Broadcaster and comedian Jim Bowen, best known for hosting darts-based game show Bullseye in the 1980s and ’90s, has died at the age of 80. His wife confirmed the news to BBC Radio Lancashire. The former deputy headmaster, who was from Lancashire, began his career as a stand-up comedian on the club circuit in the 1960s.
He became a household name when he began presenting Bullseye in 1981. The Sunday tea time show ran for 14 years. It attracted 20 million viewers at its peak and involved three pairs of contestants – with a “thrower”, who would throw the darts, and a the “knower”, who would answer general knowledge questions. Bowen’s catchphrase was “keep out of the black and in to the red, nothing in this game for two in a bed” – referring to the segments of the darts board that the players had to hit.
Bowen also had a number of TV acting roles, including in Muck and Brass, Jonathan Creek, The Grimleys, and as Hoss Cartwright in the second series of Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights.