Jim Davidson storms off amid tense interview with Ashley Banjo 

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Jim Davidson stormed off during a tense discussion on race with Ashley Banjo last night as the dancer held him accountable for his ‘disgusting’ comments about Diversity’s controversial Black Lives Matter routine.

In Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White, which aired on ITV yesterday, the Dancing On Ice judge, 33, revealed that Jim, 67, had agreed to have a ‘real, direct, honest’ conversation ‘after weeks of negotiation’.

The comedian sparked outrage last year following a YouTube rant in which he suggested dance troupe Diversity should do a routine about ‘black men mugging people’ after they performed their BLM dance on Britain’s Got Talent – which received more than 31,000 Ofcom complaints.

During the sit-down interview, Jim stormed out of the room, telling Ashley to ‘stick to the dancing, you’re brilliant’ and calling the discussion a ‘no-win’.

Viewers at home were quick to praise Ashley for how calmly he handled the situation, with one writing: ‘Wow. Ashley Banjo and Jim Davidson. Not many people would have a face-off with Jim Davidson. I admire Ashley for doing that.’ 

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Jim Davidson (pictured) stormed off during a tense discussion on race with Ashley Banjo last night as the dancer held him accountable for his ‘disgusting’ comments about Diversity’s controversial Black Lives Matter routine

In Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White, which aired on ITV yesterday, the Dancing On Ice judge, 33, revealed that Jim had agreed to have a 'real, direct, honest' conversation 'after weeks of negotiation'. Pictured, Jim walking out of the interview

In Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White, which aired on ITV yesterday, the Dancing On Ice judge, 33, revealed that Jim had agreed to have a ‘real, direct, honest’ conversation ‘after weeks of negotiation’. Pictured, Jim walking out of the interview

Ofcom received more than 31,000 complaints from viewers after the dance troupe made reference to George Floyd's tragic death in their BGT performance

Ofcom received more than 31,000 complaints from viewers after the dance troupe made reference to George Floyd’s tragic death in their BGT performance

Ofcom received more than 31,000 complaints from viewers about Diversity’s performance, choreographed after the tragic death of George Floyd. 

Yet the group also won the BAFTA Must See Moment for their routine – despite it being the second most complained-about TV moment for a decade after they narrated Floyd’s murder at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin.

Jim was one of vocal critics and labelled the performance ‘ridiculous’ and ‘indulgent’ in a video titled ‘Who Needs Diversity?’.

During their discussion, Ashley told the comedian: ‘As far as I’m concerned, that video you made about Diversity it was… it was racist in every way. Every single way.’ 

Jim replied: ‘If I was talking about you it would be personal rather than be racist,’ to which Ashley insisted: ‘It was both. It was personal and racist. I’m from this country, I love this country, I’m from a mixed-race background.’ 

During the sit-down interview, Jim stormed out of the room, telling Ashley (pictured) to 'stick to the dancing, you're brilliant' and calling the discussion a 'no-win'

During the sit-down interview, Jim stormed out of the room, telling Ashley (pictured) to ‘stick to the dancing, you’re brilliant’ and calling the discussion a ‘no-win’

The comedian (pictured), 67, sparked outrage in September 2020 following a YouTube rant in which he suggested dance troupe Diversity should do a routine about 'black men mugging people' after they performed their BLM dance on Britain's Got Talent

The comedian (pictured), 67, sparked outrage in September 2020 following a YouTube rant in which he suggested dance troupe Diversity should do a routine about ‘black men mugging people’ after they performed their BLM dance on Britain’s Got Talent

The comedian insisted that race had nothing to do with his YouTube rant and said he didn’t think the performance was appropriate for a ‘late entertainment show’.

He claimed Diversity managed to ‘diffuse’ tensions around the issue with their routine.

‘You should know that I believe the outcome from that dance is more than your wildest dreams,’ he said.

‘People in this country who are frightened, old white people if you like, like me, are thinking there’s riots going on in Brixton, in south east London where I grew up, there’s stuff going on in America that’s very unsavoury, everyone’s frightened.

‘You diffused that. People are supporting you of all different races, I support Black Lives Matter, I don’t support Black Lives Matter the movement, I support the statement. You’ve won me over.’

During their discussion, Ashley (pictured) told the comedian: 'As far as I’m concerned, that video you made about Diversity it was… it was racist in every way. Every single way.'

During their discussion, Ashley (pictured) told the comedian: ‘As far as I’m concerned, that video you made about Diversity it was… it was racist in every way. Every single way.’

Jim eventually decided to end the interview, removing his microphone and walking out of the room (pictured)

Jim eventually decided to end the interview, removing his microphone and walking out of the room (pictured)

In his expletive-laden rant on YouTube last September, Jim said: ‘You just want to be famous don’t you. You want to be all around the world. That’s why you do it, you don’t give a f*** about George [Floyd].’

He went on to say: ‘You don’t see white couples on adverts anymore, do you? Most TV presenters are non-white. The Golden Girls, you know that film The Golden Girls with all them old birds? That’s being made by black people.’

Jim continued: ‘There’s loads of white people sticking up for you, sticking up for Black Lives Matter. Young white girls walking around with banners. Defund the police, support Black People.

‘Well, I say most young girls, Gemma’s sister is not holding up a banner as she was violently mugged by three black men. Perhaps Diversity can do a mugging thing.’

Ashley pointed out to the comedian that it is wrong to mention a person’s ethnic identity when referring to their crime, which the dancer said Jim had done in his video. 

Reaction: Viewers at home were quick to praise Ashley for how calmly he handled the situation, with one writing: 'Wow. Ashley Banjo and Jim Davidson. Not many people would have a face off with Jim Davidson. I admire Ashley for doing that.'

Reaction: Viewers at home were quick to praise Ashley for how calmly he handled the situation, with one writing: ‘Wow. Ashley Banjo and Jim Davidson. Not many people would have a face off with Jim Davidson. I admire Ashley for doing that.’

‘Why was his colour relevant?’ Ashley questioned, to which Jim told him he was ‘taking b******s’, adding: ‘Oh Jesus, this is f****** crazy’.

Growing flustered, Jim then accidentally referred to Ashley as ‘George’, stating: ‘I beg your pardon, it’s on my mind at the moment.’

He then decided to end the interview, removing his microphone and walking out of the room.

Ashley, who beforehand had described some of Jim’s comments about Diversity as ‘disgusting’, followed the comedian, saying: ‘Don’t walk out because I’m asking you the hard questions.’

The BGT star then told the camera: ‘I am disappointed because it was an opportunity for us to sit and really engage in a discussion. 

It comes after Ashley (pictured) talked about how he didn't leave the house for weeks in the midst of the backlash over his BLM dance routine

It comes after Ashley (pictured) talked about how he didn’t leave the house for weeks in the midst of the backlash over his BLM dance routine 

‘I’ve barely got into half the questions I wanted to ask him. In a way, maybe he did the right thing because it was only going to get harder for him.

‘I wanted to have a chat, a constructive, even if not palatable, chat about racism. And he’s telling me that I didn’t listen. I was listening, I just didn’t agree.’

Fans watching at home were full of praise for the presenter, with one writing: ‘Ashley Banjo has done an amazing job trying to hold Jim Davidson accountable.’

Another said: ‘Never before have I been more ashamed of liking a man I watched as a child on TV. I can’t even use his name. Ashley Banjo thank you for recording your programme, being so open with your interviews and really helping to educate us more.’

Jim, who has fronted shows such as Big Break and The Generation Game, has since hit out at the Diversity star, calling him ‘confrontational, out of his depth and arguing like a child’. 

Win: The group won the BAFTA Must See Moment for their performance- despite it being the second most complained-about TV moment for a decade

Win: The group won the BAFTA Must See Moment for their performance- despite it being the second most complained-about TV moment for a decade

He told the Express: ‘Ashley called anyone who disagreed with his BLM dance a “racist”. But it’s perfectly possible to not be a racist and disagree with slogans like “Defund the police”. 

He added: ‘Luckily I taped the interview too, so I will make my own documentary about the issue and play it on my JDTV channel on Ustream before ITV airs their show.’

MailOnline has contacted Jim Davidson’s representatives for comment. 

It comes after Ashley talked about how he didn’t leave the house for weeks in the midst of the backlash over his BLM dance routine.

Appearing on This Morning on Tuesday, Ashley said: ‘There was a moment where I hadn’t left the house for weeks. When I went out for the first time I was looking at people thinking – ‘what do they think?’

‘At one point, I was getting tweeted 100 tweets a minute. It was 60 per cent negative. We’re talking of thousands of messages. Where are these people in the tangible physical world? In the street, all I got was love.’ 

But the outcry made the choreographer want to delve further into British history and address the racism he has experienced in his life as well as others around him. 

‘I didn’t want to point fingers,’ Ashley said.  ‘I wanted to learn and sit back and say “was I wrong?” I knew I wasn’t in my heart but I wanted to learn the history, the present, and where we might go.’ 

‘I’ve just tried to understand the reaction a bit more. The starting point was the routine. What actually happened? Then I went backwards and tried to speak about the history and who fought in the past for equality. 

‘I spoke to people that agreed with me and then actively disagreed with me and complained. I wanted to hear both sides. They don’t hold back. The complaints are all different. A lot of people assume I say “if you complained you’re a racist”. 

‘But nowadays some of it’s covert, unconscious, institutionalised. Whether it be demonising police, not being factual, there have been a lot of different reasons to say we shouldn’t have performed. But the fact we’re talking about it, that’s why we should have performed.’  

Jim Davidson: The controversial comedian called ‘sexist’ and ‘racist’ after dismissing #MeToo movement and suggesting Diversity should have done a routine about ‘black men mugging people’

He was best known to TV viewers for hosting BBC game shows Generation Game and Big Break and has an OBE awarded for his services to charity.

But in recent years, British comic Jim Davidson, 67, has been labelled a ‘sexist’ and ‘racist’ by critics.

The controversial comedian dismissed the #MeToo movement and suggested dance group Diversity should have done a routine about ‘black men mugging people’ following their Black Lives Matter routine.

Here, FEMAIL reveals some of the entertainer’s most shocking moments…

September 2007 – Jim is axed from Hell’s Kitchen after making homophobic comments in which he branded gay men ‘shirtlifters’

The comedian was axed from ITV’s celebrity cooking show Hell’s Kitchen for insulting homosexuals in September 2017.

He was asked to leave by programme-makers for homophobic comments, which saw him brand gay men ‘shirtlifters’.

He left the nightly reality show after a series of rows with former Big Brother winner Brian Dowling, who is openly gay. 

January 2014 – Jim blasted for expletive-laden podcast claim that his old ‘Chalky White’ comedy routines WEREN’T racist 

In January 2014, Jim was criticised by anti-racism campaigners after he described his old stand-up routines as ‘cartoon racism’.

The former Generation Game host made the comments in an expletive-laden podcast on his website, in which he described impersonating a West Indian accent as ‘a vehicle to help us all really’. 

Matthew Collins, of anti-racism group Hope Not Hate, however criticised the comic for the comments and told The Mirror: ‘No racism is ever acceptable.’

In the podcast, Jim told fellow comedian Richard Digance: ‘There was cartoon racism in them days. It was the type of stuff you’d do in front of a load of black people.’

He went on to say: ‘I thought that the West Indian accent – especially Chalky White – was a vehicle to help us all really.

‘I don’t want to sound like a vicar and I’m certainly not apologising, but it was picking on one stupid, black West Indian accent and always making this guy loveable and the winner.’ 

November 2018 – Jim tells audience ‘women are only on the planet to be f***ed by men’ before dismissing #MeToo movement and sympathising with Harvey Weinstein

The comic sparked outrage in November 2018 after telling an audience: ‘Women were only put on this planet to be f***ed by men’.

He made the comment while talking about the #MeToo movement at a sold-out show in Redruth, Cornwall.

Witnesses told of a sharp intake of breath among the audience at the Regal Theatre as Jim made the comments and sympathised with disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein.

He also joked during the performance that members of the LGBT+ community should still be called ‘poofs’.

In addition, Davidson told the audience that he believed his portrayal by some critics as a racist and sexist man was unfair – and argued that the point of jokes was to make fun of other people.

October 2019 – The comedian tells South African train conductor ‘welcome to our country’ when he was pressed to show his old person’s rail pass at Euston Station

In October 2019, comedian Jim was accused of telling a black South African train attendant ‘welcome to our country’ when at London’s Euston station on a Virgin Trains service to Milton Keynes.

The claim was made by a passenger in the same carriage as Jim. The passenger made a formal complaint but Davids the comic insisted that he wasn’t racist.

He admitted to telling the train attendant to ‘f*** off’ but claimed the man was white and had acted in a threatening manner. Jim added: ‘I did say: ”Welcome to our country”, in a sarcastic manner because I couldn’t help myself.’

However, fellow passenger Paul Blanchard, 44, an author, insisted that he had seen Jim being racially abusive.

Speaking to The Sun, 2014 Celebrity Big Brother winner Jim said: ‘The attendant attempted to stop me boarding because I could not find my older person’s rail pass. I did push past and got on the train and I showed him my pass.

‘I was on my way to another charity event so did not want to miss my train. He was a white man with a thick South African accent.’

Bur Mr Blanchard insisted the man was black and added: ‘Jim made a couple of phone calls moaning about him and repeatedly used the same kind of dismissive and abusive language.’

September 2020 – Comic posts YouTube rant suggesting Diversity should do a routine on ‘black men mugging people’ and criticising Asian families ‘with 300 in a bubble’

The comedian posted a YouTube rant suggesting dance troupe Diversity should do a routine about black men mugging people in September 2020, following the group’s Black Lives Matter performance on Britain’s Got Talent.

Jim also said ‘the Asian community who have big families are taking no notice’ of coronavirus restrictions and are living in ‘a bubble of 300 in a f****** house’.

In the video, the Generation Game host said: ‘Diversity, what the f*** do you want?’

He went on to say: ‘You just want to be famous don’t you. You want to be all around the world. That’s why you do it, you don’t give a f*** about George [Floyd].’

He added: ‘You don’t see white couples on adverts anymore, do you? Most TV presenters are non-white. The Golden Girls, you know that film The Golden Girls with all them old birds? That’s being made by black people.’

Jim continued: ‘There’s loads of white people sticking up for you, sticking up for Black Lives Matter. Young white girls walking around with banners. Defund the police, support Black People.

‘Well, I say most young girls, Gemma’s sister is not holding up a banner as she was violently mugged by three black men. Perhaps Diversity can do a mugging thing.’ 



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