Jimmy Tarbuck has defended his presence at the controversial Presidents Club dinner, saying critics should look at the behaviour of women at hen parties for “bad behaviour”.
The veteran comedian’s words come after a newspaper ‘expose’ of the charity event, where female hosts were reportedly groped and propositioned by some of the 360 all-male guests.
Sky News spoke to the 77-year-old at his home. He did not come to the door, but spoke over intercom to confirm that he attended the dinner.
When asked what he thought when he read the news reports about the event, he replied: “They should look at maybe ladies’ hen parties at airports.
“I never saw anything like that happening and I would think a majority of people would say the same thing.”
Since the reports broke, the event has been dubbed a “lady zoo” for “slimeballs” by furious MPs. Prime Minister Theresa May has also been among the critics.
Two hospitals, including Great Ormond Street, have announced they will hand back all funds received from the event.
Tarbuck said he had been at the dinner to thank guests for donations to a children’s home, money that would enable the home to buy washing machines.
He added: “Would I attend something like that that would give money to something like that? Yes, I would.
“I never saw anything untoward.
“Were there a lot of pretty girls there? Of course there were – over 100 of them all looking very nice, but I never saw, never heard any bad language or insinuations to them, and I left after I’d done my bit.
“Tell (critics) to go to London airport to see hen parties going on if they want to see bad behaviour.
“It has to be both ways. It can’t be all men that they’re including.
“I hear on good reports that hen parties might be banned on some airlines – they should look into that.”
Tarbuck said that, after making a toast and thanking diners for their support, he left the event.
When asked if critics had over-reacted to the dinner, he said: “I can’t understand how sick children should suffer from it.”
A spokesperson for the Presidents Club has previously said the event, which included auction items such as meals with top politicians and bankers, raised more than £2m for disadvantaged children.