In the early days of their friendship, Skinner opened up to Baddiel about his fears that he would “burn in hell fire”.
Baddiel shared the conversation in his forthcoming book, The God Desire, which is yet to be given a release date.
Skinner had been worried about not being able to take communion at the time because he had left his wife and moved in with his new girlfriend, and as per Catholicism, was therefore committing adultery.
“There’s a story I tell in the book about how when I first became friendly with Frank, we drove a long way from one gig to another and he was telling me he was in a bit of a state because he couldn’t take communion,” Baddiel told The Times.
Baddiel struggled to make sense of Skinner’s predicament at first, but was ultimately impressed by Skinner’s commitment to his religion.
“Without knowing him as well as I do now, I said, ‘Sorry, why are you bothered about this?’ And he said, ‘No, you don’t understand, I think I will burn in hellfire’,” Baddiel said.
“I had never heard anyone say that and mean that, because I don’t live in 1602, but actually I was impressed that someone so intelligent, so radically intelligent, might believe something so completely opposed to something I could imagine in the material universe to actually be true.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Baddiel also reflected on the nationwide outpouring of grief following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September.
“I’m interested in the idea that what we’ve done is create an object of worship out of this human being by projecting all sorts of ideas onto her,” Baddiel said.
“I met her a couple of times and she seemed very nice, but I found the reverence at times quite disturbing, at times a little bit Orwellian.”