David Walliams: ‘More focus needed on children’s mental health’

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David Walliams: ‘More focus needed on children’s mental health’

The popular comedian and author called for effort to break down mental health stigma in conversation with Jewish young people

David Walliams, speaking at a JLGB Virtual event last night
David Walliams, speaking at a JLGB Virtual event last night

Comedian David Walliams called for greater action on children’s mental health as he addressed an audience of Jewish young people last night.

Speaking at a virtual event hosted by Jewish youth charity JLGB, Walliams urged youngsters struggling with their mental health to speak to someone and not suffer in silence.

The actor also spoke of his admiration for Jewish people and the community – pointing out that his favourite comedians were Jewish.

“It’s a difficult subject for people to talk about, it’s still quite taboo,” he said, when asked if there was enough focus on children’s mental health throughout the pandemic.

“If you are feeling down, you have got to tell people about that, because there’s always people who love and care about you who’ll want to make right and want to help you.

“And sometimes you just need someone to listen. But I don’t think there’s enough focus on it, I don’t know whether it’s because we’re British and we’re all buttoned-up.”

Children from across the community took turns to ask the popular author questions relating to his work and life – with Walliams saying: “I always feel like I wished I was Jewish, because some of my favourite comedians are Jewish including Matt Lucas.

“I’ve always had a very strong connection with the Jewish community. I’m obsessed with Mel Brooks as well, who I think of as a God of comedy.

“I’ve always loved Jewish humour and Jewish people and the culture.”

He revealed that his latest book, which is currently being written, should be out in the summer-time. 

Among those asking questions was Isabella, “who stayed up extra late” to speak to Walliams, asking him whether he would ever make a sketch show for children – as she is not allowed to watch Little Britain.

“There’s a few bits and pieces you might be able to watch! Some of it is rude,” he said. “A sketch show for kids is a good idea. I’ll go away and think about that Isabella.”

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