|Intro||English comedian, writer and actor|
|A.K.A.||David Edward Williams|
|Is||Actor Television actor Comedian Writer Novelist Autobiographer Children's writer Screenwriter Stage actor Film actor Author Television presenter|
|Field||Film, TV, Stage & Radio Humor Literature|
|Birth||29 July 1971, London Borough of Merton, United Kingdom; Banstead, United Kingdom|
David Edward Williams Matt Lucas on the BBC sketch comedy series Rock Profile (1999–2000, 2009), Little Britain (2003–2007) and Come Fly With Me (2010-2011). Since 2012, Walliams has been a judge on the television talent show competition Britain's Got Talent on ITV. He is also a writer of children's books, having sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.(born 20 August 1971), known professionally as David Walliams, is an English comedian, actor, writer, and television personality. He is best known for his partnership with
Walliams played the role of Greville White in the Stephen Poliakoff film Capturing Mary (2007). He wrote and starred in two series of the BBC One sitcom Big School (2013–2014), playing the role of chemistry teacher Keith Church. In 2015, Walliams starred as Tommy Beresford in the BBC series Partners in Crime, and wrote and starred in his own sketch comedy series Walliams & Friend.
Walliams began writing children's novels in 2008 after securing a contract with the publisher HarperCollins. His books have been translated into 53 languages, and he has been described as "the fastest growing children's author in the UK", with a literary style compared to that of Roald Dahl. Some of his books have been adapted into television films. Walliams was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to charity and the arts. His charity work includes swimming the English Channel, Strait of Gibraltar and River Thames, raising millions of pounds for the BBC charity Sport Relief.
Early life and education
Walliams was born at St Teresa's Maternity Hospital in Wimbledon, in the London Borough of Merton, in 1971. He is the son of Peter Williams (1936-2007), a London Transport engineer, and Kathleen Williams (née Ellis), a laboratory technician who worked at Sutton Grammar School. Walliams grew up in Banstead, Surrey, specifically in the residential area of Nork, with his mother, father and sister Julie. He was educated at Collingwood Boys' School in Wallington, and Reigate Grammar School in Surrey, where he was a contemporary of writer Robert Shearman. From 1989 to 1992, he studied at the University of Bristol, where he resided at Manor Hall and graduated with Bachelor of Arts (Drama). During university holidays in 1990, Walliams performed with the National Youth Theatre, where he met future comedy partner and friend Matt Lucas. He changed his stage name to David Walliams when he joined college Equity, as there was already a member named David Williams.
Walliams performed in the Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audio play Phantasmagoria, written by Mark Gatiss in 1999. 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 positive reviews for his portrayal of a suave and dangerous manipulator in Stephen Poliakoff's Capturing Mary.
He portrayed comedian Frankie Howerd in the BBC Four television film Rather You Than Me. In 2010, Walliams appeared with Paul Rudd and Steve Carell in the comedy Dinner for Schmucks. Walliams played the strange mole-like alien Gibbis in the sixth series of Doctor Who, in the episode "The God Complex", broadcast on BBC One in 2011. In April 2012 Walliams appeared in an episode of ITV's Perspectives programme entitled "David Walliams: The Genius of Dahl". Also in 2012, he narrated Are You Having a Laugh? TV and Disability on BBC Two, and the ITV2 series Top Dog Model.
In 2013, Walliams appeared in two episodes of the comedy series Blandings as Rupert Baxter, an efficiency expert hired to serve as Lord Emsworth's secretary. Also that year, and in 2014, Walliams starred as chemistry teacher Keith Church in the BBC One sitcom Big School, which he created and co-wrote. The series also starred Catherine Tate, Frances de la Tour and Philip Glenister. In June 2015, it was announced that Big School would not be returning for a third series. In March 2014 Walliams narrated a short video for the charity, Electrical Safety First, featuring the character Charley from the Charley Says educational films of the 1970s. He also is a current Judge with Alexa Dixon, Simon Cowell, and Amanda Holden on Britans Got Talent.
For Comic Relief 2015, Walliams appeared as Lou Todd and Stephen Hawking in the Andy Pipkin role along with Catherine Tate as a nun. In 2015, coinciding with the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christie's birth, Walliams played the role of Tommy Beresford in Partners in Crime, a six-part BBC series. In September 2015, Walliams began filming for his BBC sketch show Walliams & Friend, which also starred Joanna Lumley and Morgana Robinson and premiered on Christmas Eve in 2015. The show returned for a full series in November 2016, and a second series has been announced.
Walliams hosted the final comedy show Thrills and Spills in December 2016. The final was held in Louisville, Kentucky. In December 2016, Walliams presented the Royal Variety Performance and a Christmas special episode of Blankety Blank, both shows for ITV. In 2017, Walliams guest presented five episodes of The Nightly Show for ITV.
In October 2019, in a video posted on social media, Walliams was announced as the new National Television Awards (NTAs) host for 2020, taking over after Dermot O'Leary's ten year presenting stint.
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 again 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. 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. The programme first aired on BBC Three before moving to the more mainstream BBC One. 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. 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 United States by HBO, Little Britain USA, aired in 2008. The characters from Little Britain played by Walliams and Lucas appeared in a 2010 UK television advertising campaign for the Nationwide Building Society. In January 2005 Walliams and Lucas were named the most powerful people in TV comedy by Radio Times.
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).
In October 2019, Lucas and Walliams announced Little Britain would be returning to BBC Radio 4 on 31 October 2019, for a one-off special entitled Little Brexit.
Britain's Got Talent
Since 2012 Walliams has been a judge on the ITV talent show Britain's Got Talent with Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Simon Cowell. In 2015, 2018 and 2019, he was recognised at the National Television Awards as Best Judge for his involvement in the series. His chemistry with Simon Cowell on the show has often been praised.
|No.||Title||Release date||Illustrator||Pages||Film adaptation
|Ave. UK viewers
|1||The Boy in the Dress||1 November 2008||Quentin Blake||233||26 December 2014||6.31||BBC One||2019 musical|
|2||Mr Stink||29 October 2009||269||23 December 2012||7.08||2012 musical|
|3||Billionaire Boy||28 October 2010||Tony Ross||281||1 January 2016||6.34||2018 musical|
|4||Gangsta Granny||27 October 2011||299||26 December 2013||7.36||2015 play|
|5||Ratburger||19 September 2012||319||24 December 2017||1.01||Sky One||TBA|
|6||Demon Dentist||26 September 2013||443||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|7||Awful Auntie||25 September 2014||413||TBA||TBA||TBA||2017 play|
|8||Grandpa's Great Escape||24 September 2015||461||1 January 2018||5.78||BBC One||TBA|
|9||The Midnight Gang||3 November 2016||478||26 December 2018||N/A||BBC One||2018 play|
|10||Bad Dad||2 November 2017||424||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|11||The Ice Monster||6 November 2018||496||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|12||Fing||21 February 2019||272||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|13||The Beast of Buckingham Palace||21 November 2019||464||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA|
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 made into a one-off drama for Sky One.
Ratburger was followed in September 2013 by Walliams' sixth book, 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.
Walliams' 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 into her house with her owl, Wagner. It is the first (and currently only) of Walliams' books to not include Raj the newsagent, due to the book being set in the 1920s before Raj was born.
In September 2015 he released Grandpa's Great Escape. The story follows a boy called Jack trying to rescue his Grandpa who suffers from Alzheimer's disease from a care home run by an evil matron. The book was adapted for BBC One, with the script written by Walliams and Kevin Cecil, and starring Tom Courtenay as Grandpa. This book, although set in the 1980s like Awful Auntie is, sees the return of Raj the newsagent. The same year that Grandpa's Great Escape was published, Walliams backed children's fairytales app GivingTales in aid of UNICEF, together with Roger Moore, Stephen Fry, Ewan McGregor, Joan Collins, Joanna Lumley, Michael Caine, Charlotte Rampling and Paul McKenna.
The Midnight Gang was published in November 2016. Bad Dad was published in November 2017. Walliams sold £16.57 million worth of books in 2017. The Ice Monster was published in November 2018. Walliams' latest children's novel, Fing, was published in February 2019.
|1||The Slightly Annoying Elephant||7 November 2013||Tony Ross||32|
|2||The First Hippo on the Moon||20 October 2014|
|3||The Queen's Orang-utan||26 February 2015|
|4||The Bear Who Went Boo!||5 November 2015|
|5||There's a Snake in My School!||19 September 2016|
|6||Boogie Bear||26 July 2018||40|
|7||Geronimo||15 November 2018||32|
Short story collections
|1||The World's Worst Children||19 May 2016||Tony Ross||268|
|2||The World's Worst Children 2||25 May 2017||286|
|3||The World's Worst Children 3||29 May 2018||288|
|4||The World's Worst Teachers||27 June 2019||312|
Illustrated in colour by Tony Ross, Walliams' three The World's Worst Children short story collections, centered around 'five beastly boys and five gruesome girls', were published in May 2016, May 2017 and May 2018 respectively.
In May 2019, it was announced that The World’s Worst Teachers would be published on 27 June.
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.
In 2013, he played the part of Bottom in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Noël Coward Theatre opposite Sheridan Smith as Titania.
In July 2014, Walliams appeared on stage with Monty Python during their live show Monty Python Live (Mostly) held at the O2 Arena, London. He was the special guest in their "Blackmail" sketch.
In addition to his writing credits for his Sketch Shows and adaptions of his novels, it was announced in November 2015 that he would be co-writing an animated feature with filmmaker Edgar Wright for DreamWorks Animation. In July 2016, it was announced that it would be titled Shadows and be released in 2019.
In 2018, Walliams also starred in the British Airways Safety video, which was conducted in conjunction with Comic Relief for the airlines in house charity. Walliams most notable occasion in the video is the lifejacket instruction. Since then the video has been reworked with a mixture of the previous version, however Walliams still appears in the new version.
Kim Jong-un Halloween costume
In early November 2017, Walliams caused upset through his dressing as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for Halloween and posting it online. He had shared the photograph on his Twitter account, in costume, wearing a black suit, wig, and artificial prosthetics that appeared to alter his eyelids and hairline. There was an immediate backlash online, many Twitter users branding the outfit "racist" and accusing Walliams of "yellow-face". Others made the point that it was insensitive for Walliams to dress as Kim Jong-un given the North Korean leader's 'appalling' human rights record. Walliams responded to the backlash lightly, constructing a fake text message from Kim Jong-un which he posted to Twitter, reading: "Hi Dave, Loved the Halloween outfit mate! Wet meself laughing. Don’t see what all the fuss is about. Kim x. PS Can’t wait to read Bad Dad."
In 2008, Walliams' father, Peter, died of an aggressive form of liver cancer.
In 2009, Walliams began dating Dutch model Lara Stone. On 20 January 2010, they announced their engagement. Walliams proposed to Stone 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.
Walliams and Stone lived in the house with recording studio, formerly owned by Noel Gallagher, and known as 'Supernova Heights' in Belsize Park, north London. 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; the marriage was formally dissolved six weeks after the date of filing.
Walliams hinted at being pansexual in the book Inside Little Britain, but said he did not like to be labelled 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."
Walliams has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and described his 2006 swim of the English Channel as "some sort of redemption".
Walliams co-hosted a segment of the Sport Relief telethon in 2012, co-hosting the 22:00–22:40 slot with Miranda Hart when the show moved over to BBC Two while the BBC News at Ten was aired.
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 41/2 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.
Awards and honours
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'.
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".
Walliams has won the award for Best TV Judge at the 2015, 2018 and 2019 National Television Awards.
He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to charity and the arts. He was invested with the honour by Princess Anne.