Stoke & Staffordshire

David Walliams links up with Alton Towers theme park

David Walliams
Image caption David Walliams has written children's novels, short story collections and picture books

Characters from David Walliams' children's books are to be brought to life at Alton Towers theme park in Staffordshire.

A new ride will be created around his stories, which cover 12 novels, short story collections and picture books.

Construction work has begun on the attractions, which are due to open in 2020.

Tourism academic Carol Southall said branding tie-ups like this were becoming more popular and lucrative.

Walliams, who is also an actor and comedian, tweeted that details of the rides would be revealed soon.

The park said it had been collaborating with the best-selling author, developing ideas for the project to be created around the existing Cloud Cuckoo Land area of the resort.

"It's a huge thrill for some of my favourite characters to be getting their own attractions at Alton Towers," Walliams said.

"I can't wait to experience them for myself, and from all the work that has gone in I think people are going to love it.

"All will be revealed next year."

Image copyright Alton Towers
Image caption The park and Walliams are benefitting from the 'commerciality of books', tourism academic Carol Southall says

Ms Southall, senior lecturer at Staffordshire University, which offers a degree course to students wanting to learn about the theme park, said: "It's about capitalising on popularity and recognising the commerciality of books and films.

"He is known by young adults and children of a certain age and you have CBeebies Land at the park for little children and then the bigger rides so he can fill a gap for that age."

The move follows a Gruffalo-themed ride at Chessington World of Adventures and internationally, a Harry Potter theme park opening in California in 2014.

James Walker, marketing director at the park, said Walliams' books "have really captured the imagination of Britain's children and their families".

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