Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Culture | By Stewart Greene

"'You Can't Beat-A Bit-A Bully" Bullseye Host Jim Bowen Dies

Fans of the classic game show Bullseye - hosted by the late Jim Bowen - fondly remember him explaining the rules to the Prize Board round that ended each episode.

The comedian's wife Phyllis Bowen announced the passing of the comedian on BBC Radio Lancashire this afternoon.

But it was on the new darts programme Bullseye, which began in September 1981, that he became a household name.

He taught at Caton Primary School near Lancaster before becoming an entertainer, attracting large television audiences with his North country humour, his cheery disposition and his infectious catchphrases in a show which ran virtually non-stop from 1981 to 1995.

Bowen was known professionally as Jim Bowen but his real name was Peter Bowen.

Bowen became Bullseye host after appearing on ITV show The Comedians, alongside the likes of Frank Carson, Russ Abbott and Bernard Manning.

He had a guest role in BBC1's detective drama Jonathan Creek and Peter Kay comedy, Phoenix Nights.

He passed away this morning with wife Phyllis by his side but it is not clear how Bowen, who had suffered several strokes over the years, died.

In an interview at the time, Bowen said: 'He gave us 12 months of nightmares'.

His agent Patsy Martin said to the Press Association, "I will very sadly miss Jim".

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.

He told BBC Radio Lancashire in 2017, "I watched seven hours of Ken Dodd and I watched him completely decimate 7,000 people. He left them in ruins with laughter", he told Radio Lancashire previous year. And I thought, that's some feeling that he must get after that. "He was a very lovely, genuine man".

'I was so poor at the game show game.

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