Jim Bowen: Comedian and former Bullseye host dies at 80. 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 Phyllis confirmed the news to BBC Radio Lancashire.
James Whittaker (born Peter Williams; 20 August 1937 – 14 March 2018), known professionally as Jim Bowen, was an English stand-up comedian and TV personality. He was the long-time host of the ITV game show Bullseye, which he presented from its beginning in 1981 through to 1995.
Bowen grew up in Clayton-le-Moors, Lancashire and went to Accrington Grammar School. In his early adulthood, he became a teacher, and took part in local dramatic groups. He eventually devoted himself to comedy full-time, having been influenced by Ken Dodd and first appeared on television in The Comedians. This led to other television work during the 1970s.
He achieved national attention after becoming host on Bullseye, which was a ratings success throughout the 1980s. He subsequently worked for various radio stations, and continued to perform stand up tours. Towards the end of his life, he was affected by a number of strokes which made performing difficult.