Jim Davidson: I’m not homophobic, gay actor Victor Spinetti was one of my closest friends

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Comedian Jim Davidson says he’s not homophobic and cites his former friendship with the late Victor Spinetti.

Spinetti, who died in 2012 aged 82, appeared in dozens of films and stage plays throughout his 50-year career and is best remembered today for appearing in the three Beatles films in the 1960s, A Hard Day’s Night, Help! and Magical Mystery Tour.

Spinetti’s partner of 44 years, Graham Curnow, died in 1997.

Davidson, who won this year’s Celebrity Big Brother, has often been accused of making homophobic and racist remarks.

When asked by The Daily Mail’s Liz Jones if he would mind if one of his children told him they were gay, the 60-year-old replied: “I think gay marriage is positive, why should just straight people suffer? Victor Spinetti [the gay actor] was one of my closest friends!”

The comedian also denied suggestions of racism by saying that he once dated a Pakistani woman.

In December 2012, Davidson revealed that he once had sex with a “lady-boy” and claimed that this proved that he was not homophobic.

Commenting on the Jimmy Savile scandal in October 2012, Davidson suggested gay entertainers are more likely to be sexual abusers.

In 2007, Davidson walked out of ITV1′s Hell’s Kitchen after a row with fellow contestant Brian Dowling, which saw the gay former Big Brother host break down in tears.

It was after Davidson started a conversation about “shirt-lifters”.