Hay Festival: David Walliams ‘would have become a teacher’ if he hadn’t been a TV star
If the actor and children’s author David Walliams hadn’t become famous, he would have preferred to become a teacher.
The Little Britain star said the experience of being in a classroom as a boy with several inspiring teachers stuck with him his entire adult life.
Speaking at the Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye, Walliams said: “I think I would love to be a teacher because teachers, you can play – and if you are a fun or inspiring teacher, you are never forget it.
“I had this brilliant English teacher in school who did this brilliant thing. At the end of the lesson, he would begin to tell us a story.
“He said, ‘There was this knight in a castle and one night he committed this murder…” At the end, he said, “And that’s the story of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth”.
“It was such a smart idea because if he’d started by saying he was going to tell us the story of this Shakespeare play, we would have said, ‘Boring.’
“He was so inspiring, and his name was Patrick Carpmael, and I loved him and I still love him today.
“Teachers like this who encouraged me to read and write will stay with me forever.
“You never forget a great teacher and you don’t need so many great teachers in your life or those you have a connection with who inspire you.”
Williams was speaking at the famous Central Wales Literary Festival ahead of the publication of his new book Megamonster, which he was inspired to write following a conversation with his eight-year-old son.
“My son kept talking about a mega-monster and saying what if there was a monster made up of a whole bunch of different monsters called the mega-monster and I thought it was a great idea, ”he says.
“We started talking about it and he gave me some ideas. I had so much fun writing it and wanted to make it as fun as possible.
Walliams launched his successful television career in partnership with Matt Lucas, and since then he has served as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent and has written numerous children’s books.
When asked if he would rather write or be on TV, Walliams said: “The problem with writing is that it’s a bit more of a slog because you’re on your own and you don’t. not get the immediate buzz you get when you play.
“I think that sense of pride when you are given the book is greater because it’s a physical thing – ‘I wrote that.'”
Walliams described seeing his name on his very first published book, The Boy In The Dress, as “magical” as he was portrayed by Sir Quentin Blake, who is well known for his collaborations with Roald Dahl.
“When Quentin showed me the blanket, I had tears in my eyes and I was sitting there talking to this person who had been such a hero to me,” Walliams said.
“I felt very moved when I received the book. Books are beautiful and are things to be cherished.
“You do a TV show and you get a DVD, that’s OK, but it’s not… a book is kind of eternal, like TV isn’t.
“It was a real, a real thrill and I couldn’t wait to give the book to everyone I knew.”
Walliams said it was important to visit children in schools and encourage them to read books and think about writing their own stories.
“I am delighted that the children enjoy reading my books and I think it is a responsibility,” he said.
“Some adults tell me kids who don’t like to read very much until they read one of mine.
“I hope they will continue to read other authors. Getting children to read is very important. ”