Bullseye's Jim Bowen Talks of Suffering Stroke

Back in 1981 Jim Bowen was launching ATV’s new game show based around darts, Bullseye. 30 years later the comedian is recovering after suffering two strokes.

Jim Bowen on episode one of Bullseye for ATV 1981

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News he spoke of his “complete shock” at suffering his first stroke in February this year. He has been left with restricted use of the left side of his body but is now on the long road to recovery.

Speaking to the Mirror earlier this year, Jim’s wife Phyllis, said: “He’s had physiotherapy and we have high hopes. I can’t say how long it will take, as these things do take time. He is doing okay and they [the Royal Lancaster Infirmary] are looking after him well.”

Shortly afterwards Jim suffered another mild stroke. However the 73-year-old star has just been allowed home after seven weeks of treatment and continues to undergo intensive physiotherapy.

Jim told the Manchester Evening News “It came as a complete shock to me and to everyone else – it’s the same for anyone who has one.  You don’t think it can happen to you.  It make’s you realise that life is not a rehearsal and to appreciate all the things in life.  It reminds you to take nothing for granted.  I was in hospital for seven weeks and the staff looked after me very well.  They were absolutely tremendous.  I’m still having physiotherapy to get the left side of my body moving and really retraining myself to use it again.

Jim Bowen and Caravan on Central's Bullseye

“The response and good wishes from everyone has been surprising and overwhelming and has certainly helped.  My wife Phyllis has been totally supportive and without her I wouldn’t be here.  Now I am back home and just focusing on the job of getting back to normal”.

Jim hosted Bullyseye, produced for most of its run at ATV Centre in Birmingham, between 1981 and 1995. Only weeks before suffering the first stroke he told the official Bullseye Facebook group that he’d be willing to return as host of a new series, which they are currently campaigning for. Bullseye had briefly returned to Challenge TV, however the new episodes were hosted by Dave Spikey.

Jim became famous for his catchphrases such as “super, smashing, great” and “you can’t beat a bit of Bully.” Bully being the mascot of Bullysye – of which a bendy sponge version was given to contestants on the show, an ATV original pictured right,.

Jim first came to television prominence in the 1970s on Granada Television’s The Comedians series, which showcased comedy talent.

Bullseye 1994, Jim Bowen