Popular Comedian Tackles Money Woes

When he agreed to be the face of a car loan company offering finance at a price to those with bad credit he could hardly have imagined that one day he would require its services. But yesterday the comedian Jim – known in his pomp for his “nick nick” catchphrase – was declared bankrupt after failing to keep up repayments on a £1.4m tax bill.

The rightwing comedian, loved by his core audience but loathed by others for his near-the-knuckle jokes, said he was “angry” after struggling to meet repayments of about £400,000 a year.

The overall bill was now down to £700,000, he said, but HM Revenue & Customs refused to negotiate and dismissed his suggestions of a final settlement of £450,000 or a 12-month payment holiday. “I wanted to be honest with the taxman – I offered to sell everything I have got. I just needed a bit of leeway. This is an old bill I have been struggling to pay off,” he told the BBC’s website.

“The taxman has forced me into this position – that’s why I feel angry rather than sad and disappointed.”

Davidson, 52, was a fixture on television until his primetime Saturday night show, The Generation Game, was axed in 2002. “This is kind of a shock to me,” he said. “The taxman has, for reasons best known to himself, pulled the rug out from under my feet.”

Davidson now lives in Dubai and said he had been returning to the UK to perform two stand-up tours a year in an effort to keep up the repayments, having had his finances stretched by his divorce from his fourth wife, Tracy Hilton. “You cannot keep going back to the same theatres,” he said. “I don’t want the taxman to put me in a position where my career looks as if it is failing, because it isn’t.”

After winning ITV’s New Faces in 1976 Davidson became popular with the tabloid newspapers – his four marriages and frequent battles with alcohol ensuring him a regular presence. Not unusual among his peer group, he was criticised for the misogyny and racism of his act. He once called his critics “do-goody, leftie, white, socialist hybrids” and his supporters point to his charity work supporting British troops overseas, for which he received an OBE in 2000.

To make matters worse, if he fancies a new Jag on his return to the UK to appear in pantomime he may be disappointed. Yes Car Credit, the company that hired him for adverts, also went under last year.

The overall bill was now down to £700,000, he said, but HM Revenue & Customs refused to negotiate and dismissed his suggestions of a final settlement of £450,000 or a 12-month payment holiday. “I wanted to be honest with the taxman – I offered to sell everything I have got. I just needed a bit of leeway. This is an old bill I have been struggling to pay off,” he told the BBC’s website.

“The taxman has forced me into this position – that’s why I feel angry rather than sad and disappointed.”

Davidson, 52, was a fixture on television until his primetime Saturday night show, The Generation Game, was axed in 2002. “This is kind of a shock to me,” he said. “The taxman has, for reasons best known to himself, pulled the rug out from under my feet.”

Davidson now lives in Dubai and said he had been returning to the UK to perform two stand-up tours a year in an effort to keep up the repayments, having had his finances stretched by his divorce from his fourth wife, Tracy Hilton. “You cannot keep going back to the same theatres,” he said. “I don’t want the taxman to put me in a position where my career looks as if it is failing, because it isn’t.”

After winning ITV’s New Faces in 1976 Davidson became popular with the tabloid newspapers – his four marriages and frequent battles with alcohol ensuring him a regular presence. Not unusual among his peer group, he was criticised for the misogyny and racism of his act. He once called his critics “do-goody, leftie, white, socialist hybrids” and his supporters point to his charity work supporting British troops overseas, for which he received an OBE in 2000.

To make matters worse, if he fancies a new Jag on his return to the UK to appear in pantomime he may be disappointed. Yes Car Credit, the company that hired him for adverts, also went under last year.

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