New Heroes of Comedy
The programme, New Heroes of Comedy follows how modern day comedians became famous. Tonight’s programme focussed on the highly successful double act of Matt Lucas and David Walliams. Although they are known for Little Britain (a version of which is now being made for US television), it has been a long journey to become successful as they initially had some trouble getting programmes made.
David Williams (his birth name) grew up in Surrey, where his sister used to dress him up like a doll! He got involved in acting at an early age and joined the National Youth Theatre. David met Matt Lucas in a Shakespeare production and they found that they both were fans of comedy.
David went to University and starred in theatre productions there. He was forced by Equity to change his name and became David Walliams.
Matt Lucas started to establish himself as the British eccentric and rather lewd man that was Sir Bernard Cholmondley.
By 1995, Matt and David decided that two comedy performers was better than one. Matt was becoming popular on “Shooting Stars” as the overgrown baby, George Dawes. He did not forget his friend in this as David appeared occasionally on the show , for example as “Soft Alan”. David was also carving out a career for himself as an actor appearing in The Sunday Show, Attachments and Casualty.
Although successful as solo artists, Matt and David were struggling as two attempts at sketch shows failed. Although “Sir Bernard” got his own series on the BBC, the programme also failed.
The duo did have some success on a cheap shown on UKplay called “Rock Profiles”. The programme obtained cult status for its portrayal of the likes of Barry Gibb (half Bee Gee and half lion); Elton John and “my partner David Furnish” and Howard and Gary from Take That.
In 2001, Matt and David came up with a Radio 4 show of Little Britain which propelled them to success.