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Bullseye host and comedian Jim Bowen dies aged 80

Jim Bowen
Jim Bowen

TV host and comedian Jim Bowen, best known for presenting the gameshow Bullseye, has died at the age of 80.

His wife confirmed the news to BBC Radio Lancashire, where he was once a presenter.

It was the darts-based gameshow that made him a household name, running from 1981 until 1995.

At its peak, 20 million tuned in to watch contestants answer questions and throw darts in a bid to win the grand prize – usually a car or a speedboat.

As well as his presenting roles, he appeared as a crooked accountant in 1982 drama Muck and Brass and also guest starred in Jonathan Creek and Pheonix Nights.

The former school deputy headmaster suffered two mild strokes in 2011, before a third in 2014 left him struggling to walk and talk.

Boxer Frank Bruno joins darts players in leading tributes to Bullseye host Jim Bowen

Family friend John Pleus told the Press Association: “He passed away very peacefully, (Phyllis) was with him. We are all shedding a tear.

“I’ve known him since the Bullseye days.

“It wasn’t completely unexpected, he’s been ill for several weeks in hospital.

“The Royal Lancaster Infirmary were wonderful, we couldn’t have asked for better.”

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 is survived by his wife Phyllis and their two children.