Belfast Telegraph

Friday 6 March 2015

Gambon inspired Walliams character

David Walliams' book Mr Stink is being made into a TV show
David Walliams' book Mr Stink is being made into a TV show

David Walliams has said the smelly tramp character in his children's book Mr Stink was inspired in part by Harry Potter star Sir Michael Gambon.

The Little Britain star told the Radio Times he started writing the book while appearing on stage with Sir Michael.

He said: "He's very lovable and eccentric, so I heard his voice in my head when I was writing it.

"But it came out of a story a friend told me. When he was a kid, he used to see an old lady on the street every day when he was on his way to school. And one day his mum pulled over to pick up this old lady, and she absolutely stank. They never gave her a lift again. So it got me thinking: how much could you love someone that really smells?"

The story of David's young heroine Chloe who befriends a whiffy tramp has been a best-seller and is being filmed for the BBC with Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville in the lead role.

The cast also includes Sheridan Smith and Johnny Vegas, while David will make an appearance playing the prime minister after notably playing a fawning aide to the PM in his hit comedy Little Britain.

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