Popular comedian and Bullseye host began his working life in Burnley

Former Bullseye host Jim Bowen, who has died aged 80, worked as a dustbin man in Burnley as a teenager.
Former Bullseye host Jim Bowen, who has died aged 80, worked as a dustbin man in Burnley as a teenager.
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Broadcaster and comedian Jim Bowen, who began his working life as a dustman in Burnley at the age of 15, has died at the age of 80.

Best known for his role hosting the hit game show Bullseye, Jim grew up in Accrington and was educated at Accrington Grammar School.

He later trained as a teacher and worked at several schools in the county.

He found fame in the hit 1970s TV show The Comedians, appearing alongside fellow comics such as Frank Carson, Bernard Manning and Russ Abbott.

But it was Bullseye, which ran for 14 years and attracted 17.5 million viewers, that made Jim a household name.

He was known for the “super, smashing, great” and “now look what you could have won” catchphrases in the show.

Another favourite phrase coined by Jim was “keep out of the black and in to the red, nothing in this game for two in a bed.”

Jim’s warm-hearted and quick-witted rapport with the contestants was a big part of the show’s appeal and when contestants lost he would affectionately tease them with the phrase they only had “bfa” which referred to bus fare home.

Jim also had a number of TV acting roles, including parts in Muck and Brass, Jonathan Creek, and in the second series of Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights.