Bullseye presenter and comedian Jim Bowen has died at the age of 80.
The broadcaster and stand-up comedian who was best known presenting the classic darts-based game show Bullseye in the 1980s and 90s,
Bowen’s wife Phyllis confirmed the sad news to BBC Radio Lancashire.
TV personality and comedian Jim Bowen has died at the age of 80, his family has told the BBC. He was the presenter of Bullseye in the 1980s and 1990s. #Bullseye #RIPJimBowen pic.twitter.com/QxoiworWz9
— lizo mzimba (@lizo_mzimba) March 14, 2018
Mr Bowen, who was born in Heswall, Wirrall, but grew up in Clayton-le-Moors in Lancashire, had worked as a deputy headmaster before embarking on a successful career as a stand-up comedian in the 1960s.
He then became a household name when he began presenting Bullseye – a programme he hosted from its beginning in September 1981 until the end of its 14th series in July 1995.
Bowen had a number of famous catchphrases, including: ‘Keep out of the black and in to the red, nothing in this game for two in a bed.’
And ‘Super, smashing, great’, ‘You can’t beat a bit of Bully’, and ‘Let’s look at what you could have won’.
Jim Bowen. Thanks for being super, smashing, great
— Ryan Weston (@Ryweston87) March 14, 2018
As well as a stand-up career and Bullseye, Bowen worked as a presenter on the radio, and also guest starred in Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, as well as BBC’s Jonathan Creek, and Last Of The Summer Wine.
Tributes to the ‘super, smashing, great’ guy have been paid on social media, among those was one from boxer Frank Bruno, who wrote:
Jim Bowen RIP great comic we worked together many times had a lot of laughs together. Jim & Ken Dodd sad time for the entertainment industry.
RIP Jim Bowen! Thank you mate for the great #bullseye days we had so much fun. Super Magic Great!
— Bobby George (@BobbyGeorge180) March 14, 2018
— Jamie Hoskins (@jamiehoskins89) March 14, 2018
Damn it. So so so sad to hear of the death of Jim Bowen. Worked with him a fair few times… Always so adorable. Bless you to the moon and back, fella.
— Greg Scott (@GregScottTV) March 14, 2018
Had the pleasure of meeting Jim Bowen at a charity do once. He was surprisingly down to earth, and VERY funny.
— Limmy's Vines TOUR (@DaftLimmy) March 14, 2018
Jim Bowen RIP great comic we worked together many times had a lot of laughs together. Jim & Ken Dodd sad time for the entertainment industry pic.twitter.com/1tW1XRZvxn
— Frank Bruno MBE (@frankbrunoboxer) March 14, 2018
Some more sad news – Bullseye host Jim Bowen has died, aged 80. pic.twitter.com/JD64J4c1ib
— Chris Parsons (@ChrisParsons274) March 14, 2018
Stephen Hawking and Jim Bowen on the same day. I can't cope
— Rob Helliwell (@RobHelliwell27) March 14, 2018
So, I'm still watching Bullseye from 1981. And everyone is unemployed. But when they tell Jim this, he doesn't mock them or chide them; he offers his support and asks how bad it is wherever they're from. Like it's a war. Which it was – and they're on the same side.
— David Hill (@davidWhill14) February 3, 2018
RIP Jim Bowen, now behind the great revolving board in the sky, riding a speedboat around landlocked Northern counties.
— Fudgey (@fudgecrumpet) March 14, 2018
RIP Jim Bowen great smashing lovely ?
— sean the cabbie (@northolt3103) March 14, 2018
In February 2011 Bowen suffered two mild strokes but recovered in hospital. He sadly suffered a third stroke in November 2014, which reportedly left him struggling to walk and talk.
Rest in peace.