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.
Last year David was honoured to play the title role in the World Premiere production of Dream Lover the Bobby Darin Musical in Sydney and is thrilled to be reprising the role when it opens in Melbourne in December this year.
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.
On TV, David and Sonia Kruger are the popular hosts of the national Today Extra show for the Nine Network. David also co-hosts the beloved Carols By Candlelight telecast with Lisa Wilkinson. 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.
In 2016, David was very excited to be asked to voice the character of the news reading Koala in Disney’s international animated feature film Zootopia. His love for Disney was further underscored in 2016 with David starring in the spectacular national concert tour of Disney Under the Stars.
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 the Lincoln 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. His albums The Swing Sessions (2006), The Swing Sessions 2 (2007), Good Lovin’ (2008) and On Broadway (2010) were 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.
In recent years David’s position in the Australian entertainment industry has extended beyond his roles as a performer. He was appointed Artistic Director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival (the largest cabaret festival in the world). With Luckiest Productions, the production company he runs with his wife Lisa Campbell, David now produces national concert tours and live theatre productions, their most recent venture being the critically acclaimed revival of Little Shop of Horrors. This follows on from the highly lauded national tour of Sweet Charity, which received numerous Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Awards, including Best Musical.
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 recent poll as Australia’s favourite theatre.
Despite having such a fascinating and varied career, David’s favourite role by far is being father to his three adorable and adored children.