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David Edward Williams, OBE (born 20 August 1971), known professionally as David Walliams, is a British actor, comedian, author, talent show judge and presenter known for his partnership with Matt Lucas on the BBC One sketch show Little Britain.

David Walliams
David Walliams.JPG
Walliams In 2012
Birth nameDavid Edward Williams
Born (1971-08-20) 20 August 1971 (age 47)
Banstead Surrey England
EducationReigate Grammar School
Alma materUniversity of Bristol
Years active1992–present
GenresTV, stand up
Lara Stone
(m. 2010; div. 2015)

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. In 2015, he starred as Tommy Beresford in the BBC series Partners in Crime based on the Tommy and Tuppence novels by Agatha Christie.

Walliams is also a writer of children's books. He has sold more than 25 million copies and his books have been translated into 53 languages.[1] He has been described as "the fastest growing children's author in the UK" and his literary style has been compared to that of Roald Dahl.[2][3][4]


Early life and educationEdit

David Walliams was born in Merton, London. He is the son of Peter Williams, a London Transport engineer, and Kathleen Williams, a lab technician, and grew up in Banstead, Surrey. Walliams was educated at Collingwood Boys' School in Wallington, and Reigate Grammar School in Surrey, where he was a contemporary of Robert Shearman.[5] From 1989 to 1992, he studied at the University of Bristol, where he resided at Manor Hall and graduated with Bachelor of Arts (Drama).[6] 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.[7]


Walliams performed in the Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audio play Phantasmagoria, written by Mark Gatiss in 1999.

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 United States 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 positive reviews for his portrayal of a suave and dangerous manipulator in Stephen Poliakoff's Capturing Mary.[citation needed]

Walliams 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".[8] Also in 2012, he narrated Are You Having a Laugh? TV and Disability on BBC Two,[9] 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.[10]

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.[11]

For Comic Relief 2015, Walliams appeared as Lou Todd and Stephen Hawking in the Andy Pipkin role along with Catherine Tate as a nun.[12]

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.[13]

In September 2015, Walliams began filming for his BBC sketch show Walliams & Friend, which also starred Joanna Lumley and Morgana Robinson[14] 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. His book, Ratburger, was made into a one-off drama for Sky1.[15]

Britain's Got TalentEdit

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 and 2018, he was recognised at the National Television Awards as Best Judge[16] for his involvement in the series. His chemistry with Simon Cowell on the show has often been praised.

Matt LucasEdit

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.[17] 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. 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. In January 2005 Walliams and Lucas were named the most powerful people in TV comedy by Radio Times.[18]

Their later series was Come Fly with Me, a six-part series airing on BBC One.[19] The first episode was the third most-watched programme of Christmas Day 2010, and the most watched comedy of the year.[20] 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).


On 18 January 2018, Walliams hosted the Presidents Club annual charity fundraising dinner. The event was featured in a Financial Times article on 23 January 2018, where Maddison Marriage, an undercover journalist for the Financial Times who attended the event, explained "Over the course of six hours, many of the hostesses were subjected to groping, lewd comments and repeated requests to join diners in bedrooms elsewhere in the Dorchester... the [charity] auction offer[ed] a hint of the evening's seedier side. Lots included a night at Soho's Windmill strip club and a course of plastic surgery with the invitation to: "Add spice to your wife."[21] Shortly after the article appeared the President Club closed "after being denounced in parliament and disavowed by the charities it supported."[22] On 24 January 2018, Walliams made statements on Twitter about his involvement in the event, in two separate "tweets": "Last Thursday night I hosted the Presidents Club annual charity fundraiser. I agreed to host as it is one of the biggest charity fund raising events of the year. I was there in a strictly professional capacity and not as a guest."[23] and "I left immediately after I had finished my presenting on stage at 11.30pm. I did not witness any of the kind of behaviour that allegedly occurred and am absolutely appalled by the reports."[24]



Year Title Role Channel
1996 Asylum Writer, Various Characters Paramount Comedy Channel
1999 Spaced Vulva, Series 1 Episode 3 'Art' Channel 4
2000 The Strangerers Series 1 Episode 3 – Crunchy Munchy Sky One
Black Books 'He's Leaving Home' – Black Books Customer Channel 4
2000–02 Attachments Jake BBC Two
2003 Eastenders Ray Collins BBC One
2003–08 Little Britain Various roles, writer BBC Three/BBC One
2005–16 Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Himself, 8 episodes ITV
2010–11 Come Fly With Me Various Characters, writer BBC One
2011 Doctor Who Gibbis, episode "The God Complex"
2012 Royal Variety Performance Presenter ITV
2012 Mr Stink Prime Minister, writer; TV Movie BBC One
2012–16 A League of Their Own Guest, 8 episodes Sky One
2012– Britain's Got Talent Judge ITV
2013–14 Big School Mr. Church BBC One
2013 Gangsta Granny Ben's Father, writer; TV Movie
Blandings Rupert Baxter, 2 episodes
2014 The Boy in the Dress Referee, writer; TV Movie
2015 Partners in Crime Thomas "Tommy" Beresford
2015–16 Walliams and Friend Various characters, creator, writer
2016 Royal Variety Performance Presenter ITV
Billionaire Boy Mrs. Trafe, writer; TV Movie BBC One
Blankety Blank Presenter ITV
Revolting Rhymes Various[25] BBC One
David Walliams Celebrates Dame Shirley Bassey Presenter
2017 The Nightly Show Guest presenter, 5 episodes ITV
Ratburger Burt; TV Movie Sky One
Grandpa's Great Escape Bary; TV movie BBC One
2017– Teletubbies Trumpet (voice) CBeebies
2018 Elton John: The Nation's Favourite Song Presenter ITV3


Year Title Role
2004 Shaun of the Dead Voice on TV
2005 Stoned Accountant
2006 A Cock and Bull Story Haas
Marie Antoinette Hairdresser (uncredited)
2007 Run Fatboy Run Customer in Libby's shop
Stardust Sextus
2008 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Bulgy Bear (voice)
Virgin Territory Cart pusher
2010 Dinner for Schmucks Müeller
Marmaduke Anton Harrison
2012 Great Expectations Mr. Pumblechook
2013 Justin and the Knights of Valour Melquiades and Karolius (voice)
2014 Pudsey: The Movie Pudsey (voice)
2019 Missing Link (voice)
Murder Mystery
TBA The Liar Hesketh-Harvey
The Land of Sometimes The Guardian of the Electric Volcano (voice)


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.

Books and adaptationsEdit

of book
Title Book release date Illustrator Pages Film adaptation
release date
Ave. UK viewers
Channel Stage Adaptations
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 World's Worst Children 19 May 2016 268 TBA TBA TBA TBA
10 The Midnight Gang 3 November 2016 478 26 December 2018 TBA BBC One 2018 play
11 The World's Worst Children 2 25 May 2017 286 TBA TBA TBA TBA
12 Bad Dad 2 November 2017 424 TBA TBA TBA TBA
13 The World’s Worst Children 3 29 May 2018 288 TBA TBA TBA TBA
14 The Ice Monster 6 November 2018 496 TBA TBA TBA TBA
Walliams in 2015, reading one of his books to an audience in New Zealand, as part of the WORD Christchurch festival.

In early 2008 Walliams signed a contract with HarperCollins to publish two children's books.[27] 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.[7] 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.[28]

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,[29] 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.[30][31] 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.[30] The book included a 'billion pound note' that was used to enter a competition to win a day as a billionaire in London.[citation needed] 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[32] and was adapted to be a 70-minute film for BBC One and shown on 26 December 2013.[33]

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.[32]

His seventh children's book, Awful Auntie,[34] 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.

In 2015, Walliams backs 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.[35]

He sold £16.57 million worth of books in 2017.[36]


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.[37]

Awards and honoursEdit

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'.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[38] In December 2013 he won the Specsavers National Book Awards "Children's Book of the Year" for Demon Dentist.[39] In December 2014 he won the Specsavers National Book Awards "Children's Book of the Year" for Awful Auntie.[40] Awful Auntie also won the 2014 Specsavers National Book Awards "Audiobook of the Year".[41]

Walliams won the award for Best TV Judge at the 2015 National Television Awards.[42]

He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to charity and the arts.[43]

Sport ReliefEdit

Telethon hostingEdit

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.

Walliams also co-hosted the 2014 Sport Relief telethon. This time, he hosted the earlier slot between 19:00–22:00 with Gary Lineker and later Davina McCall.

Swimming the English ChannelEdit

On 4 July 2006 Walliams swam the English Channel for Sport Relief.[44][45] 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.[46] He raised over £1 million in donations. Under the supervision of his trainer, he trained for nine months to prepare for the swim.[47] 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.[citation needed].

Swimming the Strait of GibraltarEdit

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.[48]


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.[49]

24 Hour Panel PeopleEdit

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.

Swimming the ThamesEdit

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."[50][51][52] The swim resulted in him getting giardiasis and injuring a intervertebral disc.[53] In late 2013, Walliams had emergency back surgery to alleviate issues caused by the swim.[54]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2008, Walliams' father, Peter, died of an aggressive form of liver cancer.[55] In 2009, Walliams began dating Dutch model Lara Stone.[56] 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.[57] On 16 May 2010, the couple were married at central London's Claridge's Hotel.[58][59][60] 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.[61] 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".[62] 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.[63]

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."[64]

Walliams has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder,[65] and described his 2006 swim of the English Channel as "some sort of redemption".[66]



  • Inside Little Britain (with Boyd Hilton and Matt Lucas): London: Ebury Press: 2006: ISBN 0-09-191231-8
  • Camp David (2012)

Children's fictionEdit


The first two novels are illustrated by Quentin Blake, the rest are illustrated by Tony Ross.

Short story collectionsEdit

Illustrated by Tony Ross.

Picture booksEdit

  • 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)
  • There's a Snake in My School! (2016)
  • Boogie Bear (2018)
  • Geronimo (2018)


  • Blob (2017)


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External linksEdit