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Billionaire Boy

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Language  English
Media type  Print & Film
ISBN  978-0-00-737104-4
Author  David Walliams

Publication date  28 October 2010
Pages  288 pp
Originally published  28 October 2010
Illustrator  Tony Ross
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Publisher  HarperCollins Children's
Similar  David Walliams books, Other books

David walliams talks about his 3rd book billionaire boy

Billionaire Boy is a children's fiction book published on 28 October 2010 by HarperCollins and written by David Walliams and illustrated by Tony Ross. The story follows Joe Spud who is the richest boy in the country and has everything he could ever want, except a friend. The book was adapted for BBC television, broadcast on 1 January 2016.


David walliams introduces billionaire boy


The story follows 12-year-old billionaire Joe Spud who lives with his billionaire dad, Len Spud, creator of the most famous toilet tissue "Bum Fresh", in a very large stately home. The two of them have everything they could ever want, such as an orang-utan butler, a bowling alley, a cinema and servants. Joe is depressed, sad and unhappy when he doesn't have any friends and leaves a wealthy children's school to join a local comprehensive. There he meets another 12-year-old, Bob, with whom he becomes friends.

After the cross-country run (where Bob and Joe come last and second to last, respectively), the two go to Raj's store, where Raj reveals Joe's secret. Then they encounter Dave and Sue Grubb, two bullies whose main target is always Bob. The Grubbs dump Bob in the bin. Joe then discovers that Bob's father died and offers the £50 note that he had offered him to come last in the race. Bob refuses it however.

The next day, to escape the Grubbs, Joe and Bob enter the school canteen, where the food is disgusting. Mrs. Trafe the canteen lady serves them uncooked jacket potatoes.

Later that day, in History class with Miss Spite (or The Witch) Joe realises he has forgotten his History homework, and Miss Spite gives him 15 minutes to retrieve it, and Joe calls his father. Len Spud arrives in a Bum' Air helicopter, unveiling Joe's secret. Joe is chased by everyone and ultimately arrives to Miss Spite five seconds late, and she puts him on litter duty; Joe tries to explain, but Miss Spite doesn't listen and puts him on litter duty for a month.

During his litter duty where Bob helps him, the Grubbs arrive to reveal Joe's deal with them. Bob, angered, calls Joe a spoiled brat and leaves in anger.

After the half-term holidays, a new girl, Lauren arrives to the school and all the boys have their eye on her, even Joe. Soon Joe and Lauren become best friends. Until Joe comes home one day and finds out that his Dad is holding a massive party and then Sapphire (Len's girlfriend) spurts out that she had seen Lauren on television before. Soon enough, Joe found out that his dad had paid Lauren to be his friend, and decides to run away.

Raj, the kindly newsagent, finds Joe sleeping in a skip and talks over with Joe about his situation. Joe goes to Bob's home to apologise. Bob accepts, but soon finds out that Mr Spud had lost his fortune as everyone is suing him because Bum Fresh is making everyone's bottom go purple. Joe returns to Bum Fresh Towers, and his father suggests that he should save something from the house before the bailiffs take everything. Mr Spud is surprised when Joe returns with a rocket made out of loo roll because he says it was "made with love". Later, Joe's father marries Bob's mum, and the story closes.


Joe Spud - The protagonist in the story. He is the son of a multi-billionaire. His best friend is Bob and his love interest is Lauren, who is revealed to be an actor. Joe is twelve years old at the beginning of the book. He was bullied at his last school because his father made his fortune by loo rolls, he is very socially awkward.

Leonard Spud - The multi-Billionaire who is the founder of Bum Fresh. He is divorced and is 46 years old when he says that he and Sapphire have a 27-year age gap. He endlessly dates Page 3 type girls. In the end, he marries Bob's mum.

Bob - Is Joe's best friend and later stepbrother. His dad died of cancer and his family are poor. The Grubbs bully him and is made fun of by the rest of the class for being fat. He weighs twelve stone and weighed eight stones when he was a baby. He is Raj's favourite customer.

Sapphire Stone - A Page 3 girl. It is revealed that she was only dating Mr Spud because of his wealth. She later dated the entirety of a Premier League Football team. She is 19 years old and has blonde hair and is not very intelligent.

Lauren - An actress. Mr Spud has paid Lauren to be Joe's girlfriend. She stars in the Pot Noodle advert. She is 13 years old and has a boyfriend whose name is not mentioned. She is Joe's love interest and is remarkably pretty.

The Grubbs - (the bullies) The Grubbs are twins who are the school bullies. One of them is Dave and another is Sue, even though they have all the same features. Their parents can't tell them apart and they are sent to a boot camp in America for juvenile delinquents.

Raj - Raj is a very kindly shopkeeper who is on occasion rather bizarre.

Miss Spite - Is Joe's strict teacher. She loves opera music. When Joe gets litter duty, Len Spud (his dad) gets Miss Spite sacked.


Billionaire Boy received positive praise from reviews by newspapers such as The Guardian and The Express. The story has mainly been described as hilarious yet touching, as have Walliams' other books.

Television adaptation

After the success of the first two adaptions (Mr Stink & Gangsta Granny), Walliams announced that The Boy In The Dress & Billionaire Boy would be made into television specials.

The adaption aired on New Year's Day 2016 on BBC One. It was seen by 6.34 million viewers, making it the 17th most watched programme on BBC1 for the week ending January 3, 2016 and the 21st most watched across all UK TV channels.

The cast for the adaptation is as follows:

  • David Walliams as Mrs Trafe
  • John Thomson as Len
  • James Fleet as Mr Darrow
  • Rebecca Front as Joe's Teacher
  • Anthony O'Donnell as Mr Brace
  • Warwick Davis as himself
  • Bryn Terfel as himself
  • Elliot Sprakes as Joe
  • Nathan Waight as Bob
  • Catherine Tate as Sapphire
  • Harish Patel as Raj
  • Tupele Dorgu as Julie
  • References

    Billionaire Boy Wikipedia