Comedian Jim Davidson arrested in Jimmy Savile probe

Bawdy comedian Jim Davidson held as part of sexual abuse claims that have rocked BBC

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 January, 2013, 5:48am


British television presenter Jim Davidson has denied claims made against him after becoming the latest celebrity to be arrested by police probing sexual abuse allegations.

Metropolitan Police said officers from Operation Yewtree, set up last year to investigate claims of abuse against late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile, had detained two men in their 50s on suspicion of sexual offences.

One man, aged 53, was arrested in Hampshire, southern England, and another man, 59, was arrested in west London two hours later and taken to a London police station, according to a police spokesman.

Davidson's solicitor said his client faced two claims.

"Two women have made allegations in respect of Jim that date back approximately 25 years," said Henri Brandman. "The complainants were then in their mid 20s. Jim vigorously denies the allegations and he has not been charged with any offence."

Scotland Yard later said the two men had been bailed until March and stressed that the arrests were not connected to the specific allegations made against Savile.

Davidson, 59, found fame as a bawdy stand-up comedian in the 1970s before going on to host BBC's prime-time snooker-based game show Big Break during the 1990s.

The presenter, once named "Britain's funniest man", has spoken about his battles with alcoholism and admitted to violent attacks on his former wife.

According to reports, he was arrested at Heathrow Airport after flying in to take part in this year's Celebrity Big Brother show.

Operation Yewtree has three strands; one looking at the actions of Savile, another at claims made against "Savile and others" and a third relating to complaints against people unconnected to Savile. Wednesday's arrests came under the third strand.

Savile, who died last year aged 84 after a long career in British television and radio, has been accused of abusing close to 300 victims over 40 years.