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Creator / Jim Davidson

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"Every interview I do with young journalists and people from the young world of comedy they always ask the same questions – Homophobic? Racist? And you are always on the back foot, they never get a chance to see me on the front foot until they come and see me on stage – and then they’ve probably already written the review."

James Cameron Davidson OBE (born 13 December 1953 in Kidbrooke, Greenwich, London) is a British, specifically English, stand-up comedian, actor, performer and television presenter. Among other distinctions, he hosted the television shows Big Break (1991) and The Generation Game. He also had his own Brit Com, Up The Elephant And Round The Castle and its sequel, Home James and was a regular guest on Saturday Morning Kids’ Show Tiswas. Davidson also played Lee Pratt, a singer and comedian (based on Joe Longthorne) who was swindled by a Stanley Kubrick impersonator in Colour Me Kubrick.

A performer who has never knowingly been politically correct, he was also responsible for adult Pantomime shows such as Boobs in the Wood and Sinderella. Like contemporaries such as Bernard Manning, his career has been full of controversies and accusations of racism, sexism and homophobia; his right-wing political sympathies have never been hidden and a massive part of his persona appears to be based on Refuge in Audacity.

Cheeky cockney tropes in the life and work of this performer include:

  • Blackface: His comedy West Indian character Chalky White (since pretty much dropped from the set) was a sound-only version of blackface, which took White British perceptions of West Indian people way past eleven and well across the line of racism.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Any live venue where Jim performs will be the Dresden of the Cluster F-Bomb.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: His early stage persona was very different. He started out as a Motor Mouth joke-teller who used little to no profanity. He was inspired to use swearing after seeing Sam Kinison and it wasn't until the nineties that he abandoned joke-telling in favour of anecdoctal story-telling. Also, while his act consisted of very un-PC material (most infamously the Chalky White character), it wasn't as offensive as it would later become.
  • Guilty Pleasures: As with his contemporary Bernard Manning, a surprising number of the alternative comedians who despise Davidson in public in public for his crass racism and non-PC attitudes will tell you they secretly like his comedy. Not because of the content or the nature of the jokes - but because they recognise he is a master of the art of stand-up comedy, has an impeccable sense of timing, and knows how to work a room. As with Manning, credit is given where it is due: A Davidson set is also regarded as a masterclass in comedy. The pity to many is that it is used to deliver such crass, tawdry and indefensible material and any appreciation of Davidson's talent is tempered by the recognition that he genuinely does seem to be casually racist, sexist and homophobic, even off-stage.
  • Ham and Deadpan Duo: Jim and John Virgo, his co-host on Big Break (1991). John Virgo was a deadpan, morose-looking, professional snooker player.
  • Motor Mouth: He spoke very quickly in his younger days. As he got older and his performance style changed, so did his delivery.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: His live act treats swearing as punctuation.
  • Vulgar Humor: This is about 75% of his stage act. The adult pantomimes tend to swing between this and the Bottom of the Barrel Joke.