Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Gambon inspired Walliams character

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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Wanderlust may be too powerful to resist. Planning a long holiday will be a pleasant diversion from work. You don't have to have fancy accommodation. You're willing to rough it for an adventure, but you do want to get good value for your money. Doing some research into the best places to stay and eat will pay off handsomely. Take along a friend who is free spirited and eager to explore unfamiliar vistas. The two of you will make great travelling companions.More