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 'prompts audience walkout'

As he's grilled over racism and domestic abuse

Jim Davidson reportedly prompted an audience walk-out while defending himself from the charge that his act was racist.

According to the tabloids, six people stormed out of his TV interview with Piers Morgan after he spoke about adopting a West Indian accent for his character ‘Chalky’ White.

Davidson also tried to joke about domestic abuse in the interview, to be screened on ITV this weekend.

Speaking of his 1970s and 1980s act, the 64-year-old comic told Morgan: 'When I did that Chalky stuff it was about an accent. The only reason he was black was because I could do the accent.' 

‘Have you noticed black guys now don’t talk like that? I don’t know where that accent comes from. It don’t come from no other country does it? This is an accent young black men or even white men like Dappy talk like that.’

Asked how black people took the gag, Davidson replied: ‘I don’t know. I’ve not met them all yet. They are fine. We had Alf Garnett and Love Thy Neighbour. People ended up loving him.’

Davidson was also challenged over claims he hit his third wife, Alison Holloway. He admitted the relationship was ‘volatile’, but added: ‘What is the point trying to put the record straight? Someone will still call me a wife beater.’

But he also made a joke of the topic, the Mirror reports. When asked if he would hit a woman, he said: ‘Only a small one".

Morgan responded: You know by saying that other women will hate you? When you joke about domestic violence, there was probably a time when you could do that. That time has gone.’

On the show, Davidson estimated that his four divorces had cost him £60million over the years.

• Life Stories: Jim Davidson is on ITV on Saturday at 9.50pm.

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Published: 9 Mar 2018

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