David Edward Williams (born 20 August 1971), known professionally as David Walliams, is an English comedian, actor, writer, and television personality. He is best known for his partnership with Matt Lucas on the BBC One sketch comedy shows Little Britain (2003-2007) and Come Fly With Me (2010). Since 2012, he has been a judge on the ITV talent show Britain’s Got Talent. He is also a writer of children’s books, having sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.
Walliams was born in the London Borough of Merton and grew up in Surrey. He was educated at Reigate Grammar School in Reigate, before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Drama) from the University of Bristol. He began performing with the National Youth Theatre in the 1990s, where he met his comedy partner Matt Lucas. From 2003 to 2007, Walliams co-wrote and co-starred in three series of the BBC sketch show Little Britain alongside Lucas. The programme first aired on BBC Three before moving to the more mainstream BBC One, being deemed a critical success and hit with viewing figures.
Since 2012 Walliams has been a judge on the ITV talent show Britain’s Got Talent alongside Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Simon Cowell. In 2015, 2018, and 2019, he was recognised at the National Television Awards as Best Judge for his involvement in the series. Walliams 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. His other acting credits include scenes in the Stephen Poliakoff film Capturing Mary in 2007.
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. Seven of his books have been adapted into television films. Walliams was awarded an OBE, for his services to charity and the arts, in 2017. His charity work includes swimming the English Channel, Strait of Gibraltar and River Thames, raising millions of pounds for the BBC charity Sport Relief.