Walliams in 2014
|Born||David Edward Williams
20 August 1971
Merton, London, England
|Spouse(s)||Lara Stone (m. 2010; div. 2015)|
David Edward Williams (born 20 August 1971), known as David Walliams (//), is an English comedian, actor, author, television personality and activist, known for his partnership with Matt Lucas on the BBC One sketch shows Little Britain, Rock Profile and Come Fly with Me.
Since 2012 Walliams has been a judge on the ITV talent show Britain's Got Talent. He wrote and starred in two series of the BBC One sitcom Big School, playing the role of chemistry teacher Keith Church.
Walliams is also a writer of children's books. By the end of 2014, his books had sold over 4 million copies and he has been described as "the fastest growing children's author in the UK": his literary style has been compared to that of Roald Dahl.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Career
- 3 Works
- 4 Awards
- 5 Sport Relief
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Bibliography
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early life and education
Walliams was born David Edward Williams in Merton, London. He was the son of Peter, a London Transport engineer, and Kathleen Ellis, a lab technician and grew up in Banstead, Surrey. Walliams was educated at Collingwood Boys' School in Wallington, and the independent Reigate Grammar School in Surrey, where he was a contemporary of Robert Shearman. From 1989 to 1992, he studied at the University of Bristol, where he resided at Manor Hall and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Drama) in 1992. During university holidays in 1990, Walliams performed with the National Youth Theatre, where he met future comedy partner Matt Lucas.
From 2003 to 2005 Walliams co-wrote and co-starred in three series of the BBC sketch show Little Britain with Matt Lucas. The programme first aired on BBC Three before moving to the more mainstream BBC One. A successful live stage show of the series, Little Britain Live, was produced in 2006. A number of seasonal and charity specials followed, up to 2009. A spin-off series produced in the USA by HBO, Little Britain USA, aired in 2008.
In 2005 Walliams, Simon Pegg, Lucy Davis and Lauren Laverne starred in the video for Charlotte Hatherley's single Bastardo . Later in the year, Walliams presented a documentary on James Bond, entitled David Walliams: My Life with James Bond. In 2007 he returned to non-comedy television, garnering excellent reviews for his portrayal of a suave and dangerous manipulator in Stephen Poliakoff's Capturing Mary.
Walliams wrote and starred in two series of the BBC One sitcom Big School, playing the role of chemistry teacher Keith Church. The series also starred Catherine Tate, Frances de la Tour and Phillip Glenister. In June 2015, it was announced that Big School would not be returning for a third series.
Britain's Got Talent
David Walliams and Matt Lucas
Walliams and Matt Lucas first met at the National Youth Theatre. At their first meeting, Lucas did an impression of Jimmy Savile and Walliams an impression of Frankie Howerd. They would not meet for another year. In the late 1990s, playing minor roles in sketches such as The Club, Walliams and Lucas played grotesque caricatures of various rock musicians in the series Rock Profile and in the spoof documentary series Sir Bernard's Stately Homes. They were also stars of the Paramount Comedy Channel show Mash and Peas, and it was in this guise that they appeared in the Fat Les video (see above). Walliams and Lucas also had small roles in Plunkett and Maclaine as prisoners.
The duo appeared together in a music video for the Pet Shop Boys single "I'm with Stupid", in which the two are apparently auditioning their version of the song's video for Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, who are tied up and appear to be hostages.
The pair are best known for Little Britain, which ran from 2003 to 2009 on the BBC in the UK and from 2008 onwards on HBO in the USA. Among the characters Walliams played were Emily Howard, a deluded "transvestite", Ray McCooney, an insane Scottish hotel owner, and Sebastian Love, an aide de camp to the Prime Minister (portrayed by Anthony Head) on whom Love has a huge crush. The characters from Little Britain, played by Walliams and Lucas, appeared in a 2010 UK television advertising campaign for the Nationwide Building Society.
Their later series was Come Fly with Me, a six-part series airing on BBC One. The first episode was the third most watched programme of Christmas Day 2010, and the most watched comedy of the year. The duo have not worked or made any public appearances together since early 2011 (although they each make separate cameo appearances in Michael Winterbottom's 2013 film The Look of Love).
Film and television
|2003||Little Britain||Various roles|
|2004||Shaun of the Dead||Voice on TV|
|2006||A Cock and Bull Story||Haas|
|Marie Antoinette||Hairdresser (uncredited)|
|2007||Run, Fat Boy, Run|
|2008||The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian||Bulgy Bear (voice)|
|Virgin Territory||Cart pusher|
|2010||Dinner for Schmucks||Müeller|
|2013||Justin and the Knights of Valour||Melquiades and Karolius (voice)|
|Gangsta Granny||Ben's Father|
|2014||Pudsey: The Movie||Pudsey (voice)|
|2015||Partners In Crime||Thomas Beresford "Tommy"|
On 26 August 2008 Walliams made his stage debut at the Gate Theatre in Dublin opposite Michael Gambon in Harold Pinter's No Man's Land, in front of an audience that included Pinter himself. The production transferred to London later in the year.
Books and adaptations
|Title||Book release date||Illustrator||Pages||Film adaptation
|Ave. UK Viewers
|1||The Boy in the Dress||1 October 2008||Quentin Blake||288||26 December 2014||6.31|
|2||Mr Stink||29 October 2009||272||23 December 2012||7.08|
|3||Billionaire Boy||28 October 2010||Tony Ross||288||December 2015||TBA|
|4||Gangsta Granny||27 October 2011||297||26 December 2013||7.36|
|5||Ratburger||19 September 2012||317||N/A||N/A|
|6||Demon Dentist||26 September 2013||440||N/A||N/A|
|7||Awful Auntie||25 September 2014||411||December 2016||TBA|
|8||Grandpa's Great Escape||24 September 2015||461||N/A||N/A|
In early 2008 Walliams signed a contract with HarperCollins to publish two children's books. The debut novel, The Boy in the Dress, illustrated by Quentin Blake, was released worldwide on 1 November 2008. It explores several of the themes of Little Britain from Walliams' own life on an emotional level, such as the camp humour of cross-dressing and effeminacy. The story recounts a neglected 12-year-old boy called Dennis' search for a female role model, his friendship with the popular girl in school, and the ways in which relationships develop along gender lines. The story has a strong resonance with Anne Fine's 1989 book Bill's New Frock. It was announced that this book will be adapted into a film for Christmas 2014.
In November 2009 came Mr Stink, again illustrated by Quentin Blake, about a 12-year-old girl who meets a tramp and helps look after him. She keeps him hidden from her family. The book consists of 26 illustrated chapters full of jokes. It is aimed at teenagers and children over 9. It was the last of Walliams books to be illustrated by Quentin Blake. The book was awarded the Children's Award in the inaugural People's Book Prize in 2010, and was made into a 60-minute film, which premiered on BBC One on 23 December 2012.
On 28 October 2010 Walliams published his third book Billionaire Boy, illustrated by Tony Ross. telling the story of Joe Spud, the richest 12-year-old in the country. Joe's father is a famous inventor, and his wealth means that Joe has everything he could ever want: his own bowling alley, cinema and a trained orangutan who serves as his butler, but there is just one thing he really needs: a friend. The book included a 'billion pound note' that was used to enter a competition to win a day as a billionaire in London. This was the first of his books to be illustrated by Tony Ross.
Walliams' fourth book, Gangsta Granny was released in October 2011 and again illustrated by Tony Ross. It tells the story of Ben who is bored every time he is made to stay at his grandma's house as all she wants to do is to play board games and eat cabbage soup. Ben learns that she was once an international jewel thief and all her life she has wanted to steal the crown jewels. Ben is determined that they do it together. It won a Red House Children's Book Award and was adapted to be a 70-minute film for BBC One and shown on 26 December 2013.
In September 2012 Walliams released his fifth children's book, Ratburger, telling the story of a young girl named Zoe whose life is a misery as she has an evil stepmother. It was followed in September 2013 by his sixth, Demon Dentist. relating the tale of a young boy named Alfie with no family except his dad whose world goes upside-down when a new dentist arrives in town. The book won the top prize in the Younger Readers category at the 2015 Red House Children's Book Awards.
His seventh children's book, Awful Auntie, was released on 25 September 2014. This was the story of a girl named Stella whose Auntie has moved in to her house with her pet. It is the first (and currently only) of Walliams' books to not include Raj the newsagent.
Walliams was given a special award in recognition of his sporting efforts for charity. Matt Lucas produced a documentary on the subject, entitled Little Britain's Big Swim. On 6 November 2006, Walliams won the Pride of Britain Award for "The Most Influential Public Figure" as he raised more than £1.5 million swimming the channel for the Sport Relief charity. Although initially tipped as a contender for the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year poll for 2006, Walliams failed to make the final shortlist of 10 contenders. Walliams was given a special award during the ceremony for his achievement. In July 2006, he became Patron of 'Cardiac Risk in the Young'.
In September 2011 Walliams won the Lincolnshire Young People's Book Award in the 9-11-year-old category with his book, Mr Stink. The award is voted for by the school children of Lincolnshire.
At the 2012 National Television Awards, Walliams won the 'Landmark Achievement Award', for his television career and achievements for Sport Relief. In December 2012 he won the Specsavers National Book Awards "Children's Book of the Year" for Ratburger. In December 2013 he won the Specsavers National Book Awards "Children's Book of the Year" for Demon Dentist. In December 2014 he won the Specsavers National Book Awards "Children's Book of the Year" for Awful Auntie. Awful Auntie also won the 2014 Specsavers National Book Awards "Audiobook of the Year".
Swimming the English Channel
On 4 July 2006 Walliams swam the English Channel for Sport Relief. It took him 10 hours and 34 minutes to swim the 22-mile (35 km) stretch of sea, equivalent to 700 lengths of an Olympic-size swimming pool. This was wrongly reported as one of the top 50 recorded times for an unaided Channel crossing; in reality Walliams placed 167th at the time of crossing in only the CSA listings, excluding the CSPF listings. He raised over £1 million in donations. Under the supervision of his trainer, he trained for nine months to prepare for the swim. The training had to coincide with Walliams and Lucas's Little Britain Live tour, so he daily had to train for several hours before performing on stage in the evening. Walliams first swam from Lee-on-the-Solent near Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight in around two hours and also completed an eight-hour swim off the coast of Croatia before embarking on the cross-Channel attempt. Walliams has insisted that prior to his challenge he had never seriously taken part in any sport. The Bluetones' lead singer Mark Morriss wrote a song, "Fade In/Fade Out", in honour of Walliams' achievement; it can be found on their self-titled album, released on 9 October 2006.
Swimming the Strait of Gibraltar
On 7 March 2008 Walliams, along with James Cracknell, swam the 12 miles (19 km) Strait of Gibraltar from Spain to Morocco, again for Sport Relief. He successfully completed the swim in just over 4½ hours.
In March 2010 Walliams and a group of celebrities cycled an end-to-end journey through the UK, raising over £1 million for Sport Relief. Walliams suffered a serious fall when tackling the Kirkstone Pass, a thousand-foot climb in the Lake District but was able to complete the ride.
24 Hour Panel People
In March 2011 Walliams undertook 24 Hour Panel People, in which he took part in back to back recordings of various panel show formats over the course of 24 hours to raise money for Comic Relief. The recordings were streamed live on the BBC website. He took part in 19 episodes of "classic" TV panel shows.
|Show||Show Name||Host||Walliams' role||Special Guests & Notes|
|1||Would I Lie to You?||Rob Brydon regular||Panellist||Team captains: regulars David Mitchell and Lee Mack. Other panellists with Walliams: Shappi Khorsandi, Fay Ripley and Claudia Winkleman|
|2||8 out of 10 Cats||Jimmy Carr regular||Captain||Other team captain: Sean Lock regular. Panellists: Jamelia, Josh Widdicombe, Jon Richardson and Victoria Coren.|
|3||Just a Minute||Nicholas Parsons regular||Panellist||Other panellists with Walliams: Lee Mack, Sheila Hancock and Tony Hawks.|
|4||It's Only TV...But I Like It||Jack Dee former team captain||Panellist||Team captains: Ulrika Jonsson and Charlie Brooker. Other panellists with Walliams: Danny Wallace, Tom Deacon and Penny Smith.|
|5||The Generation Game||Vernon Kay||Team member||Team 1: Walliams with his mother Kathleen.
Team 2: Miranda Hart and Patricia Hodge, who play mother and daughter in the sitcom Miranda.
|6||Through the Keyhole||David Frost regular||Panellist||Other panellists with Walliams: David Tennant and Patricia Hodge. Dawn Porter was the guide. The celebrity whose house was shown was Ann Widdecombe.|
|7||Blankety Blank||Paul O'Grady (this time as himself, having only done so before as Lily Savage)||Panellist||Other panellists with Walliams: Barbara Windsor, David Tennant, George Lamb, Keith Harris and Orville and Stacey Solomon, with Lee Ryan and Duncan James from Blue playing as contestants.|
|8||Mock the Week||Dara Ó Briain regular||Panellist||Other panellists with Walliams: regular Andy Parsons with guests: Andrew Maxwell, Daniel Sloss, Doc Brown and Seann Walsh.|
|9||Celebrity Juice||Keith Lemon regular||Panellist||Other panellists with Walliams: regulars Rufus Hound and Jedward with guests Germaine Greer and Lauren Laverne.|
|10||Argumental||David Walliams||Host||Team captains: regulars Rufus Hound and Marcus Brigstocke. Guests: Dara Ó Briain and Jo Brand.
During the show it was announced that Walliams had done 12 hours.
|11||QI||Stephen Fry regular||Panellist||Other panellists with Walliams: Russell Tovey, Jo Brand and Sue Perkins.|
|12||They Think It's All Over||Nick Hancock original host||Panellist||Team captains: former regular Lee Hurst and Phil Tufnell. Other panellists with Walliams: Dave Berry, Gabby Logan and Richard Bacon.|
|13||Call My Bluff||Angus Deayton||Panellist||Other panellists with Walliams: Alex Horne, Roisin Conaty, Russell Tovey, Tim Key and Sarah Cawood.|
|14||Give Us a Clue||Sara Cox||Panellist||Guests with Walliams include: Christopher Biggins, Lionel Blair, Una Stubbs, Holly Walsh and Jenni Falconer.|
|15||What's My Line?||Stephen K. Amos||Guest||Other guests with Walliams: Christopher Biggins and Holly Walsh.|
|16||Mastermind||Griff Rhys Jones||Contestant||Other contestants with Walliams: Adam Woodyatt|
|17||Have I Got News for You||Patrick Kielty||Panellist||Other panellists with Walliams: Clive Anderson, Lembit Öpik and Holly Walsh.|
|18||Whose Line Is It Anyway?||Clive Anderson regular||Panellist||Other panellists with Walliams: Humphrey Ker with regular members Josie Lawrence, Neil Mullarkey and Tony Slattery|
|19||Never Mind the Buzzcocks||David Walliams||Host||Panellists: Alexa Chung, Chris O'Dowd, Matt Edmondson, Robert Webb, Neil Tennant and Nick Grimshaw.|
Swimming the Thames
From 5 to 12 September 2011 Walliams swam the length of the River Thames (140 miles) and raised more than £2m for Sport Relief. In the process, he saved a dog from drowning in the river. Once he had got out of the river Walliams said "I think a bath is the only water I will be seeing for a while." The swim resulted in him getting giardiasis and injuring a intervertebral disc. In late 2013, Walliams had emergency back surgery to alleviate issues caused by the swim.
In 2008, David's father, Peter, died of an aggressive form of liver cancer. In 2009, Walliams began dating Dutch model Lara Stone. On 20 January 2010, David and Lara announced their engagement. David proposed to her in Los Angeles after her parents had given their blessing to the relationship. On 16 May 2010, the couple were married at central London's Claridge's Hotel. In December 2012, the couple announced that Stone was pregnant with their first child and on 6 May 2013, Stone gave birth to their son, Alfred. It was reported on 4 March 2015 that, following five years of marriage, the pair had decided to try a trial separation, after 'drifting apart'. On 9 September 2015, Walliams filed for divorce from Stone, citing "unreasonable behaviour". The couple were granted a decree nisi the next day, making the marriage null and void six weeks after the date of filing.
Walliams hinted at being bisexual in the book Inside Little Britain, but said he did not like to be labeled by that word. In an interview with Radio Times in 2013, he stated: "I think it's all about falling in love with the person and that is overlooked, really. I hate it when people 'confess' or 'reveal' their sexuality and also things can change for people over the years. So it is about the person but I also think it goes beyond that. You don't just fall in love with someone's body, do you? You fall in love with someone's soul and heart and brain."
- Inside Little Britain (with Boyd Hilton and Matt Lucas): London: Ebury Press: 2006: ISBN 0-09-191231-8
- Camp David (2012)
- The Boy in the Dress (illustrated by Quentin Blake) (2008)
- Mr Stink (illustrated by Quentin Blake) (2009)
- Billionaire Boy (illustrated by Tony Ross) (2010)
- Gangsta Granny (illustrated by Tony Ross)(2011)
- Ratburger (illustrated by Tony Ross) (2012)
- Demon Dentist (illustrated by Tony Ross) (2013)
- Awful Auntie (illustrated by Tony Ross) (2014)
- Grandpa's Great Escape (illustrated by Tony Ross) (2015)
- Picture books
- The Slightly Annoying Elephant (2013)
- The First Hippo on the Moon (2014)
- The Queen's Orang-utan (2015, for Comic Relief)
- The Bear Who Went Boo! (2015)
- Philip Ardagh, Awful Auntie review – David Walliams's best book yet, The Guardian, 25 September 2014.
- Amanda Williams (5 September 2013). "Comedian David Walliams is laughing all the way to the bank after earning £13 million from five children's books". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- Beverley Turner (6 September 2013). "Why David Walliams really is the new Roald Dahl". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- Walliams, David (11 October 2012). Camp David. Penguin UK.
- "David Walliams' (BA 1992) swim in river Thames makes a million for charity". Alumni and friends. University of Bristol. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- Lee, Sandra (12 October 2008). "Send in the Clown". Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne). pp. 27–29.
- "Perspectives | Week 17 David Walliams – ITV Press Centre". Itv.com. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- "BBC Two – Are You Having a Laugh? TV and Disability". Bbc.co.uk. 21 March 2012.
- "Charley Says". YouTube.
- Walker, Danny (13 March 2015). "Comic Relief 2015: Watch Stephen Hawking TRANSFORM into super-sized robot and blast Catherine Tate's nun". Mirror. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
- BBC media centre http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2014/bbcone-drama-main.html retrieved 15 March 2014
- David Walliams (11 October 2012). Camp David. Penguin Books Limited. pp. 147–. ISBN 978-0-14-197324-1. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- "David Walliams and Matt Lucas reunite for new BBC show set in an airport". Daily Telegraph (London). 29 May 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- "EastEnders wins Christmas Day viewing figures battle on 28 January 2011, the BBC announced that the show had been commissioned for a second series.". BBC News. 26 December 2010.
- "Filmography". Retrieved 25 July 2014.
- "Walliams plans children's stories". BBC News Online (London). 17 December 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2007.
- "David Walliams' Boy in the Dress to be BBC One film for Christmas 2014 – TV News". Digital Spy.
- Neilan, Catherine (10 July 2010). "Walliams among winners for inaugural People's Book Prize". The Bookseller. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- Sarah Kingsford, Review: Billionaire Boy by David Walliams, Express, 24 October 2010.
- "Billionaire Boy : David Walliams". HarperCollins. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
- Siobhan Palmer, David Walliams wins prize at Red House Children’s Book Awards 2015 The Daily Telegraph, 21 February 2015
- Stephenson, Hannah (4 November 2011). "Walliams Suffering For His Gen Nerous Heart". Daily Post (High Beam). Retrieved 16 April 2013.
- Cain, Sian (7 August 2014). "David Walliams announces his new book, Awful Auntie". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- Alison Flood (5 December 2012). "EL James comes out on top at National Book awards". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- "Neil Gaiman Wins Specsavers Book of the Year 2013!". nationalbookawards.co.uk. 26 December 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
- Alison Flood (27 November 2014). "David Nicholls and David Walliams win top prizes at National Book Awards". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
- "Mary Berry wins outstanding achievement book award". BBC News. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
- "BBC SPORT Watch Walliams' Channel swim". BBC News. 4 July 2006. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
- Naughton, Philippe (4 July 2006). "Little Britain star swims the Channel". The Times (London).
- "Channel Swimming Association Ltd". Channelswimmingassociation.com. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
- "Desert Island Discs with David Walliams". Desert Island Discs. 27 February 2009. BBC Radio 4.
- "BBC SPORT – Walliams completes swim to Africa". BBC News. 7 March 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
- "Sport Relief – Million Pound Bike Ride". Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- "BBC News – David Walliams takes on Sport Relief Thames swim challenge". BBC. 30 August 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
- "Walliams vs The Thames: David Walliams' 140 mile River Thames Sport Relief Swim". Littlebritainfans.com. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
- "David Walliams Completes 140-Mile River Thames Swim Challenge For Sport Relief Charity". Sky News. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
- "David Walliams on his Big Swim for Sport Relief". Radio Times. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- "David Walliams cancels rest of 2012 schedule to have back surgery". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- McDermott, Nick; Cohen, Tamara (20 January 2010). "David Walliams can't hold back the joy as model fiancée Lara shows off her engagement ring". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- "David Walliams to marry model Lara Stone". BBC News Online (London). 20 January 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
- The couple split in March 2015
- "David Walliams marries Dutch model Lara Stone". BBC News Online (London). 17 May 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
- Nathan, Sara; Cable, Simon (17 May 2010). "David Walliams gives his laydee Lara Stone a kiss as they leave their lavish £80,000 wedding at Claridges in London". Daily Mail (London).
- "BEST EXCLUSIVE! David Walliams reveals his new baby son's name to Best – Showbiz News". Best Daily. 5 June 2013.
- "Lara Stone and David Walliams 'split after five years of marriage'". telegraph.co.uk.
- Strang, Fay (10 September 2015). "David Walliams and Lara Stone's marriage over in 60 second divorce". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
- Dowell, Ben (5 August 2013). "David Walliams – a schoolboy misfit who was nicknamed Cuthbert". Radio Times (London). Retrieved 5 August 2013.
- Mills, Simon (2 September 2011). "David Walliams: In at the deep end". ES Magazine (London). Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- Hastings, Chris (21 February 2009). "Comic Walliams speaks of depression battle". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". theguardian.com. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.