David Walliams

The stands of Chelsea football ground are not the most likely place for love to blossom. Yet that's where David Walliams fell for the smouldering blonde who is now his wife, sending her dozens of bouquets soon after the final whistle blew.

The glamazon who caught his eye is supermodel Lara Stone and the pair wed in 2010 eight months after their first date.

Their celebration was a James Bond-themed affair; guests included Elton John, Fearne Cotton, Tess Daly, Richard and Judy, Tom Ford, Russell Brand, Stephen Fry and Geri Halliwell, among others. During the toast to the bride and groom, Lara, a former alcoholic, opted for popcorn instead of the traditional champagne.

His life has always had a larger-than-life, wacky feel. He was born David Williams on 20 August 1971 in Merton, South West London. The name change came about when the budding entertainer joined actors' trade union Equity and found there was someone else called exactly the same as him.

David spent his childhood listening to Rowan Atkinson albums and practising comedy routines.

Aged 19, he joined the National Youth Theatre where he met writing partner Matt Lucas and got a job as a writer for the Ant & Dec Show. Studying drama at Bristol University led to another creative friendship with actor Simon Pegg.

In 2003, he and Matt got their big break with Little Britain, the sketch show they devised together.

For the next few years the nation was transfixed by characters such as West Country chav Vicky Pollard, Eddie 'Emily' Howard, an entirely unconvincing transvestite and Sebastian Love, a prime ministerial aide de camp, with a huge crush on his boss.

Their antics were as hilarious as they were painful to watch. And the show's catchphrases entered the language. You would have to live in a distant galaxy not to have heard someone say: "Computer says no", "I'm the only gay in the village" or "Yeah, but no, but yeah but." 

Despite this success the Litte Britain creator has battled depression and feelings of self-loathing since childhood, admitting to "really dark thoughts, self-destructive thoughts" which he countered through his tirelessly inventive output and hectic social life.

"I can't stand being on my own," explained David. "I hate it. I have a pathological fear of being on my own."

He channelled these feelings into a portrayal of Frankie Howerd, the late comedian, who also suffered from depression, as part of BBC4's Curse of Comedy series.

His career also encompasses movies (Run, Fat Boy, Run with his Bristol buddy Simon and Great Expections with Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes) and children's books (five titles, some illustrated by Quentin Blake).

One of his novels aimed at teens and pre-teens, The Billionaire Boy was about a youngster who has his own Formula One car and thousands of trainers, but no friends. Meanwhile, Gangsta Granny followed a retired jewel thief who recruits her grandson for one last job. 

Another form of relief came through extreme sporting challenges. In 2006, he swam the English Channel in aid of Sports Relief, raising over £1 million in donations.

He finished in an impressive time of 10 hours and 24 minutes and described the feat as "a sort of redemption" and "something I could be proud about".   

David also joined a team of celebrities cycling end-to-end in Britain and took on two further swims  – across the Straits of Gibraltar in 2008 and down the entire length of the Thames three years later. 

In the river, the comic genius picked up a back injury and an infection caused by a water-borne parasite. Undeterred, he made plans for a new adventure with Man vs. Wild star Bear Grylls.

At this point his wife put her pretty foot down. "It was only scaling a rock face, but Lara got really upset and said no..." said David.

The couple adore one another. Lara describes her husband as "a proper gentleman" and is tickled by his sense of humour." "I can be in such a cranky mood and then he makes me laugh. He is super-funny".

For his part, smitten David told a British magazine: "If you're talking about the many faces of David Walliams, the one when I'm most comfortable in my skin is when I'm sitting at home on the sofa with my wife, watching The X Factor."

"When you're with someone you love, you feel blissfully calm."

In May 2013, life became even sweeter when Lara gave birth to their first child, a baby boy.
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