BBC Radio 1’s Greg James and Chris Smith are coming to Hastings

Greg James and Chris Smith. Picture: Getty Images SUS-191203-171507001
Greg James and Chris Smith. Picture: Getty Images SUS-191203-171507001

BBC Radio 1’s Greg James and Chris Smith are coming to Hastings later this month.

The popular duo will be in town to celebrate the release of their latest book in the Kid Normal series.



The National Literacy Trust and Bloomsbury Children’s Books have teamed up to bring the duo to Hastings as part of the Get Hastings Reading campaign.

Up to 600 lucky pupils from 15 Hastings primary schools will be treated to a high-energy, interactive presentation to launch the third Kid Normal book – Kid Normal and the Shadow Machine – at The Hastings Centre on Friday, March 22.

All schools attending the event will have already received a copy of the first Kid Normal book to read together in class and every child in attendance will receive their own copy in a goodie bag to take home on the day.

A select number of Hastings secondary school pupils will meet Greg and Chris for an exclusive interview session, where they will put their questions on writing, broadcasting and books to the authors.

Greg James and Chris Smith. Photo by Jenny Smith

Greg James and Chris Smith. Photo by Jenny Smith

Children throughout the town are also invited to meet Greg and Chris at a book-signing event in the Hastings WHSmith store, in Priory Meadow, from 4.30pm.

Those who attended the book launch will have been gifted a green branded wristband, enabling them to receive a special in-store discount on the day when purchasing the second and third Kid Normal stories – Kid Normal and the Rogue Heroes and Kid Normal and the Shadow Machine.

Graeme Quinnell, Get Hastings Reading manager, said: “We’re thrilled that so many pupils in Hastings will have the opportunity to experience such an exciting event with Greg James and Chris Smith – two brilliant authors who share our commitment to encouraging children to fall in love with reading.

“We know that author engagement as well as fun and memorable events like this one can support a child’s learning and encourage them to read for enjoyment outside of school. In turn this has an important impact on their happiness and future success.”

Greg James and Chris Smith said: “Hastings! We’re coming for you! (Hope that doesn’t sound too Norman). Kid Normal and the Shadow Machine includes some epic battles so we couldn’t think of a better town to visit for the launch.

“We’re looking forward to meeting loads of readers there and taking their imaginations for a good gallop about. See you soon!”

In the third Kid Normal instalment, we catch up with Murph Cooper, aka Kid Normal. Despite having no powers, Murph is part of the best team in the Heroes’ Alliance. So when supervillain Magpie declares all-out war, Kid Normal and the Super Zeroes lead the charge. But Magpie believes that a powerless hero is no hero at all. And he’s building a dastardly device to prove it. When Kid Normal enters the Shadow Machine, THE WORLD WILL NEVER BE THE SAME...

Get Hastings Reading is a literacy campaign led by the National Literacy Trust and the Department for Education’s Opportunity Area in Hastings, which places education at the heart of overcoming obstacles to social mobility. The campaign launched in January with the aim of improving literacy for young people in Hastings and St Leonards.

If you are interested in volunteering in Hastings or learning more about the campaign, please contact Hub Manager, Graeme Quinnell: or visit

Read more:

Pupils get on board with campaign to Get Hastings Reading

Hastings’ 100 Reads: List of town’s top children’s books revealed