Who is David Walliams? Future of Britain’s Got Talent judge is ‘up in the air’

David Walliams was reportedly recorded making derogatory remarks and sexually explicit comments about participants auditioning for the show at the London Palladium in January 2020 (Ian West/PA Archive)
David Walliams was reportedly recorded making derogatory remarks and sexually explicit comments about participants auditioning for the show at the London Palladium in January 2020 (Ian West/PA Archive)

David Walliams’ future on Britains Got Talent is no longer guaranteed and is “very much up in the air” following the judge’s apology for inappropriate remarks about contestants.

The Sun newspaper said Walliams, who has been a judge on the show since 2012, will be leaving. Although there’s been no official confirmation, a spokesperson for Britain’s Got Talent told PA news agency: “The judging panel for Britain’s Got Talent 2023 will be announced in due course.

“It’s still very much up in the air at the moment on whether David is going to take part in next year’s show. No decision, though, has been made as yet.”

Who is Walliams and what has he allegedly said about contestants?

Who is David Walliams?

David Walliams, 51, is a comedian, actor and writer best known for his work with Matt Lucas on the BBC series Little Britain and Come Fly With Me.

Walliams and Lucas first met when they were both performing with the National Youth Theatre in 1990 and have remained close since.

Born in Wimbledon, Walliams grew up in Surrey and was educated at Reigate Grammar School in Surrey, where he was a contemporary of writer Robert Shearman.

He studied at the University of Bristol, where he resided at Manor Hall and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in drama.

The actor changed his name to David Walliams when he joined college Equity (the trade union for the entertainment industries) as there was already a member named David Williams.

He has been a judge on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent since 2012. Other shows Walliams has been involved in include Mr Stink, Big School and Cruise of the Gods.

He is also a writer of children’s books, such as Gangsta Granny and Billionaire Boy, and has sold more than 37 million copies worldwide.

Walliams was previously married to Dutch model Lara Stone, from 2010 until 2015. Together they have a son named Alfred, who was born in 2013.

The actor was given awarded a OBE in 2017 for his fundraising efforts, after becoming the oldest person to swim the English Channel and raising millions for charity in the process.

What did David Walliams allegedly say?

The Guardian first reported that Walliams used derogatory and sexually explicit terms, referring to one contestant as a “c***” and saying of another: “She thinks you want to f*** her, but you don’t.”

The comments were made at the London Palladium on January 2020 according to the leaked transcript published by the newspaper.

Walliams replied to the claim in a statement, saying: “These were private conversations and – like most conversations with friends – were never intended to be shared. Nevertheless, I am sorry.”

ITV said that it did not condone the language and had “spoken to the producers” about the incident.

The comedian has also faced several controversies during the Little Britain days. Walliams and Lucas were known for portraying characters of different races during their sketches - using blackface.

The BBC removed Little Britain from its service in 2020 citing that “times have changed”.