Gods Out, and Nick and Mark for the Defender of The Realm series.

Daniel, who self-published his first two books last year - The Great Snail Robbery and The Curious Case of the Missing Orangutan - found the chance to pick his colleagues’ brains was as good as having his own picked on screen.

He said: “They are all really successful, award-winning authors, so it was fascinating to spend time with them. It was great to meet these other writers I admire and talk to them about their experiences.

“The only disappointing thing was that, during the episode, Jeremy Vine talked about their books a lot - so I missed out on getting a massive plug for mine.”

Despite not getting any screen time, Daniel did have to prepare in case he was called upon.

He said: “My grandad is a massive fan of the show. He watches religiously every day, so I used to see it quite often and knew what to expect.”

As a primary school teacher, Daniel has also accumulated a vast array of general knowledge.

He said: “In my job, you have to know a little bit about everything, and you’re learning all the time.

“I love a good pub quiz, and was practicing a lot with my girlfriend and my brother in case I had to go on.”

He added: “I’m good on geography and movies, especially Oscar trivia, but not so good on politics - so I brushed up on all the past Prime Ministers.”

Although he was left on the sidelines, Daniel did make the most of his time in the studio.

He said: “I had a good look around, and I sat in Jeremy Vine’s chair, just for fun.

“It was all very exciting, but the surprising thing is how much it looks the same as you see from home. I was expecting it to be much different, but there wasn’t much going on backstage.”

There will likely be more surprises behind the scenes in Daniel’s next book, a ghost story. In the meantime, he will be taking his first two tales of the lovable character Jeremy Green on the road.

Daniel said: “I’m really enjoying doing author visits to schools all across the region and running writing and drama workshops. I’ll be visiting Tansley Primary School very soon.”

His first two books are available to buy online at https://goo.gl/td37Um.

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