The comedian Jim Davidson has been forced to pull out of Celebrity Big Brother after he was arrested at Heathrow airport in connection with the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal. The entertainer was due to appear on the Channel 5 reality series - which begins tonight (January 3, 2012) - though took the decision to pull out after he was questioned by detectives.
Plain clothes officers searched his £900,000 Georgian home in the Hampshire village of Stockbridge and were seen leaving with plastic evidence bags and brown envelopes. In a statement, the former host of Big Break and The Generation Game said he "vigorously denies" the allegations, which reportedly date back around 25 years. On his blog in October, Davidson wrote, "The Savile witch hunt is going a bit silly now. We all are starting to speculate and accuse ... even in jest. So no, I don't know who's next. Everyone has had the nod. Everyone is an expert. Just pick someone you don't like and say it's them. As odd as he was, Savile can't defend himself. The bloke's dead for God's sake. Let's move on." Other high profile names arrested as part of the investigation into sexual abuse include comedian Freddie Starr, Gary Glitter and Max Clifford. They all strenuously deny the allegations levelled against them.
David's solicitor Henri Brandman said "Two women have made allegations in respect of Jim that date back approximately 25 years. The complainants were then in their mid-twenties. Jim vigorously denies the allegations."
So, who is Jim Davidson exactly and why is he such a polarising figure?
Despite early recognition, an OBE, and a frequent presence on primetime television, Davidson has become known for his jokes about ethnic minorities, homosexuals and disabled people. In his first autobiography The Full Monty, he joked about his violent behaviour towards his wife.
Watch Davidson debating his style of comedy with Richard Bacon on BBC Radio 5 Live: