Sunday, 1 May 2011

Ted Lowe: 1920 - 2011: R.I.P.

Voice of reason: Lowe was dubbed 'Whispering Ted' given his unique approach to commentary for the BBC

Former snooker commentator Ted Lowe has died aged 90, following a 10-week illness that had seen him hospitalised. Lowe, known as 'Whispering Ted' was a member of the generation of BBC commentators who became closely identified with their sports.

Ted Lowe MBE (1 November 1920 – 1 May 2011) was a BBC Snooker Commentator commentator. His commentary style was always measured but quietly dramatic as required. His unmistakably husky, hushed tones earned him the nickname Whispering Ted.

Born in Lambourn, Berkshire, Lowe was the commentator for the popular TV show Pot Black from 1969 onwards. He went on to become the "voice of snooker" and led the commentary in many tournaments. He also commentated in what is generally regarded as snooker's greatest ever final, that between Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor in the 1985 World Snooker Championship.

Lowe uttered the occasional on-air gaffe, similar to motor racing commentator Murray Walker; Lowe's most famous quote was, "and for those of you who are watching in black and white, the pink is next to the green."and he once told viewers that Fred Davis, struggling to rest one leg on the edge of the table in order to reach a long shot, "is getting on a bit and is having trouble getting his leg over".

Lowe retired after the 1996 World Snooker final, although he briefly joined in the commentary for the 2005 World Championship final between Matthew Stevens and Shaun Murphy which Murphy won. This was also the last final sponsored by Embassy.

Lowe died, aged 90, on the morning of the first session of the 2011 Snooker World Championship final.

Sidney Lee and Ted Lowe, 1973

His wife of 21 years, Jean, said: "His health had been deteriorating for the last 10 weeks. He went into a hospice a week ago and I never left his side. But I could see he was slowly going. He still loves snooker and was watching it on TV."

John Virgo a former player before becoming a co-commentator alongside Lowe, said: "He set a standard for us all. He was wonderful, he had an impish sense of humour and while cricket had its John Arlott and Wimbledon had its Dan Maskell, we had Ted Lowe.

"He was one of the BBC greats. It's a sad day for snooker and he'll be sadly missed."

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