Danny Wallace (humourist)

Danny Wallace

Wallace in 2008
Born Daniel Frederick Wallace
16 November 1976 (1976-11-16) (age 35)
Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Citizenship Kingdom of Lovely
Education Media studies
Alma mater University of Westminster
Occupation Broadcaster
Employer Charlie Chucky's Balloon
Known for Join Me; Yes Man; How to Start Your Own Country
Spouse Greta Elizabeth "Lizzie" Wallace (née McMahon)
Children 1 son

Daniel Frederick Wallace (or "King Danny") (born 16 November 1976) is a British filmmaker, comedian, writer, actor, and presenter of radio and television. His notable works include the books Join Me, Yes Man, and the TV series How to Start Your Own Country.

He lives in London, with his wife, an Australian publicist. Throughout Danny's books, his wife is referred to as "Lizzie", at her request.



Early life

Wallace was born in Dundee, Scotland and attended Park Place Primary School but also grew up in Loughborough and Bath, England, though thinks of himself as Scottish. He began writing reviews for video game magazines at the age of 13 for school work experience: a reviewer had become ill and so Wallace was given the opportunity to review a game. At 18 he started writing comedy, mainly through the magazine Comedy Review. He specialised in radio production at the University of Westminster.

Early career and journalism

At 22, he became a BBC producer. He was part of the production team behind British Comedy Award-winning Dead Ringers, the original producer of the critically acclaimed cult hit The Mighty Boosh, and the creator and producer of Ross Noble Goes Global.

As a journalist, Wallace has worked for The Scotsman, The Guardian, The Independent, Elle, Cosmo, The Times and other publications.

Since 2007, Wallace has written a column in the free weekly magazine ShortList, circulation 520,000.[1] In September 2009 it was announced in his column that he and his wife were expecting their first child together. Their son was born on 29 December 2009.


As an author, Wallace's best-selling books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.[2]

Are You Dave Gorman?

In 1999, Wallace challenged comedian Dave Gorman, who at the time was his flatmate, to find 54 other people called Dave Gorman ("one for every card in the deck, including the Jokers"). Wallace accompanied Gorman on his quest and the men created Are You Dave Gorman?, an award-winning comedy stage show about what happened during their journey.[3] A BBC series, also co-written and co-produced by Wallace, followed, as did a book, written by both men.

Join Me

In 2003, Wallace's book Join Me was published. The book explains how he "accidentally started a 'cult'" called Join Me.

The movement would go global, with each member committing to undertaking one random act of kindness for a stranger every Friday ("Good Fridays"). Tens of thousands joined. Join Me celebrates "Karmageddon 10" in December 2011. Traditionally, hundreds of members travel to London for the meet-up and undertake good deeds for strangers, with Wallace present.

The movement is now generally referred to as the "Karma Army", although members are still typically "Joinees". He became a minor celebrity in Belgium whilst on his quest for Joinees. While on a book tour through America, Wallace was dubbed a "Generation X legend" by the Wisconsin State Journal .[4]

Random Acts of Kindness: 365 Ways To Make the World A Nicer Place

Wallace next wrote a short book called Random Acts of Kindness: 365 Ways To Make the World A Better Place, with the help of submissions from Joinees.

It includes many humorous Random Acts of Kindness (RAoK) ideas, such as "Contradict Demeaning Graffiti", and "Make An Old Man Very Happy."

Yes Man

Wallace's second solo book, Yes Man was published in July 2005. In it, he describes how he spent six months "saying Yes where once I would have said No", to make his life more interesting and positive. In this book he shows the tribulations and mischief that he got up to while he said yes to any question or proposal. The book was described as "one of those rare books that actually has the potential to change your life" by the San Francisco Bay Guardian and as "a fascinating book and a fascinating experiment" by David Letterman.[5]

A film adaptation of Yes Man was developed with Warner Bros. and stars Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel. It was released on 19 December 2008 in the US and 26 December 2008 in the UK.[6] Wallace appeared on screen in a cameo in a bar scene in the last ten minutes of the film, holding a British pint glass. The film made almost $100 million at the US Box Office.[7]

The DVD of Yes Man was released in April 2009 and received a 1 out of 5 star review from The Independent. Two days later, it received 4 out of 5 from The Independent on Sunday.[8]

Danny Wallace and the Centre of the Universe

Danny Wallace and the Centre of the Universe was published in 2006. It is linked with World Book Day which in 2006 was on Thursday 2 March. It tells the story of Wallace's trip to Idaho, to visit a manhole cover in a small town, whose residents have proclaimed it the centre of the universe. The cover identifies it as a "Quick Read"; the price and length of the book have been curbed in order to encourage people who may not often read books to purchase it.

Friends Like These

Wallace's book, Friends Like These, was released on 3 July 2008, and tells the story of how he spent a summer trying to track down his old school friends from his days in Dundee, Scotland, and beyond.[9] The film rights went to Miramax and a screenplay is currently underway.

Awkward Situations for Men

Danny's latest book Awkward Situations for Men was released on 3 June 2010 and reached number 3 in the best-sellers list. The follow-up, More Awkward Situations for Men, was released on 30 June 2011.

Television and radio

Awkward Situations for Men

Wallace recently filmed a pilot episode for his own American television sitcom, commissioned by ABC and made by Warner Bros. Television. In it, Wallace plays himself ("Danny"), a writer who moves to San Francisco to support his wife's new job, and finds that he doesn't quite fit in. The pilot also starred Tony Hale (Arrested Development) and Laura Prepon (That '70s Show). It was directed by acclaimed director Andy Ackerman, who had previously directed almost 90 episodes of Seinfeld.[10]

A second script was later commissioned for this year's American TV pilot season.[11]

Of his work in Hollywood, Empire magazine recently said, "Hollywood must be gazing in wonder at the walking high-concept machine that is Wallace."[12]

How to Start Your Own Country

Wallace began television presenting in 2004. In 2005, Wallace presented a documentary comedy, How to Start Your Own Country, in which he started his own micronation – "Lovely" – in his London flat.

The series charted his journey around the world exploring citizenship and what a country actually is. He has described it as "a way of hiding politics in entertainment".[13]

Beginning late August 2005 he co-presented on BBC One's Saturday night show He's Having a Baby with Davina McCall, which ran at the same time as his BBC Two series, How to Start Your Own Country.

The latter won two BAFTAs in early 2006.

XFM London

From 9 February 2008 to October 2008 Wallace presented a weekly show at 10am-2pm on Saturday Mornings at XFM London.[14] taking over the old Ricky Gervais slot. He and co-presenter Richard Glover decided to leave after they were asked to pre-record their show instead of broadcast live, which would have taken away from the interactive nature of the show.

On 1 August 2011, Wallace returned to XFM London to present the weekday breakfast show.[15]

Other work

Wallace has written for and presented television shows such as Danny Wallace's Hoax Files (Sky One), Conspiracies (Sky One), School's Out (BBC1), and in 2006 he took over from Phillip Schofield as co-presenter of BBC1's Test the Nation.

He appeared in Channel 4's The IT Crowd (Series 1 Episode 2) in a role his friend, writer and director Graham Linehan, originally planned to play himself. Wallace was asked to do it when Linehan realised appearing in and simultaneously directing the episode would be tricky.[16]

Wallace was the first person in 43 years to be asked to front an episode of flagship BBC science series Horizon. The episode aired on 10 October 2006. In it, Wallace attempted to prove the hypothesis that chimps could be considered 'people' too.

On 16 December 2008 he presented his second episode of Horizon on BBC Two. Where's My Robot?. In it, Wallace travelled the world to meet roboticists and ask them, simply: "Where's my robot?". The documentary is based on the belief in the 1980s that by the next century personal robots would be available and be an accepted part of society. Wallace investigates why it did not become a reality and whether it will in the future.[17]

Wallace presented a series of reality show Castaway on BBC One. The series was live from Great Barrier Island in New Zealand for three months, beginning 9 March 2007, and featured a spin-off BBC Three series and BBCi webisodes.

In 4 January 2008 Danny appeared on a celebrity spin-off episode of the BBC's Mastermind. His specialist subject was the Ghostbusters films, he did not get a single question wrong on the subject but came third with 27 points.[18]

He appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 20 June 2008 to discuss his books, film and television projects.

On 31 Jan 2009, he stood in for Adam and Joe on BBC 6 Music. He followed this up by another stint on 6Music, standing in for Shaun Keaveny's breakfast show for two weeks in May 2009. He stood in for Adam and Joe again for seven weeks over the summer of 2009 with XFM DJ Pete Donaldson and was again asked to take over from Adam & Joe during their recent hiatus.[19]

He was a regular presenter on the National Lottery live draw on BBC 1, as well as the National Television Awards Backstage Live.

He lent his face and voice to one of the most successful 2009 videogame sequels Assassin's Creed II, released in November 2009. He was contacted by Ubisoft when he went to the BAFTA video game awards with a friend. He voiced a historian and modern Assassin named Shaun Hastings.[20] He reprised his role in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin's Creed: Revelations. The games each sold more than 8 million units apiece.[21]

Wallace is currently finishing his first novel.[22]


Charity Support

Danny is a patron of the charity Build Africa [23]

See also


  • Gorman, Dave; Danny Wallace (4 July 2002). Are You Dave Gorman?. Ebury Press. ISBN 9780091884710. 
  • Wallace, Danny (3 June 2004). Join Me. Ebury Press. ISBN 9780091895822. 
  • Wallace, Danny (4 November 2004). Random Acts of Kindness: 365 Ways to Make the World a Nicer Place. Ebury Press. ISBN 9780091901752. 
  • Wallace, Danny (6 April 2006). Yes Man. Ebury Press. ISBN 9780091896744. 
  • Wallace, Danny (3 July 2008). Friends Like These. Ebury Press. ISBN 9780091896768. 
  • Wallace, Danny (4 December 2008). Yes Man (film tie-in). Ebury Press. ISBN 9780091927905. 
  • Wallace, Danny (3 June 2010). Awkward Situations for Men. Ebury Press. ISBN 9780091937577. 
  • Wallace, Danny (30 June 2011). More Awkward Situations for Men. Ebury Press. ISBN 9780091941307. 


  1. ^ http://www.shortlist.com/ ShortList website
  2. ^ "Danny Wallace website". Dannywallace.com. Retrieved on 26 August 2011.
  3. ^ Comedy CV, Dave Gorman
  4. ^ Simon & Schuster[dead link], "Yes Man (Trade Paperback) – Praise"
  5. ^ Books section of Danny's website. Dannywallace.com. Retrieved on 26 August 2011.
  6. ^ IMDb movie profile Yes Man 16 December 2007
  7. ^ [1] Box Office Mojo
  8. ^ Bland, Archie (17 April 2009). "DVD: Yes Man (12)". The Independent (London). http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/reviews/dvd-yes-man-12-1669805.html. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  9. ^ Amazon.com,Friends Like These was released 3 July 2008
  10. ^ Awkward! – Journalist, author, script-writer, and producer. Danny Wallace. Retrieved on 26 August 2011.
  11. ^ The Pilot Has Landed... – Journalist, author, script-writer, and producer. Danny Wallace (2010-05-24). Retrieved on 26 August 2011.
  12. ^ Danny Wallace's website. Dannywallace.com. Retrieved on 26 August 2011.
  13. ^ Danny Wallace's twitter feed. Twitter.com. Retrieved on 26 August 2011.
  14. ^ "Danny Wallace Joins Xfm". XFM. http://www.xfm.co.uk/Article.asp?b=news&id=576383. Retrieved 9 January 2008. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Brand New London Breakfast Show With Danny Wallace". XFM. http://www.xfm.co.uk/news/2011/brand-new-london-breakfast-show-with-danny-wallace. Retrieved 4 July 2011. 
  16. ^ Twitter. Twitter. Retrieved on 26 August 2011.
  17. ^ "DannyWallace.com". http://www.dannywallace.com/Telly.aspx. [dead link]
  18. ^ "Danny Wallace - Celebrity Mastermind - YouTube". Google.co.uk. 2008-01-08. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R2qqtkYzTE. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  19. ^ Plunkett, John (23 December 2009). "Adam and Joe leave BBC 6Music for 'indefinite sabbatical'". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/dec/23/adam-joe-leave-6music-sabbatical. 
  20. ^ "Assassin's Creed 2 Danny Wallace interview #1". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVcR_5Y294M. 
  21. ^ Purchese, Robert (14 February 2011). "Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood total sales". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-02-14-assassins-creed-brotherhood-lifetime-sales. 
  22. ^ misterwallace. Twitter. Retrieved on 26 August 2011.
  23. ^ "Build Africa Patrons". 14 February 2011. http://www.build-africa.org/pages/the-patrons.html. 

External links

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