Beloved star host of 14-year long iconic game TV show dies aged 80
Jim Bowen was a television personality and stand-up comedian most famously known for being the host of the popular game show Bullseye.
He passed away on March 14, 2018, at the age of 80. The cause of death has not yet been revealed to the public. Bowen suffered two mild strokes in 2011.
As reported by Faith Family America, he hosted Bullseye from 1981 to July 1995. He started his career as a standup comedian in the 1960's while working part-time at a club.
According to John Pleus, a close family friend, Bowen died after spending several weeks in the hospital. He added that his wife was by his side and 'he passed away very peacefully.'
He wanted to be a teacher but decided to do comedy full-time when he saw Ken Dodd perform in Blackpool in front of an audience of 3,500 people.
Born as James Whittaker, he took Jim Bowen as his stage name by combining his wife's maiden name, Owen, with the first initial of his mother's maiden name, Brown.
Over the years, he also appeared in several television shows, including Last of the Summer Wine, The Wheeltappers, and Shunters Social Club, and Jonathan Creek.
Besides being known as a comedian and game show host, he also made a name for himself by presenting BBC Radio Lancashire from 1999 to 2002.
He resigned after referring to a listener by a racial slur. He apologized for the remark but claimed that 'no racial connotation was ever intended.'
Bowen returned to radio seven years later and presented a morning show on Indigo FM. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, whom he married in 1959, and his two children.
Boxer Frank Bruno took to Twitter to express his sorrow, saying Bowen was a great comic and that they shard 'a lot of laughs together.'
Bowen shares the date of his death with Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Stephen Hawking.