Jim Davidson: what did comedian say in Ashley Banjo interview on ITV documentary Britain in Black and White?

After the Black Lives Matter dance routine by Diversity was performed, Jim Davidson posted a video criticising the group, titled ‘Diversity, what the f**k do you want?’

Diversity dancer Ashley Banjo sat down with comedian Jim Davidson for an interview in his newly released ITV documentary Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White.

Banjo looked to hold Davidson accountable in a “real, direct, honest” conversation regarding comments that he made after Diversity performed a routine which paid tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Sign up to our What to Watch newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

This is everything you need to know.

What is Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White?

The documentary from ITV follows Banjo after he found himself at the centre of the Black Lives Matter debate in the summer of 2020.

Banjo and his dance group Diversity performed a routine on Britain’s Got Talent which paid tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement following the killing of George Floyd in the US.

The performance became one of the most complained moments in the history of OFCOM, but also won a BAFTA for the must see TV moment.

Speaking about the documentary, Banjo said: “I didn’t set out to become an activist but somehow here I am.”

“The first time I saw the George Floyd video, I was in bed, doing my sort of like morning Instagram scroll. I just sat there just gobsmacked at what I was seeing. I just saw my dad.

“We were consistently pulled over in our area as a family, you know, at least once every two weeks. It just sparked something in me. It just ignited something.

“It was at that moment, I was like, whatever happens, I’m going to speak up about this.”

The dance from Diversity would go on to win a BAFTA (Photo: Britain’s Got Talent)

In the programme Banjo also catches up with fellow Britain’s Got Talent Judge Alisha Dixson about the performance, who says: “It floored me. Yeah, absolutely floored me. I couldn’t even... I mean, I’m so glad the camera never saw my face. I was crying like a baby, like I’ve never cried on TV before.”

“This is a reflection of how we’re all feeling – the whole year building up to that moment where everybody was allowed out but we’re carrying with us the emotional scars of what we’ve experienced as a community. And in a way, it was all bubbling to the surface. But no one could have predicted what was going to come next.”

She continues: “I feel like the routine was just the beginning of this new chapter, I think now that lid has been lifted, you cannot avoid it .

“The conversations have to happen. You’ve put yourself in the firing line once. And I think this is the moment now where you act on that and you take it to the next level.”

Following the Diversity performance, comedian Jim Davidson criticised the group for using the show as a platform for their message.

What happened in the interview?

Banjo and Davidson got together for a sit down interview to discuss the “disgusting” comments he made about Diversity and the performance in a video he posted titled “Who Needs Diversity?”, including calling it “ridiculous” and “indulgent”.

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

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

Banjo countered by saying that “it was both personal and racist”.

Davidson continued by saying that his issue with the performance was that it was inappropriate for “a late entertainment show”.

Jim Davidson abruptly cut the interview short, calling it a ‘no win’ situation (Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Banjo referred to the video that Davidson made after the performance, explaining that it’s wrong to mention a Black man’s ethnicity when talking about his crime, which Banjo said Davidson had done in his video.

He asked: “Why was his colour relevant?” to which Davidson said that Banjo was “talking b*****ks”.

Growing flustered, Davidson accidentally referred to Banjo as “George” before saying: “I beg your pardon, it’s on my mind at the moment.”

It was then that Davidson decided to end the interview, calling it a “no-win” situation.

Whilst removing his microphone and walking out, he said to Banjo that he should “stick to the dancing”.

Banjo said: “Don’t walk out because I’m asking you the hard questions.”

What has the response been to the interview?

After the documentary aired, Banjo was met with an outpouring of support online from those impressed with the way he handled the interview.

One person wrote: “Wow, #AshleyBanjo composed, articulate, intelligent. Patience personified in the face of the abhorrently racist Jim Davidson. Great insight.”

Ashley Banjo attending the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2021 (Photo: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

Another user tweeted: “Well, if we weren’t sure Jim Davidson was a racist c**t already, this has really hammered it home #AshleyBanjo”

Another tweeted: “Huge credit to @AshleyBanjo even being in the same room as Jim Davidson. I fear JD represents far too many ignorant, poorly educated white nationalists, who are in total denial of racism existing in the UK.”

“If you don’t think Jim Davidson’s a racist, then you are a racist,” another wrote.

“Jim Davidson is quite possibly the foulest man I’ve ever seen on TV. Racist to the absolute core. #AshleyBanjo,” tweeted another.

Where can I watch the documentary?

Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White originally aired on ITV on Tuesday (19 October) evening, however you can still watch it if you missed it the first time around.

The hour long documentary is available to watch on the ITV Hub.

A message from the editor: Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.