David Campbell is one of Australia’s most popular and versatile entertainers. A proven television and radio host, he also headlines theatre, cabaret and concert performances, as well as being a multi-platinum recording artist. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia as part of The Queen’s Birthday 2019 Honours List for service to entertainment and the arts. In 2020, David received the Adelaide Cabaret Festival Icon Award, which acknowledges pioneering and leading figures who have had a significant impact on the Australian Cabaret industry.
David is the popular co-host of the national Today Extra show for the Nine Network, as well as the beloved annual Christmas Eve broadcast of Carols by Candlelight and the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick’s 2020 Gold telethon. Also for Nine, David was proud to host this year’s ANZAC day special event ‘Music from the Home Front’. In 2019 he co-hosted the Nine Network’s Weekend Today, as well as the high rating, relaunched Wonderful World of Disney. For radio, David presents his own top rating, national weekend afternoon radio show on Smooth FM and in print, David is a regular featured columnist in Stellar, News Corp’s popular Sunday magazine. Most recently, David released the albums ‘Baby it’s Christmas’ and ‘Back in the Swing’, both achieving instant chart success. 2019 saw David’s first national concert tour in many years, as he performed hits from ‘Back in the Swing’, along with many fan favourites.
David is one of our leading musical theatre stars and has achieved similar success on the international stage, most notably captivating New York with his award winning cabaret show.
In 2016, David was honoured to originate the title role in the World Premiere production of Dream Lover the Bobby Darin Musical in Sydney, and in 2017-18, he again helmed the show for the return of the Summer Musical at Melbourne’s State Theatre, making history as the highest selling show of all time at Arts Centre Melbourne. He was honoured to go on to receive a Helpmann Award for his portrayal of Bobby Darin.
David’s position in the Australian entertainment industry extends beyond his roles as a performer. He was appointed to the coveted role of Artistic Director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival (the largest cabaret festival in the world) for 2009-2011. With Luckiest Productions, the production company he runs with his wife Lisa Campbell, David now produces national concert tours and live theatre productions, which includes the critically acclaimed revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, in which David also starred, receiving the 2017 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical.
In 2016, David was thrilled to voice the character of the news reading Koala in Disney’s Oscar winning animated feature film Zootopia. His love for Disney was further underscored that year, with David starring in the spectacular national concert tour of Disney Under the Stars. David went on to appear in another momentous concert at the Sydney Opera House, with the SSO and a cavalcade of stars paying tribute to George Michael in ‘Praying For Time’. In 2018 he joined legendary American singer songwriter Jimmy Webb on stage in concert for ‘Jimmy Webb and Friends’.
Born and raised in Adelaide, David was drawn to the performing arts initially as an actor. He was performing at the STC and Sydney Opera House by the age of 22, and in 1997 starred in a major revival of Les Miserables in Sydney. Shortly after this, David moved to New York, where his downtown cabaret show attracted major crowds. Due to what Time Out New York described as “the biggest buzz since Barbra Streisand”, David moved his show to the iconic cabaret room Rainbow & Stars, becoming the youngest performer ever to headline the venue.
With this success as a launch pad, David was soon in demand from Broadway’s most prestigious writers and directors. Stephen Sondheim cast him in the New York premiere of his musical, ‘Saturday Night’, and he played leading roles in shows such as Babes In Arms (at City Center) and South Pacific.
In 2001, at the height of his New York success, David was tempted back to Australia by the role of a lifetime – ‘the wild one’ Johnny O’Keefe, in the musical phenomenon Shout! He toured Australia in the show for over a year and became a household name as a result. David went on to star in Australian productions of classic musicals such as Carousel and Company, new works at the MTC and STC, and even in Pirates of Penzance for Opera Australia. Along the way, he picked up a Helpmann Award for Best Actor for his 2005 role in Sunset Boulevard.
David quickly established himself as one of Australia’s biggest selling recording artists. Before his recent releases of the albums Baby It’s Christmas (2018) and Back in the Swing (2019) , his albums The Swing Sessions (2006), The Swing Sessions 2 (2007), Good Lovin’ (2008) and On Broadway (2010) were also all chart successes and achieved platinum sales awards.
David has mounted five sell-out national concert tours in Australia, for which he has received a further two Helpmann Awards. In 2009, his live concert DVD Good Lovin’ Live reached number one on the ARIA chart.
Returning to the recording studio in 2014, David recorded David Campbell Sings John Bucchino. The album was released in June 2014 to critical acclaim, reaching #1 on the Australian Jazz Charts followed by a successful tour throughout venues across Australia.
The release of On Broadway was complemented by the specially commissioned television documentary, ‘David Campbell On Broadway’, produced by Luckiest Productions. A mixture of Broadway history, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of the album recording, the documentary was broadcast on the STVDIO Channel on Foxtel.
Regularly performing in the USA as a headlining artist at G’Day LA, David has also acted as MC and headlined at G’Day NY on several occasions.
David is a founding member of Independent Music Theatre, the group of producers behind the Hayes Theatre Co., a venue in Potts Point devoted to musicals and cabaret. It opened in January 2014 and has quickly established itself as a venue of productions of exceptional quality, winning a poll as Australia’s favourite theatre.
Adding ‘children’s author’ to his long list of titles and achievements, David recently published his very first children’s book, ‘Stupid Carrots’. Inspired by his own family, the book tells the tale of Betty Bunny and her strong distaste for carrots. David’s second children’s book will be published early next year.
David is a proud ambassador for Backpacks 4 SA Kids.
Despite having such a fascinating and varied career, David’s favourite role by far is being father to his three adorable and adored children.