He appears on our screens so often, most frequently as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, that it’s easy to forget that David Walliams is also a successful children’s author.
Having adapted many of his children’s books into TV shows, David’s stories are now just as much a part of Christmas as EastEnders and the Queen’s speech.
This year is no different. Following the success of 2017’s Ratburger, Sky’s highest-rated show ever, David has decided to retell the story of Cinderella, revealing what happened after Cinders married her Prince Charming – who turns out to be quite the opposite.
Our sister publication Woman caught up with David to talk about his upcoming Christmas show, and he confessed how learning to dance for Cinderella: After Ever After made him realise why he’ll never do Strictly Come Dancing…
Merry Christmas, David! What’s your favourite thing about the festive period?
I like Christmas Eve best, but I do like that on Christmas Day, you can watch a James Bond film in the morning while eating chocolate. The food element is the
best for me, as you can probably tell, and food rules go out the window on Christmas. You can start eating Quality Street at 9.30am and you’re still eating cheese at 1am. It’s brilliant!
How did your new show Cinderella: After Ever After come about?
Me and the other writers, the Dawson Brothers, had some success on Sky with Ratburger, one of my books, so we wanted to do something different that wasn’t based on one of my books but was still for a family audience. We wanted it to be untraditional. I mean, I play Prince Charming and I’m really too old to play Prince Charming, so forgive me!
Was your Prince Charming based on anyone? Simon Cowell, perhaps?
Actually, Simon would make a good Prince Charming. He actually is charming to everybody most of the time, but then he goes back home and lies down in his coffin! He’s always been charming to my mum, quite flirtatious actually. My mum baked him a cake and he was very flirtatious with her, and she was very, very excited. For some inexplicable reason, women like him.
There is a scene in which you dance to MC Hammer’s Can’t Touch This…
People always ask me when I’m going to do Strictly and I found out the answer is never. I realised I am one of the world’s worst dancers. We had a choreographer who told me there’s only two people who are worse dancers than me, and it’s Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth, which isn’t bad company.
Why did you choose Cinderella?
It’s probably one of the most famous fairy tales and we felt there was quite a lot of story left to tell. I feel now people are more likely to question whether it’s a good idea to meet someone at a ball and immediately marry them if their name is Charming! I would like to do more of these Ever After films, as well as books, so this could turn into a bigger thing if this goes down well.
Who are your comedy heroes?
Myself. No, Peter Sellers was really special to me growing up. Or Peter Kay is a real hero. When you spend time with him in person, it’s exhausting after a while, because he’s so relentlessly funny and it’s like you’re having your own stand-up show.
What was it like getting your OBE?
It was quite a long day – you’ve got to sit through lots of other people getting their awards. But I got to take my mum and that’s all I really wanted, for my mum to enjoy the day out, so that was nice.
Are you hoping Cinderella: After Ever After beats Ratburger in the ratings?
I think the thing is, kids like to see things again and again, so people tell me that their kid has watched Ratburger every day over half term. My son has asked to watch The Aristocats twice in one day before! It’s also nice to do something for kids that has a bit of an edge to it for the grown-ups too.
Cinderella: After Ever After will be shown over Christmas on Sky One