Jim Davidson wins Celebrity Big Brother

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Media captionJim Davidson exits the Big Brother house, footage courtesy of Channel 5

Comedian Jim Davidson has been named winner of TV's Celebrity Big Brother a year after being unable to appear after his arrest over sex offence claims.

Davidson, who was told in August he would not be facing charges over allegations dating back more than 20 years, beat former N-Dubz singer Dappy.

After the reality TV show viewer vote, he said: "I should have gone in last year but I was unavoidably detained."

He added: "I'm slightly damaged because of that. Truth will conquer all."

Five months ago, the Crown Prosecution Service announced Davidson would face no further action over alleged offences committed in the UK.

In December, the attorney general of the Falkland Islands confirmed the 60-year-old would not be prosecuted for an alleged sex offence from the 1980s.

Interviewed after winning the Channel 5 show, Davidson explained that had been all set to appear on the programme last year and had even packed his bags ready to move into the famous reality TV house when he was arrested.

"But I didn't end up in the Big Brother house. I ended up in a police cell," he said.

His arrest on 2 January 2013 came a day before the contestants on Celebrity Big Brother were unveiled. Davidson was replaced by former footballer Neil "Razor" Ruddock in the series, which was won by X Factor singer Rylan Clark.

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Image caption Rapper Dappy, who finished second, paid tribute to Davidson, saying he had become a father figure to him during the show
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Luisa Zissman had a number of fierce rows with Davidson, during which she branded him sexist, but later said she had come to see him differently

Davidson, who had consistently denied the allegations against him, said his appearance on this year's show came after a "year of hell".

He said he initially "did not want to do it" but was persuaded to participate by friends and relatives.

Ratings hit

During the four weeks in the Big Brother house, the funnyman was caught up in a number of bitter rows with singer Linda Nolan and former Apprentice contestant Luisa Zissman.

However, he remained popular with viewers throughout the series and survived a number of eviction votes.

During his time in the house, Davidson told his fellow contestants of his initial shock at his arrest and said that the three hours he was held in a cell without being told what allegations he was facing were the most terrifying of his life.

He told them that, as well as his previous Celebrity Big Brother booking, he had lost earnings through cancelled stage appearances and had to pay for a legal team to make its own investigations into the claims.

This series of Celebrity Big Brother was such a ratings hit for Channel 5 - attracting audiences of about two million - that it was extended by five days.

Former Made in Chelsea star Ollie Locke finished third in the show, with Zissman fourth. Sam Faiers, from The Only Way Is Essex, and glamour model Casey Batchelor completed the line-up in the final.

According to overnight figures, Wednesday's live final drew an average audience of 3.2 million, peaking at 3.4 million around 2200 GMT.

But its audience was less than that for Outnumbered and Mrs Brown's Boys on BBC One and the 5.4 million who tuned in to see Midsomer Murders on ITV.

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