Dickie Davies, Host Of ITV’s World Of Sport For Nearly Two Decades, Dies

Dickie Davies, Host Of ITV's World Of Sport For Nearly Two Decades, Dies

Broadcaster Dickie Davies, who was the face of ITV sports for more than two decades, has died aged 94.

From the 1960s until the end of 1985, The Star hosted the Saturday show World of Sport.

A mixed live sports program including racing, wrestling and football competed with BBC Grandstand.

Former ITV star Jim Rosenthal announced his death and said Davies' family were proud of his "fantastic career in television".

“Dickie was a great friend and colleague. RIP DD,” he added.

Sports presenter Simon Thomas paid tribute to Davies, calling him an "absolute giant" in the industry.

He said he grew up with Davies, among other sports broadcasters including Sky Sports' Geoff Stelling, adding:

The BBC's Gabby Logan called him "one of the best", while Richard Case said the death of "a good man and a brilliant broadcaster" marked "the end of an era".

ITV football presenter Mark Pugach simply said on Twitter: “Ah, Dickie Davies. The rest of us follow in the giant's footsteps. Let the soul learn."

Originally from Cheshire, Davies began his television career as a presenter on Southern Television in 1960, having previously worked as a cashier for the Cunard Line cruise line for seven years.

He moved to the new ITV show World of Sport and initially apprenticed under Eamonn Andrews before becoming the main presenter in 1968.

He was at the helm of a five-hour telethon every Saturday that covered a variety of sports, including many minority events that had never been televised.

That was before sports broadcasting rights became the subject of a multi-billion-dollar battle between 24-hour sports channels. Every May Davies appeared on ITV's afternoon program for the FA Cup Final, one of the few football matches broadcast live.

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He also worked on ITV's coverage of three Olympic Games.

Memorable episodes of World Sport include a 1977 Christmas Eve special in which comedian Eric Morcom performed a series of hilarious skits while Davies hosted the show. At one point the pair were playing snooker and Marcombe used Davies' head to balance his cue.

Davies' bushy beard and dark mottled hair with a distinctive white streak made him one of ITV's most famous and iconic daytime stars.

His claim to fame came when indie band Half Man Half Biscuit paid tribute to Dickie Davis in their 1986 song Eyes.

In his early years in the sporting world, he had an unlikely part-time job, earning part of his television earnings at a pub called The Globe in Andover, Hampshire, and occasionally visiting the bar on a Saturday night. After a few hours it was seen by millions.

After World Sport closed in 1985, Davies remained an ITV presenter for another four years but later moved to a new role as sports editor at Classic FM.

However, a stroke in 1995 seriously affected his speech and forced him to retire from the air as he slowly recovered.

He has since returned to the screen regularly for various specials, including the 50th edition of ETV World Sport in 2005, as well as several appearances for Sky Sports.

ITV World Sport (1985)

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