Jim to host firefighters' memorial

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Jim Davidson is to present a fundraising evening in the memories of two firefighters who died while tackling a tower block blaze - and told how he once had to be rescued by their team himself.

The comedian said James Shears, 35, and Alan Bannon, 38, were members of the same team of firefighters who came to his aid when he and wife Michelle became trapped in a lift one New Year's Eve.

The show, which will also star Bobby Davro and Jethro among others, will take place on June 16 at the Mayflower theatre in Southampton, to raise cash for the James Shears and Alan Bannon Memorial Fund.

Davidson was so moved when the news that the two firemen from St Mary's Red Watch lost their lives in the line of duty that he contacted the theatre to see what could be done.

He later found out the team had also been responsible for rescuing him after speaking to the members of the fire brigade.

He said he and Michelle became stuck in a block of flats at around 1am after a night out at a restaurant in Southampton around five years ago.

Davidson joked he had thought of ways to while away the hour-and-a-half spent trapped - but "I was too drunk".

He said he "could not believe it" when he realised he had been rescued by the same team.

He added: "As a community we rely on these brave men and women."