Stephen Hendry has revealed he was fined by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) for missing snooker tournaments while he participated in entertainment show The Masked Singer on ITV.
The seven-time world champion appeared as ‘Rubbish’ on the TV show before finally being unveiled as the latest celebrity singer on Saturday night.
Hendry was hit with several WPBSA fines after entering tournaments after the draw was made only to withdraw to participate in filming the popular series.
“You’re dying to tell people what you’re doing, but you can’t,” he said.
“I do have wildcards to play in some events and I actually pulled out of a couple and got fined by the WPBSA.
“And I couldn’t tell them why because this recording was going on and I couldn’t obviously say why I pulled out. I just said ‘Look, I can’t play the tournament’. So, yeah, it was, very, very, very strange.
“I have been asked to do the other reality shows, but the thing that appealed to me about this one obviously was the fact that you are in a costume. Nobody can see you.
“And obviously stress – this is not a singing competition, it’s just a show that you just go in this costume and have fun.
“My son texted me and said: ‘I’ve watched the show every week. I love it. I can’t believe you’ve done that’.
“He didn’t even have a clue so the feedback and the reaction was incredible.”
Hendry’s return to the sport has been a more difficult watch. He retired in 2012 after growing disillusioned with his game, but was given a wildcard by Barry Hearn to resume playing in 2020.
The comeback has been a struggle with Hendry winning only three out of 14 matches while juggling his TV punditry commitments.
His last appearance came in a 5-0 defeat to Matthew Stevens in the first round of the German Masters in November.
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