Comedian Dai Henwood as a young bookworm

Household name, TV personality and very funny guy, Dai Henwood answers four quick questions about the roles books have held throughout his life.

Dai Henwood as a baby.

Where did books fit into your childhood?

Books were a staple in our household. My parents were avid readers and read to me as a child. They supplied me with what felt like limitless reading material. I was very lucky. I would read at night, and on holidays would read for what seemed a huge portion of the day.

Were you a bookworm, or a resistant reader?

I would identify with being a bookworm. I would read graphic novels or comics, Fungus the Bogeyman stands out as a favourite (possibly too young, I might add). As I got older, I’d read books after my mother had read them. We share the same passion for adventure and crime. I’m an only child, so when we were on holidays I often had to spend a lot of time entertaining myself. Books were the perfect companions. I love how they can transport you anywhere and everywhere just by opening them. I would always imagine I was the lead character and the adventures they were having, I was having.

Once I even tried reading a physical book while listening to a different audio book – I think my brain has never been the same!

What books from your childhood have stuck with you?

For years, the Willard Price Adventure series was my nighttime reading. It’s about teenage zoologists, Hal and Roger Hunt. They travel the world, having epic adventures under the sea and on land. These books opened my mind to all the wonders of the world and sent me off to sleep with images of kids and young adults who could achieve things the average person (especially child) could not. To make it even better, they’re often saving rare and exotic animals. They taught me things that I never learned in primary school.

Enid Blyton and the Famous Five were staples, alongside any adventure/crime books I could get my hands on. As I got into my teens, I read John Grisham and John Le Carré.

Now I alternate between fiction and non-fiction. I also believe that listening to an audio book classifies as reading. I listen to a lot of audio books. In fact, once I even tried reading a physical book while listening to a different audio book – I think my brain has never been the same!

Dai Henwood as a father of two. Photo credits:

What are the books your kids love now?

I have a four-year-old and a 10-month-old. The four-year-old enjoys The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, The Maggie B by Irene Haas, Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers, and all of Pamela Allen’s books (she is a relative so we are very lucky to have a big supply!). Oliver Jeffers is my favourite picture book author. My favourite book to read aloud is What The Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson; I just love the rhyming structure, it’s extremely fun. We read to both of our kids every night – it’s a wonderful way to unwind from the day.

Dai Henwood

Dai Henwood was born and raised in Wellington. Winner of multiple awards for comedy, including the Billy T Award, he is currently a Team Captain on 7 Daysand the Host of Family Feud(5.30 weeknights), both on THREE.