Jim Davidson v. ‘shirt lifter’ Brian Dowling for Celebrity Big Brother

Jim Davidson has signed up for Celebrity Big Brother and looks set to cause controversy as he has previously called the Channel 5 show’s gay host Brian Dowling a “shirt lifter” and a “f***ing disgrace”.

The 59-year-old comedian made the homophobic comments when both he and Dowling were contestants on Hell’s Kitchen in 2007. Davidson was kicked off the programme as a result.

An insider told The Sun: “Jim often says what he thinks, even if his views are at odds with most people.

“He got himself into a lot of trouble when he was on Hell’s Kitchen with Brian but hopefully he will be on better behaviour with him this time.

“It’s true to say there is no love lost between the pair of them but Brian is a professional and this is part of his job.”

Dowling will be on interview duty when the Nick-Nick funnyman enters the infamous Celebrity Big Brother house, and when he leaves the show. The pair are not thought to have properly spoken since the Hell’s Kitchen incident.

A number of other stars are also rumoured to be taking part in next year’s programme including former EastEnders actress Gillian Taylforth, who portrayed Kathy Beale on the BBC One soap for 15 years, and Page 3 model Lacey Banghard.

US reality TV stars Spencer Pratt and his wife Heidi Montag, Steps singer Claire Richards and X Factor contestant Rylan Clark have also been linked to the show.

Celebrity Big Brother returns to Channel 5 on 3 January.