Rob Delaney Hosts CBeebies' Bedtime Stories Episode - And Will Sign It Too

“We’re sad Henry isn’t here to see it but happy other families get a story told in Makaton.”

Rob Delaney is the first celebrity to host CBeebies Bedtime Story in sign language, which he learned for his late son Henry.

The ‘Catastrophe’ actor, 41, and his wife Leah, found out their son had a brain tumour in 2016, shortly before his first birthday. Henry had surgery to remove the tumour, but the cancer returned and he died in January 2018.

In a special episode of the CBeebies show, which sees different celebrities read a story each night just before bedtime, Delaney will read and sign ‘Ten In The Bed’ by Penny Dale, all about ten cuddly friends trying to go to bed.

“Our family learned Makaton sign language to be able to communicate with our son Henry, who couldn’t speak due to a tracheotomy,” Delaney said. “We’re sad Henry isn’t here to see it but we’re happy other families will get to enjoy a story told in Makaton.”


Delaney added: “My family loves to read together so naturally we’re fans of CBeebies Bedtime Stories. I am beyond honoured to be the first person to read and sign a book using the Makaton language.”

Delaney’s episode will air on 16 November, which is Children in Need day.

The comedian and actor recently penned a powerful essay about his son Henry on Medium, explaining that he had started writing a book for parents of sick children, but stopped when he saw his son’s last bad MRI scan.

Doctors originally thought Henry had a UTI and prescribed him antibiotics. But when he continued to be sick and started losing weight, they knew something was wrong.

“His vomit became the most precious substance in the world to me and I would often start crying whenever he threw up,” Delaney wrote. “I would try not to cry in front of his older brothers and fail and they’d ask why, and I would say it was because I was scared.”

He went on to explain the reason he was sharing his story now: “The intended audience for this book was to be my fellow parents of very sick children,” he wrote. “They were always so tired and sad, like ghosts, walking the halls of the hospitals, and I wanted them to know someone understood and cared. I’d still like them to know that, so here these few pages are, for them. Or for you.”

Delaney’s story airs on Children in Need day, Friday 16 November on CBeebies. CBeebies Bedtime Stories is on daily at 6.50pm.