David Walliams on his Christmas memories and The Boy in the Dress

Walliams still grapples with the trauma of his parents cancelling his stocking, but enjoyed dressing up as a doll

My most traumatic childhood memory of Christmas was when my parents stopped doing stockings for my sister and me at the same time. I said, “Hang on, I’m two years younger than her – it’s not fair!” I’ve never recovered. A lot of what I do now is a cry for help because of that!


I went through a period in my 20s when I didn’t care that much about Christmas, but that changed once I had nephews. It’s very different once you have your own family [he has a baby boy with his wife, model Lara Stone]. It comes full circle. The Boy in the Dress is not about my own childhood. It’s more a fantasy of how I’d have liked my life to have been back then. All children feel like outsiders. Something in their head separates them from others. But I was fortunate as I found some- thing I loved: acting and making people laugh. That was my route to acceptance.

From a young age, my sister would dress me up like a doll in dresses and fur hats. So I had got used to it when I went to an all-boys school and was asked to play a girl in the school play. I got a big dress and big laughs.

My mum made sure I had the best dress because I played the queen. It gave me a taste for the finer things in life!


The Boy in the Dress is on Boxing Day at 6.55pm on BBC1