David Walliams: The Boy in the Dress was “a wish fulfilment fantasy for me”

The creator of the BBC1 Christmas special says the story of a boy going to school dressed as a girl is not autobiographical, but adds that "being different is something to be celebrated"

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David Walliams says that his children’s story about a boy who goes to school dressed as a girl is “in part a wish fulfilment fantasy for me.” 

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The creator of BBC1 Christmas special The Boy in the Dress says that while the story is not autobiographical, he wishes some of the characters in the drama had been a part of his childhood.

“A lot of people ask whether the story is autobiographical,” Walliams said. “No, but the characters and story are in part a wish fulfillment fantasy for me. I would have loved to have met a girl like Lisa when I was 12.”

Lisa, described as “the coolest girl in school”, befriends 12-year-old Dennis and convinces him to come to school disguised as a girl.

The Boy in the Dress is the third of Walliams’s books to be adapted for television – following Mr Stink and Gangsta Granny – and will be shown this Christmas on BBC1. 

Walliams said, “I just had an idea for a story, what would happen if a boy went to school dressed as a girl? I thought it would make a good children’s book as it was a story about children. I wanted it to be about the hypocrisy of grown-ups too, which is so frustrating when you are a child.”

He hoped the family drama would encourage people to “think more about what it is to feel different. And that being different is something to be celebrated.”

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Supermodel and friend of Walliams Kate Moss is among the all-star cast. “Kate Moss is the absolute icing on the cake,” said Walliams. “I love that we have the world’s most famous supermodel in The Boy in the Dress on BBC1 at Christmas.”