Jim Bowen thinks new Bullseye show is super, smashing, great

Jim Bowen with 'Bully'.
Jim Bowen with 'Bully'.
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Jim Bowen has spoken of his delight at a new documentary telling the story of hit TV quiz show Bullseye.

The comedian watched ‘You Can’t Beat A Bit of Bully’ with pride from his home near Lancaster.

Afterwards Jim said: “It brought back all sorts of emotions.”

Jim hosted the ITV darts game show from 1981 to 1995.

At its peak the quiz pulled £15m viewers for its regular Sunday teatime slot.

‘You Can’t Beat A Bit of Bully’, shown on Monday night on Challenge TV, featured clips from the show, as well as interviews with celebrity fans, former contestants, famous darts players, co-presenter Tony Green and Jim himself.

The documentary was narrated by comic and ‘Take Me Out’ host Paddy McGuinness.

It told the story of how Jim, a former teacher, was plucked from TV show ‘The Comedians’ to become quiz master of Bullseye.

The game show where contestants threw darts and answered general knowledge questions, hoping to win the star prize of a brand new car or a speedboat, was a TV classic.

Jim became a cult hero for his many catchphrases such as “super, smashing, great”, “look at what you could have won” and “you can’t beat a bit of Bully”.

For Bowen, the programme was a great tonic after health problems in recent years.

In 2011 he suffered two strokes but says he has “75-80% recovered”.

“I’m doing OK,” he said.

“My speech is back to being acceptable. I still do afternoon talks at the Melling Institute.

“I had two strokes, one after the other, so I’m lucky that I’m functioning at all.

“I’ve had a good knock so I’m not bitter about it. It must be awful for people who have strokes who are much younger.”

Now aged 77, Jim lives at his home in the village of Melling, just outside Lancaster, and is glad that people still remember him, and Bullseye, with such fondness.

“I was very pleased with the documentary, and it was nice that I came out of it with some degree of affection.

“I still do the odd gig with Tony Green and it was nice to see darts players like Eric Bristow and John Lowe on it - they were big stars back then.”

And then he joked: “You never know, I might even get a cheque out of it!”

*You Can’t Beat A Bit of Bully is repeated tonight on Sky One at 8pm.