A comedian who was caused a scandal when he used homophobic language on a reality TV show has attempted to defend himself.

197 people complained to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom in September last year after Jim Davidson, appearing on ITV’s Hell’s Kitchen, mocked fellow contestant Brian Dowling about his sexuality and used the words ‘poof’ and ‘shirt lifter.’

Dowling, who came to public attention through appearing in reality shows, was reduced to tears.

Davidson voluntarily left the show shortly after his clash with Dowling.

Appearing on The Alan Titchmarsh Show today he said that shirt-lifter was not a serious insult, but admitted he has not done any TV since the scandal.

Davidson claimed:

“I was so upset that he was playing the gay card,” and painted Dowling as wallowing in victimhood over his sexual orientation.

“I could be gay,” he told a startled Alan Titchmarch, “we could have sex and then talk about football.”

The host quickly assured his daytime audience that he would much rather do that with Nancy Dell’Olio, the former partner of England football manager Sven-Göran Eriksson.

In January Ofcom said that Davidson’s homophobic outburst did not break broadcasting rules and reality show viewers needed “an unedited insight into the contestants’ personalities.”

“There was a consensus view on the programme that Jim Davidson’s behaviour towards Brian Dowling was not acceptable and that he was in the minority,” Ofcom ruled.

“Why do shirt lifters pull that same face?” Davidson asked Dowling and another contestant about some customers in the restaurant.

“Please don’t say shirt lifters,” Brian replied. “It’s really rude.”

“I don’t care,” Davidson said. “Some gay men have the same look.”

“What look?” Dowling asked: “Do I have that look?”

“No, only when you put it on,” Davidson replied. “It’s a sort of preen.”

Later on Davidson asked Dowling: “Why do you have to play the homophobic card?”

“How can you say that to me?” Dowling asked while sobbing “I am sitting right beside you. I am an equal to you Jim, in everything we have ever done.”

“Sure – that’s what GAY stands for,” Davidson replied “‘Good As You’. I know that.”

“Jim don’t say that,” Dowling replied. “Jim, I am Brian – not ‘Good As You’. I am an equal to you. You are being really, really horrible to me now .Why can’t I be Brian and you be Jim?”

31 complaints about the use of the term ‘pikey’s picnic’ by chef Marco Pierre White on Hell’s Kitchen were also rejected.