David has always loved camping up

David Walliams has admitted that dressing up as a girl during his childhood provided him with an escape from gay taunts.

The Britain’s Got Talent judge played Queen Henrietta Maria in a school production of All The King’s Men when he was 11 and it gave him a feeling of acceptance.

I wasn’t a happy child,’ says David, 41.

I was definitely teased for being girly. At that time, the biggest insult was being called gay so being on stage was an escape – there I was, embracing my femininity and sharing the joke.

I think something happened when people were laughing while I was wearing a dress and acting camp.

I obviously made a connection that this was a way that I could be funny and get approval. And that stayed with me.’

David, whose Little Britain character Emily Howard coined the catchphrase ‘I’m a lady’, started wearing women’s clothes when he was just 3.

My sister Julie used to dress me up like I was a dolly,’ the comedian, who’s married to model Lara Stone, tells TV Magazine.

She was a couple of years older and we had a dressing-up box at home.

At that age you don’t really know what’s going on, but I did use to dress up in a bridesmaid’s dress and hat.’

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Anna Francis