English comedian and actor
Date of Birth: 20 August 1971
Age: 51 years old
David Edward Williams, known professionally as David Walliams, is an English comedian, actor, writer, and television personality. He is best known for his work with Matt Lucas on the BBC sketch comedy series 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 37 million copies worldwide.
Walliams played the role of Greville White in the 2007 television drama film Capturing Mary. From 2013 to 2014, he wrote and starred in the BBC One sitcom Big School. In 2015, he starred as Tommy Beresford in the BBC drama series Partners in Crime, and wrote and starred in his own sketch comedy series Walliams & Friend. Walliams has won the award for Best TV Judge for his work on Britain's Got Talent at the 2015, 2018 and the 2020 National Television Awards.
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, which he has also appeared in, including Mr Stink (2012), Gangsta Granny (2013) and Billionaire Boy (2016).
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 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.
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.
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 2017, Walliams, along with Rochelle Humes, were both confirmed as Voice Trumpets, joining the existing cast of Daniel Rigby, Antonia Thomas, Jim Broadbent, Fearne Cotton and Jane Horrocks In series 2 of the reboot of classic British children's television series Teletubbies.
In October 2019, Walliams became the new National Television Awards (NTAs) host for 2020, taking over after Dermot O'Leary's ten year presenting stint.
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