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TV comedian Jim Davidson among two men arrested in sex abuse probe

By Paul Peachey in London

Comedian Jim Davidson was arrested yesterday on suspicion of sexual offences by detectives investigating the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal, according to reports.

Mr Davidson (59) was said to have been arrested after he flew into Heathrow Airport to take part in the 'Celebrity Big Brother' show, which starts this week.

Scotland Yard confirmed that a 59-year-old man was arrested in west London at noon yesterday and a 53-year-old was arrested in Hampshire four hours earlier.

Mr Davidson's solicitor Henri Brandman said last night the comedian "vigorously denies" allegations made against him by two women.

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."

Uniformed police were at Mr Davidson's home in Hampshire, last night after a number of plain-clothed colleagues went in earlier and drew the curtains on the ground floor.

Mr Davidson had previously commented on his blog about the "Jimmy Savile witch hunt", saying that it was "going a bit silly now".

"Everyone is now an expert. Just pick someone you don't like and say it's them. So I'll be the first one to knock it on the head and belt up. How's about that then?" he wrote.

Mr Davidson, a former BBC favourite with shows like the 'Generation Game' and 'Big Break', has also been roundly criticised for his abusive jokes about ethnic minorities and the gay community.

His personal life has been equally turbulent, with four divorces and a bankruptcy.

He was widely expected to appear in 'Celebrity Big Brother' this week but Channel Five declined to confirm or deny if he would now be taking part.

Ten men have now been questioned as part of Operation Yewtree, which followed allegations against former BBC presenter Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84.

The inquiry has been separated into three strands. They are claims against Savile; those involving Savile and others; and those unconnected to the former BBC star, which included the two arrests yesterday.

Police have said that the majority of those cases in the section it has labelled "others" are linked to showbusiness.

Former pop star Gary Glitter, the comedian Freddie Starr and the public relations man Max Clifford are among those that have been arrested during the inquiry. They have denied wrongdoing and nobody has been charged with any offence.

Last month police said a total of 31 allegations of rape had been made against Savile, the former 'Top Of The Pops' presenter and Radio One disc jockey. Some 589 people have come forward with information relating to the scandal, with a total of 450 complaints against him, mainly alleging sexual abuse. Detectives have recorded 199 crimes in 17 force areas in which Savile is a suspect.

(© Independent News Service)

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