By Chris King •
Updated: 27 Nov 2023 • 20:51
Image of comedian and novelist David Walliams.
Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock.com.
A settlement has been reached between the British comedian, actor and novelist David Walliams OBE and Fremantle, the Britain’s Got Talent producer.
Walliams was a judge on the popular television talent show from 2012 until his departure in 2022. He left BGT under a cloud after a transcript of ‘disrespectful’ comments that he made about contestants during filming breaks at the London Palladium in 2020 were leaked to the Guardian newspaper last November.
The 52-year-old apologised for his comments and subsequently sued the production company for the alleged misuse of private information and breach of data protection laws.
According to Sky News, documents released by the High Court last month revealed that Walliams was of the belief that the show’s producers had ‘retained transcripts… of everything he said’.
If that was the case then the company ‘must be the ultimate source’ of the leaks he insisted, leading Walliams to accuse Fremantle of causing him financial loss and psychiatric harm.
The news outlet reported that a draft report from Dr Mark Collins, a retired consultant psychiatrist, was included in the court documents. His report said that the leak had: ‘a profound, severe and, at times, very worrying effect on Walliams’s mental health’.
In his defence, the ‘Little Britain’ star said he assumed that the only time the show’s producers would be recording anything he said was during behind-the-scenes filming or while the contestants were performing.
‘We are pleased that we have achieved an amicable resolution of this dispute with David. We are sincerely sorry that his private conversations when a judge on Britain’s Got Talent were published, and the great distress this caused David’, Fremantle wrote in a statement, news.sky.com reported, citing the PA News agency.
It continued: ‘We have reviewed our production practices on the show to ensure they fully respect the expectations of our talent whilst satisfying the requirements of the show’.
‘We thank David for being an important part of the Britain’s Got Talent family and the enduring success of the show and hope to have opportunities to work with him in the future’, the statement concluded.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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