The gay mafia, Elvis and Operation Yewtree – Interview with Jim Davidson

Jim Davidson

Jim Davidson is one of the last of the ‘old school’ comics. Married five times, in and out of solvency like a glue sniffer on a bungee rope, and rarely out of the news with his controversial stage material and off stage remarks. After a dismal 2013 he has bounced back this year with a Celebrity Big Brother win, an expanded fan base and a new story to tell.

Your new DVD ‘No Further Action’ makes for interesting viewing, besides your other scrapes with the law getting the inside track on Operation Yewtree, is fascinating for anyone, whether they are fans of yours or not. A lot of people worry it’s simple scaremongering, as you state in the DVD, your life could have been changed forever over nothing. Do you think it has value or that it is just a witch hunt?
Well, first of all, just because I was arrested by Yewtree, people think I am some sort of expert on the whole thing. I’ve even been asked by MPs to join in the debate on whether bail laws should be changed. I think it was David Davis was going on about how long people should be on bail. All I know is that I was on bail for a year and it was awful. Just horrible.

I don’t know if it’s a witch hunt, but I don’t think it’s the police’s fault. If someone comes along to the police they have to go and investigate it. The main I problem I have is, and I heard some arsehole on the radio the other day, I think he was from the Inspectorate of Constabulary and he said that the police have to believe someone when they make an accusation; it has to be recorded as a crime at the point of accusation.

All I know is that the police who I dealt with were fabulous but they hadn’t done any investigation and me and my lawyer did it all for them. They were really pleased, I said, “Do you want me to get a load of statements?” They said (laughing and putting on a high pitched voice) “Ooh that will save us doing it”. You would have thought they had done that before they arrested me.

I like to look on the positive side, if I can. And it’s given me an act!

You are often accused of racism, sexism etc. and vehemently deny it, why do you think people are inclined to believe that of you?
I don’t even deny it, I ignore the accusation. Again we’re back to what I was saying before, these two things are linked aren’t they, to make the accusation on the basis of presumption.

They use it as a stick to hit you. When Bernard Manning died, I became the bad guy. These accusations makes all these young comics better by default, to say that I am sexist, racist, homophobic and every other ‘ists’. Come and see me on stage, watch the DVD and make your own mind up.

Why do you think people are inclined to believe that of you , when it is accepted that someone like Frankie Boyle for example, who says much more shocking things than yourself, doesn’t hold those views personally?
(Sounding genuinely hurt) I don’t know. I have never seen Frankie’s stuff. All I know is the stuff you do on stage, once its written down it’s not as funny, you never see the glint in the eye or the tongue in the cheek. A lot of people who come and review my shows now, are sort of young Guardian trainee people and they come along and they could have written the review before they went and that’s just sloppy journalism. The proof of the pudding is, I’m in the charts, I’m number 12 in Sainsbury’s and I’m selling more than Lipton’s tea!

My favourite comedian Sam Kinison (legendary foul mouthed American stand up), was the most appalling comedian you’ve ever seen but people understood he did it for shock,horror and tongue in the cheek. I do that. Yet if you look at Al Murray, he says a lot worse than me but he can hide behind that Pub Landlord jacket. I don’t, what you see is what you get, some mad man having a rant.

I really don’t like being called sexist or racist and certainly not homophobic, I am about to enter a gay marriage next time round, I’ve had 5 straight ones so far and it’s a fucking nightmare

Do you follow comedy yourself any new comedians you like?
I like a couple of the young guys but I just don’t get time to see them. I’ve just done a 58 day tour so you get not time at all. In Edinburgh I went to see a couple of people, I like Scott Capuro a lot, I thought he was brilliant. I’m doing a show with him on the 8th December in London and another guy, he’s new, called Andrew Doyle. I’ve sort of joined the gay mafia, cos they were all my mates up in Edinburgh, we were the little drinking club. I love Capuro, I think he’s great, we got on a storm and me and his husband actually became a great mate, he was my little drinking partner.

After your success on Big Brother do you have any further plans to capitalize on your win, is there a chance you will be back on our screens as suggested on the DVD?
I got offered a big new stand up show, with a load of new comics and me hosting it, but then Richard Desmond went and sold Channel 5 to the Yanks, the fucking idiot.

Here’s my plan to capitalize on BB, I have a huge young fan base again, thank fucking god, who see this comedian (Davidson) as something new, but the tickets to come and see me and other people like me, are far, far too expensive. On my next tour I’m insisting you can buy a ticket for 12.50. I don’t care if anyone says “its cos they won’t pay anymore” I’m not bothered about that, I want to have comedy at a price that young people can afford. That’s a promise.

That’s a great idea.
Thank you. The other night it was £27 to see me. £27! I wouldn’t pay that to see fucking Elvis, let alone me.
I think that’s my quote for you exactly
You bugger.

‘No Further Action’ was released 1st December