Jim Davidson walks out of Ashley Banjo interview after being challenged over ‘racist’ Diversity dance reaction

Jim Davidson walks out of Ashley Banjo interview after being challenged over ‘racist’ Diversity dance reaction

Jim Davidson walked out of his interview with Diversity star Ashley Banjo when the latter accused him of holding “inherently racist views” over his reaction to the dance troupe’s tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement.

In September 2020, the former presenter and comedian criticised the troupe’s performance – which aired on Britain’s Got Talent – posting a video titled “Who Needs Diversity?” and calling the appearance “ridiculous” and “indulgent”.

Now, in a conversation aired on ITV documentary Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White last night, Davidson walked out after a tense discussion in which Banjo said the video was “racist”.

Banjo said: “As far as I’m concerned, that video you made about Diversity it was…it was racist in every way. Every single way.”

“If I was talking about you it would be personal rather than be racist,” responded Davidson.

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The pair disagreed further with Davidson saying the dance was not appropriate for a “light entertainment show” and claiming it caused controversy, making people “more racist”.

He added the dance had had an “outcome” which he believed to be “more than your wildest dreams”.

“People in this country who are frightened. Old ‘white’ people, if you like, like me, are thinking there’s riots going on in Brixton, in South East London where I grew up. There’s stuff going on in America that’s very unsavoury,” he said.

“There’s black guys walking around with black stuff. Everyone’s frightened. You diffused that. People are supporting you of all different races. I support Black Lives Matter. I don’t support Black Lives Matter the movement, I support the statement. You’ve won me over.”

Then, after Davidson said he did not wish to discuss racism, Banjo said he believed what Davidson has said previously was “inherently racist”, prompting Davidson to walk out.

“Jim I want to talk to you about this,” Banjo said as he followed him out. He then pointed out that Davidson was trying to exit through the wrong door.

Responding to the exchange, people slammed Davidson for how he had handled the situation and, in turn, praised Banjo:

Banjo said he was disappointed the interview had ended because it was “an opportunity for us to sit and really engage in a discussion”.

It is not the first time Davidson has caused controversy. In 2007, he was dropped from ITV’s Hell’s Kitchen for making what the channel called “unacceptable remarks” about gay contestant Brian Dowling. He later said it was a “mistake”, adding: “I made the wrong choice of words. And it just got into a hole.”

Last year, he helped unveil a portrait of Nigel Farage called “Mr Brexit” and he has been frequently criticised for making insensitive jokes.

Meanwhile, his rant about the Diversity performance caused him to be dropped by a theatre in Torquay last year.

The show is available to watch on the ITV hub.

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