WARNING: SOME CLIPS CONTAIN STRONG LANGUAGE AND ADULT REFERENCES
Jim Davidson OBE, is the British Stand Up Comedian who has been entertaining audiences of all ages both on the TV and live for over thirty years.
As well as his sell out tours, there’s the adult pantomimes and some great TV work that was prime time family stuff. On top of all of this he’s a great supporter of our armed forces, traveling the globe to entertain the troops.
He’s also had a colourful and well documented private life, which he has used to great effect in some of his humour.
James Cameron Davidson was born in Kidbrooke, London, the son of a Glaswegian Father. He attended Kidbrooke Park Primary School, Blackheath and St Austen’s School in Charlton.
A young Jim Davidson would do impressions of celebrities, this impressed acquaintances of his Father and he was given the chance to appear in Ralph Reader’s Gang Show at the Golders Green Hippodrome at the age of 12 and appeared on television in the Billy Cotton Band Show. He also briefly attended a stage school in Woolwich.
After leaving school he held a variety of jobs including: a drummer for pub bands, a supermarket shelf stacker, a messenger, air ticket clerk for a travel agency, a cashier for Wall’s ice cream, he trained as a reprographics operator and worked for Rank Xerox for a time.
His married life has given him plenty of material over the years. His first marriage was in 1971, he divorced a year later in 1972 before finding fame. The second marriage was in 1981 and ended in divorce in 1986, a year later wife number three, lasting a year, they divorced in 1987. Three years later in 1990 he married again, this marriage lasted ten years, they were divorced in 2000. Jim married his current wife in 2010.
Jim Davidson had a well publicised battle with alcohol that lasted six years. His problems, however did not end with ex wives and alcohol. In 2003 he ran into problems with the tax man, on 27 August 2003, after a meeting with the Inland Revenue Davidson claimed he spent £10,000 a week on back taxes, commission to agents, maintenance and school fees, and a £2.2 million mortgage.
On the 6th July 2006, after failing to keep up payments on £1.4million back tax bill he had reduced to £700,000, Davidson was eventually declared bankrupt.
In March 2004, Davidson, a self-professed Conservative, publicly left the United Kingdom for the tax-free haven of Dubai in protest at the Labour Party government. At the time, he declared that “I may as well go to Dubai and be an ethnic minority there than wait five years till I become one here.” He has subsequently been quoted as attributing his move as being motivated primarily by the tax-free status afforded him.
He returned to live in Britain in the summer of 2010.
Jim Davidson started in show business, when as a regular in a pub in Woolwich, he stood in after the regular comedian hadn’t turned up. He became a regular on the London comedy circuit and in 1975 he first auditioned for Opportunity Knocks, the audition was unsuccessful, where it is alledged that Hughie Green told him to “go away”. His audition for New Faces was more successful, and he proceeded to win the show by one point, and then to come second in the overall contest.
Television success would soon follow including What’s On Next and several series of his own show The Jim Davidson Show which ran for five complete series and won Davidson the TV Times award as “Funniest Man On Television”.
Davidson made a few appearances on Tiswas in 1977 and claimed in 2004 to have been the first Phantom Flan Flinger on that program. He made two sitcoms: Up the Elephant and Round the Castle and Home James.
After falling from our screens, he started back on television with his one man show screened on ITV, Stand Up Jim Davidson was recorded on stage at London’s Royalty Theatre. In 1991 he began a stint at the BBC hosting snooker based games how Big Break until 2002. During 1995 until 2002 he was also the host of the popular game show The Generation Game, after standing in for Bruce Forsyth in 1994 for one show.
After appearing in the third series of Hell’s Kitchen in 2007 and the BBC’s Comedy Map of Britain in 2008, most of Jim Davidson’s work is live tour based and has included his hugely successful adult pantomimes Sinderella and Boobs In The Wood.
A great favourite with the British Armed Forces, he set up a charity to fund shows to provide entertainment for British soldiers living abroad. As well as touring extensively to entertain the troops, he has starred in a number of his own TV specials for ITV and BBC, including one from HMS Invincible, Homeward Bound for Christmas and in 2002 he made the Jim Davidson Falklands Bound which was screened during the 20th Anniversary of the end of the hostilities.
During the Iraq conflict he was trapped on a cargo plane to entertain the British soldiers for no fee, and in 2003 Jim Davidson Basra Bound was screened on BBC One and further BBC TV Specials of his live stand-up show followed. He has made five visits to the Falkland Islands, twice to the Republic of Macedonia, and at least six times to Iraq. He is presently the Chairman of The British Forces Foundation charity, which aims to promote the well-being and esprit de corps of service personnel. Davidson was awarded the OBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2001 for his services to charity.