Brian May felt compelled to star in a children’s TV show after the anti-bullying message “moved” him.
The guitarist in rock band Queen had intended to decline the offer of starring in a special episode of CBBC’s Andy And The Band, but had a change of heart after reading the script.
In the episode, May, who plays The Godfather of Rock, makes music with the band the Odd Socks, having collaborated on the song Planet Rock together.
The 74-year-old told the PA news agency: “It was very moving because it’s a great story, it’s such a lovely look into what happens to kids and how they lose their confidence and what can be done.
“It is a good song, I didn’t write it, I did contribute. I’m a person who can’t help sticking my oar in so we did collaborate on it.
“They’re called the Odd Socks because they champion these kids who feel like they’re an outcast, they feel like they are an oddment, and it’s an anti-bullying campaign built into what they do, which I think is wonderful.
“It must give so many kids confidence who have lost their belief because they’re regarded as something different, a bit odd, and they get bullied.
“All the grown ups that I’ve shown it to have been very moved, some of them have cried, which is great.”
Each episode of the show features presenter Andy Day and his band completing odd jobs to help their fans and save the day, with the help of a star-studded guest list including Craig Revel Horwood, Steve Backshall and Zoe Ball.
May revealed that he had originally intended to refuse the offer after suffering from Covid-19.
He told PA: “It was at a very busy time and not a very healthy time because I had all the Covid stuff going on, so I said ‘I don’t think I can do this.’
“She (wife’s agent) said, ‘Do me a favour, just read the script and tell me what you think,’ I read it and I was very moved.
“I thought ‘I have to do this.’
“I heard the song, I liked the song, and I thought I can do stuff with that – and we did.”
Describing the episode, May said it is a “very worthy bit of entertainment” and that the show is not just for children, but “for everybody”.
“These things are very serious, I have grandchildren now and I know, all over again, what happens in schools, and it’s so easy for a kid to be marginalised.
“You don’t realise how much damage that can do to kids.
“So it’s grown ups that need to be educated, not just the kids.
“Everybody needs to be included and everybody has the right to be themselves, whatever that is,” he said.
May revealed that he initially struggled jumping into the acting world, finding it difficult to learn his lines.
He said: “We did a few takes when I tried different variations, I did do my homework, I learnt the lines.
“I can pick up lyrics very quickly, I have done ever since I was a child, but I still have nightmares about performing in the school play and not remembering my lines, panicking that I’m on stage and I don’t know what comes next.
“You have to put the work in if you take on these sorts of projects.”
The musician has spoken about his health issues before, revealing he suffered a heart attack and doctors had also treated him for multiple complications, as well as catching Covid before Christmas.
He said: “I got it about six weeks ago and it was basically like getting a very bad cold or a bout of flu.
“The horrific part lasted about three or four days and then there’s been a slow kind of winding down of the symptoms.
“I can still feel the congestion, I still wake up congested in the morning and I still have bouts of kind of inveterate tiredness, it’s hard to describe.
“It’s not just fatigue, it is that feeling that you have to go to sleep.
“I can be doing something so normal and then struggling, my whole body is saying you have to go to sleep.”
Bafta-nominated presenter and actor Day said: “Working with Brian has been a musical dream come true, as I am huge Queen fan, but most importantly he completely understood the ethos and message of inclusivity we share in everything we do.”
Talking about taking up future acting roles, May added: “I don’t think I’ll give up what I do, but if the odd part came along, you just never know.”
The CBBC comedy drama will air on January 27 2022 but is available to watch on iPlayer on January 24.