Sunday 18 February 2018

WATCH: Snooker commentator Willie Thorne warned after cursing live on air

Snooker commentator Willie Thorne
Snooker commentator Willie Thorne

John Skilbeck

Willie Thorne has been warned he must not repeat his mistake after swearing live on air when commentating on the first day of the Betfred World Championship.

The 63-year-old former cueman was on duty alongside 2002 world champion Peter Ebdon for the Crucible match between Scots Stephen Maguire and Anthony McGill.

And in a lapse when remarking on how McGill was struggling, Thorne said on the BBC: "When you 'go' here though Pete, it is a f****** nightmare this place."

Two-time former world champion Mark Williams wrote on Twitter: "Oh dear willie", as the slip-up gained a wider audience on social media.

The match was broadcast on the BBC red button, and Thorne has apologised to his employers for the blunder.

Graham Fry, managing director of programme makers IMG Productions, said: "Willie deeply regrets what he said and is well aware that this can't happen again.

"All the commentators were warned that their mikes are live all day here at the Crucible."

Thorne won the Mercantile Credit Classic tournament in 1985 and the Leicester man was known as 'Mr Maximum' during his playing career, which ended in 2002.

He is a regular commentator on the BBC's snooker coverage and a familiar face and voice to millions of sport fans.

Thorne's blunder comes a year after fellow veteran commentator John Virgo apologised after he was also heard swearing on air during a semi-final at the World Championship.

Virgo thought he was holding an off-microphone conversation but could be heard muttering during the match between Mark Selby and Marco Fu.

He said during BBC One's live broadcast: "I wanted to watch a bit of racing this afternoon. I'll be lucky to watch some f****** Match of the Day."

Press Association

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