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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 October, 2003, 18:26 GMT 19:26 UK
Davidson not welcome
Jim Davidson
Jim Davidson said he was unable to perform at the show
Managers at a Plymouth venue have said they will not have the comedian Jim Davidson back to perform after he walked out of a show in a row over disabled fans.

The performer wanted a group of wheelchair users moved away from the front of the Plymouth Pavilions venue on Monday night, fearing his act might give the impression he was discriminating against them.

But the group refused to move, so Davidson walked off saying he could not perform his act.

Plymouth Pavilions is offering refunds to the 1,700-strong audience following the incident and is now considering legal action after the cancellation.

The Pavilions' director of programming and marketing, Alvin Hargreaves, said it was "highly unlikely" the show would be rescheduled.

Thirteen wheelchairs in the front row killed my act - I was unable to perform
Jim Davidson
Davidson said his act included "taking the mickey" out of people at the front. For that reason the comedian had asked for disabled fans to be moved.

He said: "I get letters from disabled people saying 'thank heaven you speak to us. Normally we get ignored and they speak to my husband'.

"But 13 wheelchairs in the front row killed my act. I was unable to perform.

"Yes, I'll go back there and we're already speaking to the theatre that I'll go back and do another date."

However, the Pavilions maintains the number of wheelchair users was not as many as Davidson had observed, saying it was only seven people out of the 34 members of the front row.

The venue also said it actively encourages disabled customers to attend shows and will not dictate where they can sit unless it is a health and safety risk.

Mr Hargreaves said: "I think he's behaved disgracefully. I think he's upset all of his fans and I think if we did invite him back, there'd be an adverse reaction.

"I think we're going to continue to take the moral high ground. We're willing to refund everybody who had tickets and go on from there.

"I don't see him coming back to the venue at all."

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