Comedian Jim Davidson arrested in sex abuse investigation

Thursday 03 January 2013 11.28
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Jim Davidson 'vigorously denies' the allegations made against him
Jim Davidson 'vigorously denies' the allegations made against him
Operation Yewtree was set up to investigate allegations against Jimmy Savile and other high-profile figures
Operation Yewtree was set up to investigate allegations against Jimmy Savile and other high-profile figures

Comedian Jim Davidson "vigorously denies" allegations made against him by two women, his solicitor said in a statement.

He was questioned by detectives investigating the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal over allegations dating back 25 years, his solicitor Henri Brandman said.

Mr Davidson and a 53-year-old man were arrested at separate locations in London and Hampshire, both on suspicion of sexual offences linked to Operation Yewtree.

In a statement, Mr Brandman said: "Two women have made allegations in respect of Jim that date back approximately 25 years.

"The complainants were then in their mid-20s. Jim vigorously denies the allegations.

"He answered police questions as fully as he was able after this passage of time.

"He has not been charged with any offence. Neither he nor I will be making any further comment."

The Metropolitan Police said the allegations were not directly linked to Savile.

Mr Davidson, 59, was reportedly arrested at Heathrow Airport as he returned to the UK to be a contestant on Channel 5's Celebrity Big Brother.

The station would not comment on his inclusion, but he had been preparing to take part in the show, which returns to screens tomorrow evening.

He will now no longer be taking part and programme chiefs are believed to be rejigging the line-up at the last moment.

Mr Davidson found fame as a stand-up comedian before presenting television favourites including the Generation Game and Big Break.

He founded the British Forces Foundation charity in 1999 to provide entertainment for British troops around the world. In 2001 he was made an OBE for his services to charity.

Scotland Yard is leading a national investigation into allegations against Jimmy Savile and a number of other high-profile figures.

Operation Yewtree has been separated into three strands: claims against Savile, those involving Savile and others, and those involving others.

The latest arrests fall under the "others" strand.

So far, officers have questioned ten people, including former pop star Gary Glitter, comedian Freddie Starr and PR guru Max Clifford.

Last month, police said a total of 31 allegations of rape had been made against former Top Of The Pops presenter Savile.

Some 589 people have come forward with information relating to the scandal, with a total of 450 complaints against the BBC presenter and DJ, mainly alleging sexual abuse.

Detectives have recorded 199 crimes in 17 force areas in which Savile is a suspect.