With friends like these

Jim Davidson sticks up for Jimmy Carr

Jimmy Carr has received support for his most controversial joke from an unlikely source – Jim Davidson.

The 56-year-old leapt to Carr’s defence over his gag about the number of servicemen injured in Iraq and Afghanistan meaning Britain would have a great Paralympics team.

Newspapers kicked up a storm of protest over the line from Carr’s live show, but Davidson – who is known for his performances for the troops – said soldiers would have found it funny.

In an interview with the Reading Post, Davidson said: ‘Jimmy Carr was one of the first to visit the Headley Court Rehabilitation Centre and I have just done a show with him at Selly Oak [another such centre]

‘He asks no fee and no publicity – that’s a lot more to be said than for some.

‘The joke is not about having a lack of respect, it’s about healing the pain with humour – some of it black – as the troops like it that way.

‘Things said on stage with massive affection sometimes read badly in black and white.

‘The irony is that particular joke highlights the supreme character of these heroes that would be more likely to train for the 2012 Olympics than sit nursing their wounds.’

That Carr and Davidson performed on the same bill might come as some surprise. Five years ago Carr was considering legal action, claiming the older comic stole his joke.

At the time Davidson’s agent claimed the allegation of plagiarism was ‘madness’ – but he did admit they were both fans of Carr’s.

The disputed gag was: ‘Someone came up to me last week and complained about a joke, quite a big-boned girl. She said, “I think you're fattist.” I said, “No, I think you're fattest.”’

Published: 16 Dec 2009

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