Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Humanitarian of the Week: David Walliams

Known as the taller half of the comedic team of Walliams and Lucas, David Walliams has achieved great fame and success playing characters such as Emily Howard, Ann, Desiree DeVere, Sebastian Love, Lou Todd and Des Kaye on the hit BBC television program, Little Britain. Little Britain seemed to quickly become a sensation in the U.K. However, Matt Lucas and David Walliams toiled many an hour to bring the show to television. The two met as young men at a theater camp and a lifelong friendship and artistic collaboration followed.

Walliams and Lucas
When not wearing a dress or fawning over the “Prime Minister,” David Walliams devotes a considerable amount of his time and energy to charitable works. Along with Matt Lucas, Walliams has performed for “Comic Relief” benefits on numerous occasions. His most impressive efforts, however, came from furthering his long-time passion for swimming.

During the stressful run of Little Britain Live—the wildly successful and long-awaited traveling stage version of their hit television show—Walliams volunteered to swim the English Channel to raise money for Sport Relief (part of Comic Relief which provides services for people in the U.K. who are suffering from poverty). Despite their rigorous rehearsal and performance schedule, Walliams trained for nine months to swim the channel. He completed the swim of twenty-two miles in 10 hours and 34 minutes. In doing so, he raised over one million British pounds for Sports Relief. His triumph is recorded in the documentary, Little Britain’s Big Swim.

Walliams as "Emily Howard,"
the "rubbish transvestite."
In 2008, Walliams once again donated his efforts to Sport Relief when he swam the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain to Morocco in a little over four and a half hours. Again, through his efforts, a considerable amount of money was raised for the foundation Walliams’ work to raise funds to contribute to the dignity and quality of life of people in the U.K. make him this week’s “Humanitarian of the Week.”


Anonymous said...

Great article, but you missed a few things on David:

This year he did non stop coast to coast bike ride for Sport Relief, he really suffered on that.

He finances an Indian family (gave them a house, pays their rent,) that used to live on the street.

No matter how busy he is he always visits the wounded soldiers and sick children in hospital several times a month.

Joseph said...

Thank you for adding those facts! I had forgotten about the bike ride. Your input is much appreciated.