Thursday 18 July 2019

'Bullseye' host Jim Bowen (80) dies

Jim Bowen died ‘peacefully’. Photo: Gareth Copley/PA
Jim Bowen died ‘peacefully’. Photo: Gareth Copley/PA

Danny Boyle

Jim Bowen, the host of TV gameshow 'Bullseye', has died aged 80 with his wife by his side.

The broadcaster and comedian presented the darts-based show in the 1980s and 1990s. His agent confirmed yesterday afternoon that he had died.

Bowen, who was born in Lancashire, began his career as a comedian in the 1960s. He started presenting 'Bullseye' in 1981 and the Sunday evening show ran until 1995, regularly attracting more than 12 million viewers in the UK.

Bowen was famous for several 'Bullseye' catchphrases, including "super, smashing, great", "now look what you could have won..." and "stay out of the black and into the red, nothing in this game for two in a bed".

Bowen's agent, Patsy Martin, said: "I will very sadly miss Jim. He was a very lovely, genuine man."

John Pleus, a family friend, said Bowen died yesterday morning with his wife Phyllis by his side. "He passed away very peacefully. We are all shedding a tear," he said. "It wasn't completely unexpected, he's been ill for several weeks in hospital.

"As with people getting on, Jim has had several strokes, one in 2011. Strokes just make you weaker and more susceptible to infections but we don't know what the cause of death will be."

'Bullseye' involved three pairs of contestants: a "thrower" who would throw the darts and a "knower", who would answer Bowen's questions.

Contestants who did not win prizes such as a new car or luxury holiday were presented with consolation prizes including a "Bendy Bully" - a rubber model of the show's mascot Bully.

Several darts players offered their tributes on social media after news of the entertainer's death broke.

Bowen also enjoyed TV cameo roles in shows such as 'Last Of The Summer Wine' as well as roles in 'Jonathan Creek' and in Peter Kay's 'Phoenix Nights'.

In 2011, Bowen, also known as Alf in the Tetley Bitter adverts, said he had learned to "appreciate all the things in life" after suffering two strokes. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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