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Comedian Jim Davidson to explore his own homophobia on reality TV show

Jessica Geen April 29, 2009
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The comedian Jim Davidson, who was kicked off TV show Hell’s Kitchen for alleged homophobia in 2007, is to make a programme in which he learns to become more “politically correct”.

While appearing on the cooking programme, he used the words “poof” and “shirt-lifter” and reduced Big Brother star Brian Dowling to tears.

The new one-off show, commissioned by Digital TV channel Virgin1, will be titled ‘So You Think I’m an A***hole’ and is to focus on racism, sexism and homophobia.

In it, Davidson will be mentored by a number of celebrities, including gay icons, black comedians and “fierce” women in order to help him change his views, the programme makers said.

Possible guests include Judy Finnegan, comedian Richard Blackwood and Brian Dowling.

Filming will begin next week and the show is expected to air in the summer.

Daniela Neumann, the Virgin1 director of programmes, told the Guardian: “To many, Jim’s views are deeply offensive, but he doesn’t understand why. But now, I do have to take my hat off to him as he is prepared to go out of his comfort zone to immerse himself with the very people he has been accused of prejudice against, and question whether he needs to change his views. It should be an explosive show.”

197 people complained to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom in September 2007 over Davidson’s behaviour on Hell’s Kitchen.

In January 2008, Ofcom said that Davidson’s homophobic outburst did not break broadcasting rules and reality show viewers needed “an unedited insight into the contestants’ personalities.”

“Why do shirt lifters pull that same face?” Davidson had 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?”

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