BBC pulls funding from David Walliams project after X-rated comments on BGT

BBC pulls funding from David Walliams project after X-rated comments on BGT

The BBC has reportedly pulled funding from a project involving David Walliams, following his inappropriate comments on Britain's Got Talent, according to High Court documents.

The comedian claims the Corporation withdrew money for an animated series of his 2011 book Gangsta Granny due to "negative publicity", Daily Mirror reported. This is part of his £10million legal fight with BGT production company Fremantle.

David, 52, left the ITV show last November after explicit off-screen remarks about contestants leaked. He says he was unaware they may have been recorded and transcribed, and that Fremantle broke data protection rules.

But sources point to the fact that in April 2018, BGT announced all cameras "would now be rolling 24/7".

The BBC has adapted seven of the star's best-selling children's books in the past 11 years. The most recent was last December's Gangsta Granny Strikes Again, starring Walliams, Sheridan Smith, Kevin Bishop and Griff Rhys Jones.

The Gangsta Granny series is in development but yet to be commissioned by the BBC. It was able to secure extra funding, as well as the BBC's initial contribution, which predated the BGT row.

BBC sources declined to say whether it would be commissioned or not. But insiders close to David insist the series is going into production soon and will be broadcast on the BBC.

"David remains the best-selling children's author in the UK and the animation is progressing as expected," a source close to the star said.

His lawyer has submitted documents stating that other non-BBC adaptations of his books have been cancelled.

The documents also suggest that "schools, libraries and shops have removed his books" following the leaks, leading to a drop in his sales and royalties income. Fremantle expressed its hope to "resolve the matter amicably", but stated it would "robustly defend" itself if necessary.

OK! has approached BBC Studios for comment.

David also says he had suicidal thoughts after his leaked remarks were made public. The documents reportedly details of a draft report by Dr Mark Collins, a retired consultant psychiatrist and practicing psychotherapist, who has treated David.

It said the leak of the transcript had “a profound, severe and, at times, very worrying effect on (David’s) mental health.”

Dr Collins also said that David “is plagued by uncontrollable negative thoughts”, including “active suicidal thoughts” and revealed he is “on heavier doses of medication than at any time during my being his consultant psychiatrist”.

* This article was crafted with the help of an AI engine, which speeds up OK!'s editorial research and applies it to article templates created by journalists in our newsrooms. An OK! editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors to [email protected]

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