David Walliams has suffered "suicidal thoughts” and has “lost the ability to be funny" since being dropped from 'Britain's Got Talent'.

David Walliams is suing Fremantle

David Walliams is suing Fremantle

The 52-year-old comedian left the talent show last November after derogatory marks he made about contestants during a break from filming auditions in January 2020 was made public, and he's now seeking up to £10 million in damages from production company Fremantle over the leak after accusing them of a data protection breach.

And in court papers obtained by The Sun on Sunday newspaper,

David claimed his earnings have plummeted from £3.7 million in 2022 to just £101, 800 in the first five months of this year and he's only received one new work booking since his dismissal from the talent show, resulting in “catastrophic results for his reputation and career”.

Lawyers acting for the former 'Little Britain' star claimed Fremantle Media “recorded, transcribed and retained” private conversations for 10 years, and his microphone was even on during his breaks from filming and included heart-to-heart discussions with fellow judge Alesha Dixon over his divorce from Lara Stone, his sex life and mental health struggles.

The transcripts of 1,700 hours of audio recordings over 10 years were made available to Simon Cowell's firm Syco on request, and Fremantle also kept 41, 526 hours of visual recordings.

David has argued the surveillance has also impacted on his ability to perform and he can no longer be "spontaneous or edgy" due to a fear his remarks will be leaked.

His lawyers wrote: “He was extremely upset to learn that private information, including many highly sensitive personal matters, had been recorded without his consent or knowledge, transcribed, shared internally among the Defendant’s (Fremantle) employees and retained apparently indefinitely.

“Furthermore, the Defendant’s breaches have affected the Claimant’s ability to perform.

“He feels vulnerable on entering a studio because he fears that what he says and does in that ­setting may be recorded and leaked without his consent.

“Because of the constant concern that any unguarded comments could be used against him, he has lost the ability to be spontaneous or edgy — in short, to be funny.

“His inability to perform in this, his signature manner, has caused him further acute distress, because he has lost an important part of his personal and professional identity.”

The lawsuit told how David - who claimed he had no idea he was being constantly recorded until his comments were leaked - has since suffered “a return of severe depression, including ­suicidal thoughts”.

The document included a report from the comic's long-term psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Collins, who noted David's depression was “possibly the worst since I first met him”, and that his client has “severe problems with his sleep” and “is plagued by uncontrollable negative thoughts”, including “active suicidal thoughts”.

David is demanding Fremantle destroy all of the recordings and transcripts and is seeking the £1 million he lost out on from 'Britain's Got Talent', as well as an additional £1.7 million for lost earnings for the last year, £3.4 million to cover future losses for at least the next two years, and unspecified damages for psychiatric harm, distress and upset, plus legal costs.

Fremantle are hoping to resolve the dispute "amicably".

The production company said in a statement: “We had a long and productive relationship with David and so are surprised and saddened by this legal action.

“For our part, we remain available and open to dialogue to resolve this matter amicably.

“However, in the interim, we will examine the various allegations and are prepared to robustly defend ourselves if necessary.”