David Walliams is one of the biggest characters on the Britain’s Got Talent judging panel, and certainly the most outrageous. As he returns to ITV alongside Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden, here is everything you need to know:
David Walliams, 45, is an actor and writer known for Little Britain, Come Fly with Me and Walliams and Friend. He first rose to fame with writing partner Matt Lucas.
On top of that, he’s also written children’s books which have sold more than 12.5 million copies. Several, including Billionaire Boy, have been adapted for TV.
Despite a very busy career, he also found time in 2010 to marry the Dutch model Lara Stone. The couple had a son together in May 2013 but divorced two years later.
Everything you need to know about Britain’s Got Talent 2017
How long has David Walliams been on Britain’s Got Talent?
Alesha Dixon and David took over from David Hasselhoff and Michael McIntyre on the judging panel in 2012 for series six.
He’s getting on better with Simon Cowell…
Simon and David have an antagonistic and competitive relationship, but apparently this series has seen them mellow a bit.
“Simon seems to have been in a really good mood this year,” David says. “Sometimes we just spend the whole time winding each other up and being really competitive but this year Stephen Mulhern actually said we’re like brothers because we’re actually getting on fine.”
For his part, Simon seems resigned to having David in his life. He explains: “I’ve just got to the point now, genuinely, where it’s like having your auntie’s dog, who’s getting on a bit, around you. You go round for tea and the dog starts humping your leg.
“The first couple of years it’s like, ‘Can you please not hump my leg?’, after the third or fourth you’re like, ‘Just get it over with’, and that’s kind of how I feel about David right now.”
Everyone thinks he’s jealous of Ant & Dec
Simon reckons David is “furious” that he’s not got an OBE like Ant and Dec, saying: “He’s gone on an all out assault this year to suck up to as many people as possible so that he can get there before me.”
But David himself is full of compliments, saying:”The OBEs haven’t changed them, they are well deserved, they are so loved and I’m sure they will be knighted one day. Their success will go on forever.”
In fact, he throws it over to Simon Cowell, who apparently thinks he should have a knighthood. “It would be annoying to have to call him Sir Simon, I wouldn’t like that, so I really hope it doesn’t happen.”
He uses Britain’s Got Talent contestants for writing inspiration
David explains: “The great thing about doing this show is that you meet all these really unusual characters and they do feed my imagination when I’m writing a book. There are incredible stories on this show and a lot of the time the contestants come on and I think that their story would make an incredible book or that person would make a good villain in a book.”
He’s looking for someone with entertainment value
Pure talent won’t swing it with David: you have to be entertaining, too.
“Just another person singing a Whitney Houston song, in the style of Whitney Houston, can be boring because we’ve seen that,” he says. “Whereas someone who’s a bit madcap and does something you’ve never seen before can be a lot more entertaining. The good thing is we’ve got the audience behind us all the time, it’s interesting looking at them and seeing what is really grabbing them.
“It’s interesting when someone comes on and has a good voice, does a good, competent version of a pop song, but leaves them cold. Then someone can come on who’s daft and gets them on their feet. That’s what I like about the show. So, for me, entertainment value is more important.”
His golden buzzer act has auditioned before
Ant reveals: “David’s golden buzzer act this year is someone who had previously auditioned, and David had said at the time, ‘Go away and rehearse, as I don’t think you’re ready.'”
Britain’s Got Talent 2017 will begin on Saturday 15 April at 8pm on ITV