Jim Davidson ‘banned’ from Norwich’s Theatre Royal
Comedian Jim Davidson has revealed why he does not play at Norwich's Theatre Royal - because theatre bosses have effectively banned him after claiming he was rude to staff when he appeared seven years ago.
The former Generation Game presenter published a statement on his internet site today explaining why he has not performed in the city, and Theatre Royal bosses said they had 'no intention' of inviting him back.
Mr Davidson, 57, posted on his website under the heading of Theatre Royal, Norwich: 'I wanted to let you nice people from Norwich know why I am not playing your theatre.
'I have been asked by many people in Norfolk why I do not play the county's most prestigious theatre as they think I am snubbing the town in favour of Great Yarmouth.
'You will see from the reply I have received from the Theatre Royal below, that this is not the case. If you have any comments I suggest you make them known to the theatre directly.'
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That reply, from Theatre Royal chief executive Peter Wilson, quoted an assessment form from Mr Davidson's last Norwich show on August 15, 2004.
It stated that the 57-year-old was 'very rude to staff. Arguments over figures, drinks etc, and personal comments that are not acceptable'.
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Mr Wilson wrote that: 'From the show report of that evening it is plain that you publicly insulted and demeaned my front of house colleagues, offensively queried the house returns, and refused to accept our policy on wheelchair users.
'I'm sorry of course that your many fans – and I'm not for a moment questioning your popularity as an entertainer – have to travel to catch your act.
'But I prefer not to have you in our theatre because there is not a single person here who finds this sort of behaviour acceptable. If asked by the people of Norwich, I will be more than happy to make public our specific objections.'
After Mr Davidson posted the letter on his blog, Mr Wilson said he stood by his decision not to invite the comedian back to the Theatre Royal.
He said: 'I have no intention of inviting Jim Davidson back for any future live performances as the theatre have made clear to Mr Davidson's management over several years.
'On his last visit to us on August 15, 2004, he publicly insulted and demeaned several members of staff. Mr Davidson also refused to accept our policies about the seating arrangements for wheelchair users and their companions.
'I do not question the popularity of Mr Davidson as an entertainer and am sorry that people from Norwich may have to travel to see him but I would prefer not to host him at the Theatre Royal as I do not find his behaviour to my colleagues and his questioning of our access policy acceptable.'
In 2003, Mr Davidson seeminly ended his love affair with Great Yarmouth when he said the seafront was full of 'overweight people in flipflops and fat children of all colours and no class'.
He declared he would never return to the town, where he used to own the Wellington Pier. But the ex-Big Break star has since returned for performances, including fundraisers in aid of the Caister lifeboat.