Entertainment & Arts

David Walliams 'gets most pleasure' from writing

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Media captionDavid Williams tells Radio 4's Today about the new staged adaptation of one of his books

David Walliams has said writing children's books is "definitely the thing that gives me most pleasure".

The comedian made his name alongside Matt Lucas in the BBC sketch show Little Britain and is a judge on Britain's Got Talent.

But he has achieved phenomenal success with his nine novels, including The Boy in the Dress and Gangsta Granny.

"I should really give up comedy and just concentrate on children's books because it is so rewarding," he said.

Walliams's books have sold more than 14 million copies around the world and been translated into almost 50 languages.

Nonetheless, he admitted he felt under pressure venturing into the world of literature.

"It's actually rather a big responsibility that children are picking up your books," he told the BBC.

"They have got to be good. And then you've got this audience and you think, 'I've got to write more and more'.

"I get tweets the day the new book comes out saying, 'Yes I've read that one, when is the next one?'"

Image copyright Tony Ross
Image caption The First Hippo on the Moon was released in 2014

One of his picture books for very young children, The First Hippo on the Moon, is now being adapted for the stage by Les Petits Theatre Company.

It will receive its world premiere at The Royal Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne in December before going on a nationwide tour.

It tells the tale of two big hippos with one big dream - to make it into space.

Walliams even makes a guest appearance in the stage production.

"My voice does appear in the show as an on-board computer," he explained.

Image caption David Walliams and Matt Lucas created and appeared in Little Britain

The story is being brought to life using puppets, and Walliams has fond memories of his own childhood favourites, Sooty and Sweep, The Muppets and, especially, Basil Brush.

"I'd really like to work with Basil Brush," he revealed. "I just thought he was so funny. I feel Basil Brush should be back on television."

Walliams's best-known comedy partner is Matt Lucas - the pair became friends after meeting at the National Youth Theatre in 1990 and found fame on BBC Three's Pop Profiles and then Little Britain.

But they have not appeared together since 2011. Walliams said the pair were still in touch and had not fallen out. And he said he was "sure" they would collaborate again "at some stage".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Walliams serves as a judge on ITV's Britain's Got Talent

"There's always an interesting thing about reunions isn't there?" he pondered. "Timing it right. If you get it exactly right, like Take That, you become a big thing. But if you do it too soon, it cannot make any impact.

"It's an interesting thing when you come back together. Are you doing something nostalgic for people who liked your shows from 10 years ago? Or are you trying to do something new?

"Its quite an intense thing working with someone for a very long time, and it's quite healthy to be able to do your own things and then come back together when you think the time is right."

Walliams returns to UK television screens on Friday in his first sketch show since Little Britain ended eight years ago.

Walliams and Friend sees him joined by a different celebrity each week.

He has also just been announced as the first guest host of ITV's new nightly entertainment show, which will launch in 2017.

But he is also hard at work on his next children's book, which will be published on World Book Day, 2 March, 2017.


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