Jim Davidson

Jim Davidson

Date of birth: 12-12-1953

Jim Davidson had his first taste of entertaining at the age of 12 when he was chosen to appear in Ralph Reader's Gang Show at the Golders Green Hippodrome,telling gags and doing impressions.

But a year later he became disillusioned with showbusiness after failing the audition for the part of the Artful Dodger in the movie Oliver.

He found his way back to the stage when he along to a pub in Woolwich where the regular stand-up hadn't turned up. Persuaded by his friends, he ended up on stage - the start of a career in London's pubs and clubs.

His 1976 New Faces win propelled him to TV, followed by his own show and a couple of sitcoms before becoming a game show host with Big Break and The Generation Game.

In 1997 he was named Showbusiness Personality of the Year by the Variety Club of Great Britain

Davidson is a ardent supporter of British troops, and frequently travels abroad to entertain them. He has made four visits to the Falkland Islands and in 1999 he travelled twice to Macedonia, In the same year he launched the British Forces Foundation charity.

He is also a theatre producer, backing such West End hits Buddy and Great Balls of Fire, as well as a number of pantomimes throughout the UK.

His private life, however, has brought him more headlines than his professional one, with a succession of marriages, and drinking binges which have led him into reckless, often violent situations.


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Jim Davidson becomes full-time charity boss

...but it doesn't mean he's quitting stand-up

Jim Davidson is to become the full-time chief executive of veterans’ charity Care After Combat next year.

The comedian founded the organisation in 2014 to help military veterans who end up in prison, or with drug or alcohol problems.

He said that when he takes over the CEO job at the end of his tour in February, it will be ‘the first real job I’ve had since I worked at the Co-op’ as a teenager

But he insists his new role doesn’t mean he’ll be quitting stand-up, saying: ‘ I have to go on stage to give me a bit of Light Relief after the terrifying job of being responsible for 60 staff and 150 veteran prisoners.’

Davidson already holds the chief executive’s post in an interim capacity, after former boss Derek Cole left last year. Cole has said his decision to quit was prompted by Davidson drawing a salary for his role as chairman, reportedly £43,000 plus £11,000 in expenses.

Accounts have been filed for the 15 months to October 2015, which show that the charity raised £250,000 and that it paid its two staff £68,000.

But earlier this year it received a £1million shot in the arm from the Libor fund, set up by George Osborne to channel fines levied on banks from rigging the Libor lending rate to veterans’ charities. 

Writing on his blog, Davidson said his job would be to raise £400,000 a year, adding: ‘I have a good team and I’m confident that we can continue helping veterans get their life back.’

Davidson is a trustee of the charity alongside Falklands hero Simon Weston, singer Katherine Jenkins and decorated ex-paratrooper Gary ‘Goose’ Cryer.

The comic, a Tory supporter, has feted leading Conservatives to back the charity, including Osborne, Iain Duncan Smith, and Philip Hammond, while Theresa May, has attended a fundraising ball.

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Published: 19 Dec 2016

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