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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
Comic Davidson declared bankrupt
Jim Davidson
Davidson hosted seven series of The Generation Game for the BBC
Comedian Jim Davidson has been declared bankrupt after failing to keep up payments on a 1.4m tax bill.

The 52-year-old comic said he had been struggling to meet payments of about 400,000 a year, but that HM Revenue & Customs refused to negotiate.

Davidson, who lives in Dubai, said he wanted to finish paying off the bill, now down to about 700,000, but had been "forced into this position".

A Revenue & Customs spokesman said it could not comment on specific cases.

"This is kind of a shock to me," Davidson told the BBC News website.

"The tax man has, for reasons best known to himself, pulled the rug out from under my feet.

"I am still pretty solvent. I just can't pay 700,000 right now."

I wanted to be honest with the tax man - I offered to sell everything I have got
Jim Davidson
He said he had been left unable to pay the 1.4m bill about four years ago owing to the expense of the earlier divorce from his fourth wife, Tracy Hilton.

His income then decreased sharply after he left the BBC's primetime Saturday show The Generation Game in 2002.

Davidson said he had been performing two UK tours a year to maintain annual repayments but he and his manager had felt that could not continue.

"You cannot keep going back to the same theatres," he said. "I don't want the tax man to put me in a position where my career looks as if it is failing, because it isn't."

He said Revenue & Customs refused his request to take a 12-month break from payments.

It also refused his offer of a final payment of about 450,000, he said.

Angry

"I wanted to pay my debts - I still do. I have paid the majority of this off," Davidson said.

"I wanted to be honest with the tax man - 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 added: "The taxman has forced me into this position - that's why I feel angry rather than sad and disappointed."

Davidson has appeared extensively on television, including as presenter of BBC's Big Break and The Generation Game.

He founded the British Forces Foundation charity in 1999 that funds entertainment for British troops worldwide.

He was made an OBE in 2001 for his services to charity.


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