David Walliams says he 'lost ability to be funny' in £10m BGT lawsuit
David Walliams claims he ‘lost his ability to be funny’ in £10million Britain’s Got Talent lawsuit after ‘bosses leaked star’s foul-mouthed rant about contestant
David Walliams believes he has lost his ability to be funny after being forced off Britain’s Got Talent, his £10million lawsuit against its makers has revealed.
The best-selling children’s author and Little Britain star, 52, was caught calling an elderly contestant a ‘c***’ during a break in filming for BGT.
According to High Court court papers obtained by The Sun, David has also told how he is fighting ‘active suicidal thoughts’ and has ‘lost the ability to be funny’ due to fears about his comments being leaked without his consent.
Walliams has accused tv giant Fremantle of carrying out a data breach. Freemantle says it is saddened by the case but insists it is ‘prepared to defend itself robustly’ in court if necessary.
Claims: David Walliams has reportedly suffered suicidal thoughts and lost his ability to be funny since being dropped from Britain’s Got Talent, where he claims his mic was kept on all day, court papers have revealed
Drama: He was also heard calling a female contestant a ‘slightly boring girl you meet in the pub that thinks you want to f*** them, but you don’t’. Comedian Clare Harrison Mccartney (pictured in 2020) later claimed these comments were about her, but producers denied it
The High Court writ reportedly sees David accuse Fremantle of recording, transcribing and retaining private conversations for ten years.
He has reportedly alleged that his microphone was kept on and recorded throughout the entire day during filming, including when he went to the toilet.
According to The Sun, his lawyers claimed in the 21-page document: ‘The Claimant (Walliams) now understands that, unknown to him at the time, his microphone was kept on and recording throughout the whole filming day, including breaks, during his whole tenure as a judge on the show.’
It has been alleged Fremantle produced and retained transcripts of the audio recordings, which David claims included private information with ‘no relevance to production’ – such as conversations about his marriage, sex life and family disputes.
The transcripts reportedly amounted to 1,700 hours of audio recordings across ten years, as well as 41,526 hours of visual recordings from 191 days of filming.
A copy of the transcripts was allegedly also made available to Simon Cowell’s co-producer firm Syco upon request, but a source told The Sun that none were ever requested.
‘All four judges would regularly make jokes using rude and/or sexual language: that was the culture among the judges on the show,’ his lawyers reportedly claimed.
They claimed the judges made such jokes to keep themselves amused during long days of filming and never intended for the remarks to be made public, as they were ‘private conversations among adult friends’.
David is reportedly seeking £1million he stood to get from Britain’s Got Talent, as well as £1.7million in lost earnings and £3.4million covering future losses for at least two years – totalling £6.1million.
Court case: David (pictured in 2019) has reportedly accused London-based Fremantle, which produces the reality series for ITV , of an unlawful data protection breach
But sources reportedly claimed this could rise to as much as £10million as David is said to be seeking unspecified damages for psychiatric harm, distress and upset, the loss of control over his private information, and legal costs.
David’s earnings reportedly dropped from £3.7million in 2022 to just £101,800 in the initial five months of 2023, according to the court papers seen by The Sun.
The lawsuit reportedly claims that David’s reputation and career were destroyed by the Britain’s Got Talent fallout, and tells how he has suffered from ‘severe depression including suicidal thoughts’.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Mark Collins reportedly said in a report that the leak of the transcripts has ‘had a profound, severe and, at times, very worrying effect on his mental health’, with David suffering with sleep problems and negative thoughts.
Fremantle told The Sun: ‘We had a long and productive relationship with David and so are surprised and saddened by this legal action.
‘For our part, we remain available and open to dialogue to resolve this matter amicably.
‘However, in the interim, we will examine the various allegations and are prepared to robustly defend ourselves if necessary.’
MailOnline has contacted Fremantle, Syco and Simon and David’s representatives for comment.
David, who is said to have paid a legal fee of £10,569, left Britain’s Got Talent last November, two weeks after he was caught calling an elderly contestant a ‘c***’ during a break in filming.
He was also heard disparaging a female contestant, calling her a ‘slightly boring girl you meet in the pub that thinks you want to f*** them, but you don’t’.
Fallout: David (pictured in 2022) also reportedly said he is fighting ‘active suicidal thoughts’ and has ‘lost the ability to be funny’ due to fears about his comments being leaked
Comedian Clare Harrison Mccartney later claimed these comments were about her and branded David a ‘sad misogynist’, but producers denied the remarks were aimed at her.
Bruno Tonioli later took over from him as a judge on the talent show, signing a big money deal.
A source told The Sun about David’s decision to leave at the time: ‘He hasn’t taken the decision lightly, but it just feels like time to move on.’
‘David has decided to bow out after a ten-year run. He wants to leave on a high after a wonderful time.
READ MORE HERE: Comedian claims she was target of ‘misogynist’ BGT judge who joked she was ‘boring’ but ‘wanted to f**k him’
‘His team have quietly been having conversations over the past few days where it has been made clear that David is readying himself to step down – and then producers will start to think about who might replace him.’
But court papers lodged at the High Court in London in September saw David accuse the firm of data protection breach over the leaked transcript, which prompted a swift end to ten-year-long stint as a judge on the show.
While David is not suing the programme’s boss Simon, it is understood that there is now ‘some distance’ between the two men, according to sources close to them both.
The star has hired legal company Brandsmiths, who specialise in data protection breaches.
Reports last year claimed that David quit BGT after the lewd and rude comments which he made during filming the show at the London Palladium in 2020 were exposed.
But sources at the time suggested he was actually pushed after a crisis management team was drafted in by Fremantle to manage the scandal which led to the former Little Britain comic apologising.
The comments, made in January 2020 during auditions at the London Palladium, were picked up on the programme’s microphones.
He and his lawyers argued at the time that they were private conversations that were never intended for broadcast, but two weeks later he was ousted.
Fallout: The comedian (pictured in June 2022), 52, left the ITV show in November 2021, two weeks after he was caught calling an elderly contestant a ‘c***’ during a break in filming
In one incident, an older performer engaged in light-hearted banter with the judges in which he made a jibe about Walliams, an expose by The Guardian claimed.
After the audition, the pensioner left, after which Walliams is said to have described him as a ‘c**t’ three times.
In a separate incident, after a female contestant had walked off stage, Walliams remarked: ‘She’s like the slightly boring girl you meet in the pub that thinks you want to f*** them, but you don’t.’ He later added: ‘I know, she’s just like: ‘Oh, f*** off!’ I was saying, she thinks you want to f*** her, but you don’t.
‘It’s the last thing on your mind, but she’s like: ‘Yep, I bet you do!’
‘No I don’t! I had a bit of a b***r, but now it’s going, it’s now shrivelled up inside my body.’
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