Bullseye host Jim Bowen dies aged 80

The broadcaster and comedian became a household name after presenting the darts game show for 14 years

(Getty, JG)

Jim Bowen, broadcaster, comedian and Bullseye host, has died aged 80.


The comedian presented the ITV darts game show throughout the 1980s and 90s, having turned to comedy and showbusiness after an early career as a teacher.

His way of telling losing contestants what they had missed out on – “Now look what you could have won…” – became just one of his many trademark catchphrases.

Bullseye made Bowen a household name, and he presented the show from 1981 until the series’ end in 1995. He became a cult figure among students, and Challenge TV even revived the format in 2006 hosted by Dave Spikey.

Bowen also appeared opposite Mel Smith in ITV 1982 drama Muck and Brass, and made cameo appearances in series including Jonathan Creek and Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights. He also presented a radio show on BBC Radio Lancashire from 1999 until 2002.

His agent Patsy Martin confirmed the news, telling the Press Association, “He was a very lovely, genuine man.”

Darts player Bobby George paid tribute to Bowen on Twitter, saying, “Thank you mate for the great Bullseye days, we had so much fun. Super Magic Great!”


Bowen’s wife Phyllis shared the news of his death on BBC Radio Lancashire. The couple had been together for 60 years and had two children together – Bowen told the Mirror in 2017, “I worship the ground she walks on.”