Jimmy Carr is not a fan of Jim Davidson after the veteran comedian stole his joke

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
3 Min Read

ears ago, Jimmy Carr and Jim Davidson clashed over a stolen joke, nearly leading to court. Way back in 2004, a young Carr, then hosting Channel 4’s Distraction, accused Davidson of stealing one of his jokes.

It was at the Royal Variety Performance in 2002, where Carr, delivered the now-infamous line: ‘Someone came up to me last week and complained about a joke, quite a big-boned girl. She said: ‘I think you’re fattist.’ I said: ‘No, I think you’re fattest.”

The alleged thievery occurred when Davidson, told a similar joke on his show ‘Jim Davidson On The Road’ on July 2, 2004. Carr’s legal team promptly swooped in, demanding an apology from the grizzled comic.

Jimmy Carr's joke was used two years later by Jim Davidson
Jimmy Carr originally told the joke in 2002

Davidson’s agent, Laurie Mansfield, defended his client, calling the accusations ‘madness’. According to Mansfield, the joke had been circulating around comedy for ages, making it as hard to copyright. Despite the denial, a letter of apology was dispatched to Carr, acknowledging the uncanny resemblance.

Enter comedian Stewart Lee, who, in a stand-up routine, quipped, ‘if Jim Davidson can steal your material, maybe it’s time to start writing something else.’

Jimmy Carr didn’t initially accept apology

Carr, not one to back down, gathered his legal team for a second time. Dissatisfied with Davidson’s apology, he pondered further legal action. In a statement relayed by his agent Hannah Chambers, Carr voiced his discontent: “It’s not acceptable, and it doesn’t happen a lot.”

Jim Davidson controversially appeared to use Jimmy Carr's joke
Jim Davidson apologised to Jimmy Carr but it Carr was still unhappy

Davidson’s agent, however, dismissed the entire fracas as a ‘storm in a teacup.’ Laurie Mansfield emphasized that the disputed joke was merely a solitary drop in Davidson’s comedic ocean—a 50-minute routine where similarity was purely coincidental.

“We are both fans of Jimmy Carr; we are sorry if it has offended him,” Mansfield expressed, defending Davidson’s innocence. The BBC, caught in the crossfire, confirmed knowledge of Carr’s complaint but held no obligation to intervene.

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