As part of Beano’s 80th Birthday celebrations, comedian and prolific children’s author David Walliams guest-edits and stars in the commemorative issue of the world’s longest running comic!
The special issue, on sale on July 25th, immortalises David in the comic strip alongside the ‘Bash Street Kids’ and characters from his best-selling children’s books, ‘The World’s Worst Children’.
The comic will also feature Moe; a brand-new character exclusively created by Walliams, who debuts in a new strip called ‘Moe’s Monkey Feet’. Loosely based on the comedian’s son, the story sees Moe using his amazingly dextrous feet to play pranks on other notorious Beano characters.
As well as writing his own comic strips, David commissioned a special BeanoTown adventure, featuring legendary characters Dennis & Gnasher, Minnie the Minx and Bananaman, who all team up to defeat an out-of-this-world visitor. The strip also nods to the comic’s 80 years of success, by including iconic characters like Lord Snooty, Tin-Can Tommy and Pansy Potter.
To accommodate all of David Walliams’ ideas, extra paper had to be ordered so the birthday issue could be expanded into a 44-page bumper edition. The special celebratory front cover sees Walliams himself appearing in Beano form, with Dennis, Minnie the Minx, Gnasher and David’s beloved dog Bert.
Writing in the Editor’s letter, Walliams said: “What I always loved about the Beano was that it felt naughty. It was a comic that you should read under the duvet with a torchlight. I don’t think I’d have got into writing my books without Beano. When coming up with characters for my TV shows and books, I’d imagine them all as larger than life characters, much like the ones in Beano. The comic is quintessentially British and as long as there are children who like to laugh there will always be a place for the Beano.”
He added: “I was thrilled to be invited to guest-edit the Beano, I felt rather giddy sitting in the Editor’s chair helping to create storylines and introduce my new character to the comic’s fanbase. As an official member of the Fan Club, as a child I’d wear my Dennis and Gnasher badges with such pride, so it’s great to hear that it’s making an overdue comeback! All that’s left for me to say is Happy Birthday to the best comic in the world!”
Emma Scott, CEO of Beano Studios said: “It’s fantastic to work with David Walliams for our 80th Birthday bash – he’s brilliantly Beano – embodying the daft and rebellious nature which for 80 years has entertained kids and parents alike. On its 80th Birthday, Beano is more relevant than ever, spreading much needed cheekiness and inspiring kids to just embrace being kids, whether it’s on our award-winning Beano.com, in our hit TV shows and the world-record breaking comic. Here’s to the next 80 years!”
David Walliams guest-edited the celebratory issue in exchange for a donation to YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity fighting for young people’s mental health. Beano Studios is supporting YoungMinds’ work to engage children about their mental health across its platforms. The 80th anniversary comic also sees the debut of another new character, called Mandi. Developed with YoungMinds, Mandi’s story sees her encounter everyday issues that can create anxiety or stress in children.
The 80th Birthday edition of the Beano with David Walliams is available in shops from Wednesday 25th July
For more information please contact Georgina Vincent on firstname.lastname@example.org/ 0208 206 5151
NOTES TO EDITORS
Further information about Beano:
The children’s comic was first published by DC Thomson in July 1938 and is still put together in its original Dundee headquarters. The Beano comic continues to print in the UK, producing 75,000 comics every week. The brand reaches over 5m fans a month on its digital network, centred around multi-award winning Beano.com, featuring the hottest trends and most-loved content in a kid safe environment – from mad dance crazes and LOL-some comedy sketches to epic celebrity challenges and fresh new ‘toons.
About Beano Studios:
Beano Studios creates rebellious entertainment worldwide. The Studio produces diverse entertainment across multiple destinations; including TV, digital content, theatrical projects, consumer products, creative collaboration, and the legendary comic and annual.
‘Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed’ launched as the number 1 show on kids’ TV and continues to air on CBBC. The show is rolling out across many major European broadcasters - Beano has also teamed up with Lime Pictures to reimagine Minnie the Minx for a new audience in live action form.
Multi-award winning Beano.com is the fastest growing kid’s website in the UK and is growing rapidly worldwide. It is driven by a unique combination of kid’s insight and highly responsive content creation and keeps kids giggling several times a day with a constantly refreshing feed of funny stuff.
About David Walliams:
David Walliams has revolutionised reading for children and has become one of the most influential writers today. Since the publication of his first novel, The Boy in the Dress (2008) illustrated by the iconic Sir Quentin Blake, David Walliams has seen 10 years of unprecedented growth with global sales exceeding 25 million copies, and his books have been translated into 53 languages.
The enduring popularity of David’s stories extends to stage and screen. His co-production company, King Bert has produced over 25 programmes to date including the 2017 television adaptation of Grandpa’s Great Escape for the BBC starring David alongside Sir Tom Courtenay and Jennifer Saunders. David also appeared in the Sky One adaptation of his novel, Ratburger shown Christmas 2017. The Boy in the Dress, Billionaire Boy and Gangsta Granny have also been adapted into TV comedy-dramas.
David’s novels and picturebooks have also been made into touring theatre productions including Mr Stink, Ratburger, The First Hippo on the Moon and of course the Birmingham Stage Company’s Gangsta Granny and Awful Auntie.
Little Britain, which he co-created with Matt Lucas, started on Radio 4 and soon progressed to BBC1. The show has won numerous international awards including three BAFTAs, and now plays in over 100 countries. Little Britain Live performed to a million people in the UK, Ireland and Australia. David and Matt followed Little Britain with the hugely popular spoof airport documentary series Come Fly with Me.
David has proved himself as a dramatic actor in BBC2's, Capturing Mary with Dame Maggie Smith, in BBC1's Agatha Christie series Partners in Crime, as Frankie Howerd in the biopic Rather You Than Me for BBC4, and on the stage in Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land starring alongside Sir Michael Gambon. He received the Comedy Award at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards for his performance as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Michael Grandage. His film credits also include The Look of Love, directed by Michael Winterbottom, Great Expectations directed by Mike Newell, Dinner for Schmucks with Steve Carell and Paul Rudd and directed by Jay Roach, Run Fat Boy Run directed by David Schwimmer and starring Simon Pegg, and Stardust directed by Matthew Vaughn.
David is a trustee of Comic Relief, a charity he has personally raised £8.5m for - he most notably swam the English Channel in 2006 and the River Thames in 2011 to raise awareness for the charity. David is also an Ambassador for the children’s charity, Make A Wish. Due to David’s generous support of Comic Relief and other charities he was awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in Summer 2017 as part of the Queen’s birthday Honours.
Since 2012 David has appeared as a judge alongside Simon Cowell on one of the biggest shows on TV, Britain's Got Talent.