JIM Davidson OBE is touring his critically acclaimed autobiographical show 40 Years On, arriving at Eastleigh’s Concorde Club on Thursday.

James Rampton finds out all about the heartfelt and hilarious reflection on what has been a legendary career for the Hampshire resident....

Q: Can you describe the buzz you get from doing stand-up?

A: “When the show is flying, there’s nothing better. It’s euphoric. You feel like you’ve won, because you achieved what you set out to do and given people the best night they’ve ever had. That’s great, but imagine being Pink Floyd. They have 100,000 people cheering them because it’s the best thing they’ve ever seen!”

Q: You are touring with your new show, 40 Years On. Can you please describe the show to us?

A: “It’s looking back on my 40 years in showbiz. It’s different. People say, “It’s classy. It looks like you put some thought into it!” It’s even got a soundtrack, like a film!”

Q: What will you be talking about?

A: “I’ll be talking about all the characters I’ve known during my life. The first section is all about the mad uncles and aunties I had when I was growing up in south-east London. No one was rich, but everyone seemed very happy back then.”

Q: Which of your many career highlights do you discuss in the show?

A: “I talk about where it all began when I won New Faces in 1976. Whenever I think of that, I still feel fuzzy inside. I had an amazing sense of euphoria. I knew I had got to the start line. I always thought, “Give me a chance and I’ll succeed.” And that turned out to be true!”

Q: Any other highlights?

A: “Yes, The Generation Game. It was difficult to make because we wanted to make it different from Bruce Forsyth’s highly successful version. So I made it very unpredictable and slapstick like Tiswas. Did you know that I was the first Phantom Flan Flinger on Tiswas? That would be a good Trivial Pursuit question, wouldn’t it? We filmed the crew on The Generation Game and made it more anarchic. We had a real laugh, and people loved it. Would I do it again? In a shot!”

Q: Are you also proud of your victory in Celebrity Big Brother two years ago?

A: “Absolutely. I think people like to see celebrities out of their comfort zone. I’m normally very laid back, and that’s the way I was in the Big Brother House. Also, it felt like the end of a rotten year for me. It closed the book on an awful time.”

Q: It was a terrible time for you, which only ended when the police told you they would take “no further action” after 12 months of charges hanging over you. How do you view that period now?

A: “It was horrible. The scary bit was not knowing where the police were going. Demons were on the loose in society. I know from my own experience with my charity, Care after Combat, that many an innocent man is in prison – which is what I was worried about! I’ve been asked by several celebrities since to try to change the law. But I think the law should be changed by people in wigs and gowns, not ageing comedians.”

Q: What else will you be doing in 40 Years On?

A: “I’ll be signing 200 copies of my book, No Further Action, in the interval. All the money goes to Care after Combat. I couldn’t afford another wife, anyway. You don’t get a discount just because you buy in bulk!”

Q: Are you ever purposefully provocative in order to annoy the politically correct?

A: “Yes. I deliberately try and upset certain people. All those unfunny lefties rile me. I feel my reputation is unfair, but I would say that, wouldn’t I? If I upset someone, I can’t say it’s their problem. And it’s true that whatever I say, it never looks good written down in black and white because you can’t see the twinkle in my eye. Everyone needs a bad guy to make them feel better. But you can’t change some people. I could cure hunger in Africa, and certain people would still see me as racist.”

Q: What does the future hold?

A: “I’m trying to cut down on the touring because I’ve got a new job. I’m not going to pack up the comedy – after all, I’ve lasted this long! I also need it as a release. But I’ve got other priorities now. With Simon Weston, I co-founded this charity in 2014 called Care after Combat. It looks after military veterans who are in the criminal justice system. Working with the charity has got under my skin. I feel very passionate about it.”

Q: How did you get to know Simon?

A: “I met him when he was being patched up at Chessington. He’s a great guy. He’s our charity’s chairman. He’s instantly recognisable. There’s much more to him than you’d think. He suffered terrible physical injuries, but he also underwent huge mental trauma. That’s why he’s a hero. He got his life back. He’s inspirational, and he cares deeply about others. Once you’ve got him on board, you can’t fail. Even I can’t ruin it!”

Q: Finally, what message do you hope that audiences will take away from 40 Years On?

A: “I came from nothing, but I managed to make a success of my life. I want to let people know that they should never give up. Something bad will happen, but then something good will happen. I’d like to tell people that there’s always something else coming, no matter how bleak life may seem. You have to push on and get through life. Above all, I would like to give people hope.”

Tickets: 023 8061 3989 or theconcordeclub.com