Stephen Hendry fined by snooker bosses for Masked Singer absences

The seven-time snooker world champion Stephen Hendry has said he was fined by the sport’s governing body over absences due to his appearance on The Masked Singer.

The 54-year-old was revealed on Saturday as the character Rubbish on the ITV show in which singers battle it out with their identity hidden by a mask.

The former world No 1 was unmasked in front of 4.3 million TV viewers after his performances of My Old Man’s a Dustman by Lonnie Donegan, and Kaiser Chiefs’ Ruby.

“I do have wildcards to play in some snooker events and I actually pulled out of a couple of events and got fined by the WPBSA [World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association] for doing it,” Hendry said.

“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 … you’re dying to tell people what you’re doing but you can’t.”

The WPBSA, whose commercial arm is the World Snooker Tour, manages the rules overseeing snooker tournaments. If a player pulls out after a tournament draw has been made there is an automatic fine from the WST. All money from fines goes to the organisation’s official charity, Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home.

Hendry said he agreed to take part in The Masked Singer because he “loves” the show and he would be anonymous during the performances.

He added: “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 [there is no] stress – this is not a singing competition, it’s just a show that you just go in this costume and have fun.”

Hendry turned professional in 1985 and dominated snooker in the 1990s after winning his first world championship in 1990, aged 21.