North West journalist in Jim Davidson 'racist' row
When Jim Davidson concluded a comedy routine using words such as ‘darkies and pikies’ as well as making fun of disabled people, journalist Nick Turner was stunned.
And after writing a review of the night at Carlisle’s Sands Centre, he was taken aback when the comedian’s London-based representative, Neil Reading PR, got in touch to ask him to remove any reference to the ‘racist’ content of the routine.
In the original review from CN group’s digital strategy manager, some positive points - and keen audience reaction from Twitter - are included in the piece and then Turner goes on to say:
“But once you’ve searched around for the plus points you can’t get away from the conclusion that Jim Davidson is an appallingly abusive and racist comedian.
“The audience probably didn’t care, but we had references to pikeys, darkies, black bastards and endless jokes about black men having big penises.
“Abuse was also directed at people on benefits, Lidl shoppers, fat women, fat black women and the disabled. Even paralympians Ellie Simmonds and Sarah Storey.
“I don’t mind my comedy being rude and crude, but this seemed desperate. In an interview before the gig Davidson said his infamous ‘Chalky’ impressions were fine in the 70s but didn’t work any longer and yet here he was wheeling them out again. Does he normally do this and the bizarre rambling Zulu film routine or was he trying to find our level?
“And when he justified not supporting Comic Relief by saying “F*** Africa! We’ve got black people in Britain and should support people here not in other countries” he got one of the biggest cheers of the night.
"I have never felt so alone.”
By his own admission, Turner is a 'Guardian-reading type' who probably wouldn’t generally turn out for a Davidson gig, but he said he’d been interested to hear the comic’s stories about the police investigations which followed on from the Savile Inquiry.
Davidson was kept on bail for eight months before being told he would not face any charges.
“I was curious because of the Operation Yewtree element and had read some reviews about that and so was expecting more of the night to be about that than it was.
“It was pretty shocking stuff. I was there for work reasons, so that’s one thing, but my wife who came along was appalled.”
After receiving the request to edit out parts of the review were received, CN Group took legal advice and declined to make any amendments.