Park Engineering

 John Park, 32 the Loaning, Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, Strathclyde, Scotland, U.K. ML1 3HE

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Jim Davidson (my favourite stand up comic) has a big break after "worst year of his life". Taken from the Weekly News June 2014

 

Not many comedians can base a show on "worst year of my life"  But that's exactly what Jim Davidson's doing.  In January 2013, he was arrested at Heathrow by police involved in Operation Yewtree, the investigation into Jimmy Savile, after allegations of historic sexual offences against women. And, after being put through the wringer, his name was finally cleared by August, when the Crown Prosecution Service informed Jim there'd "No further action"  -- And that's what he's calling his next show. It's a brave title but as Jim explains: "People want to know. I started going on stage and they're all sat there saying: "Come on Jim, tell us what happened, what were you nicked for, what did you do, why didn't they charge you?"  "Not everyone would base a show on it but sometimes when you're frightened, you laugh, don't you, or if you mix with any of the military like I do, they have this gallows sense of humour that keeps them together and I think that's what I've tried to find" "Also, It's a great story as i was arrested literally on my way to the Big Brother House and a year later -- after "No further action", a year from hell and being skint after all these lawyers' fees  -- I went in Big Brother House and won it !   "The thing is, when I was arrested, I was in that cell thinking: "I'm meant to be on Big Brother House" and a year later, I was lying on a double bed handcuffed to Linda Nolan, thinking: "That cell wasn't that bad after all ---"But it's just a storey I needed to tell. I was horrific, man, awful.  "It was a bit scary because although I new I was innocent, you don't know what else is at play. The demons fly around and the negativity. "You think: "Hang on. how can I be arrested for this? This is a silly accusation, anyone can see through this"  "It was very, very expensive too" "The lost bookings -- first of all you've got the Big Brother fee and then the pantomime that went out the window. "You can't have someone accused of being a sex offender playing the likes of Buttons." "And then you've got the actual money out of pocket for your lawyers and QC because my legal team did all the work." "We got all the statements from the police and gave them to the Crown Prosecution Service before we went to court and they had a look and said: "Oh, blimey, none of these accusations stand up"   Jim will be taking No Further Action to the Edinburgh Fringe in August but, given the historic enmity between Scotland's two biggest cities, maybe he shouldn't mention his Glaswegian father.  "I'm going to start with that" laughs the five times married former "Funniest man on TV"  who presented both Big Break and the Generation Game. "I love Edinburgh but Glasgow's like a second home to me. I lived  there for all that year I had the trouble with police and the Glaswegian took care of me. "It's still my favourite gig, and my favourite place to be in England, actually Glasgow  -- wait that's the wrong thing to say, isn't it? That's a bit of a Freud slip!" Seeing as this is Jim's Fringe debut, we could vote for the 60 year old as the best newcomer. "I think that's a fabulous idea" he laughs. "I'll suggest that when I'm up there. Start a campaign. I tried to get up there a few years ago. I think I was trying to prove "Hang on, I'm as funny as these alternative type comedians. "I said "Can I go and do the Edinburgh Festival? and they said "No, you're too famous" "But now after being dropped by the BBC and arrested by Operation Yewtree, It's yes! come up"  Jim's treading a path already trodden by other "old-school" comedians, who found a new audience at the Fringe , such as Bob Monkhouse. "I can imagine Bob doing that" nods Jim "It's a sense of humour that you people don't get to see." "Bob just told a lot of great jokes and his humour was lightning quick but the perception of me by the young guns is that I'm just this old-school guy who tells lots of sexist, racist, mother-in-law jokes but that's not true. "I don't do that any more and I've asked myself why"   "I don't think I've changed expressly to compete with the young guys or to get get back on TV, it's just a natural progression of being in the business for 40 years. "You go on stage and you feel that people want to hear about you, they don't want jokes about two fat ladies. "They want to hear what your life's like, how messed up it is, so I do what I do.   "To see my point of view on stage, and you'd hardly call me left wing, would be refreshing for a lot of young people if they go there with an open mind. "If they go there  secretly hoping I'm this sexist, racist, homophobic, comedian, they'll be disappointed. "  Winning Celebrity big brother with a record landside number of votes makes Jim something of an unlikely national treasure. "Yeah unlikely being the underscored word!" he agrees "there are people who'll still say that because     i won Big Brother, it must have been a fiddle." "I've always said that if I cured Aids, eradicated Malaria, and fed the world's population, I'll still be seen as that racist, right wing, Tory voting, Toff loving fellow. "So there's no winning with me for some people. "All I want to impress to do is to rejoice in the fact that I got the biggest vote Big Brothers ever had and the biggest ratings they've ever had after the most awful year I've ever had.  

Jim Davidson "no further action" is at the Fringe August 1-24, and then tours the UK. For tickets, visit www.jimdavidson.org.uk

   "Grumpy dad" a hit with kids

Jim Davidson has seen the average age of his audience head downwards, and he's sure he knows why, writes Alan Shaw. Jim puts it down to winning Big Brother in January, when record number of viewers tuned in to see him act as a grumpy dad to younger housemates such as rapper Dappy, and cross swords with Linda Nolan.  "There are more younger people coming, I think, because of Big Brother," he says. "people seem to think: "Crikey, this old guy is funny, let's go and see what he can do. "But I did get into trouble with the producers. Every time I did an accent, Dappy used to fall around laughing. "I mentioned curry powder with an indian accent and was called to Big Brother Room and accused of racism. Dappy thought this was outrageous so I did an impression of him being outraged and got called back in and accused of being racist again because the said I did a West Indian version of Dappy -- who's Greek.  "then I got told off for doing an impression of Danny La Rue! "But I think I maybe changed people's perceptions"

Strictly no option

  Jim Davidson was the man picked to take over when Bruce Forsyth stepped down from the Generation Game, writes Alan Shaw. But was he ever in the running to take over from Brucie on Strictly Come Dancing?. "First of all, I wouldn't want to be surrounded by all those orange girls," Laughs Jim. " John Barrowman would have been fantastic but I wasn't surprised they gave it to that woman Claudia Wrinklebum or whatever her name is. "That's what the BBC do, they give new shows to people they know, trust and love. "They don't audition" "When I got The Generation Game after Bruce jacked it in, it was because I was already doing Big Break, and and they asked if I'd like to do Generation Game as well. "They new how I worked, so why bother to get anyone else ? That's what happens."                                                                    

 
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