a subject Benny Hill Sketching and immortalizing in the song ‘Dickie Davies’ Eyes’ by the satirical rock band ‘Half Man Half Biscuit’, Dickie Davies went beyond his role as an ITV announcer.World of Sport will become one of the most enduring popular faces of 1980s television.
Davies’ blind introduction to extreme sports, from ten head bowling to stock car racing, played an important role in helping the program’s sinister start to become a real challenge to the BBC’s rival ‘Tribune’ Saturday afternoon’s dominance.
But his affiliation with wrestling and his colorful collection of misshapen stars including Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks were what Davies and the show would become most known for, although the host admitted in later years that she was never his. biggest supporter.
“I’ve never been a big fan of wrestling,” Davies said. Guard in 2006.
Born as Richard Davies Wallasey He changed his name to Dickie in 1928 at the behest of his fellow football player and scholar, until he took over as the main presenter of ‘World of Sport’ from Eamonn Andrews in 1968. Jimmy Hillproposing change during a round of golf.
Davies spent his early professional life outside of sports, completing national service in the RAF before taking a job as chief inspector on the Queen Mary ocean liner.
In 1961 Davies took a job as an announcer at Southern Television, paving the way for Andrews to be appointed as a substitute when ITV launched his rival to the Grandstand, originally known as ‘Wide World of Sport’, in 1965.
When Andrews left three years later, Davies rose to the position of main announcer and was accused of sulking while promoting a large number of obscure sports that inevitably overflowed from the big-budget dominance on the other channel.
In 1976, the situation was parodied by Hill, who described the menu of the day as “sailing from Hayling, sledding from Reading, and shooting from Tooting” in a sketch that also addressed Davies’ emerging status as an unlikely sex symbol.
But largely thanks to Davies’ leadership, which served to boost the popularity of ‘badger curls’ to gray hair, ‘World of Sport’ became a staple on Saturday afternoons until the end of wrestling contributed to ITV’s decision to pull the plug. 1985 program.
Davies debuted in a number of sports for ITV, including the 1988 Seoul Olympics and a series of early Mike Tyson fights, before leaving in 1989 to present snooker on the Sky-owned Eurosport channel.
His job as sports editor at the newly launched Classic FM was interrupted in 1995 by a stroke that temporarily left him speechless, but Davies recovered almost completely and returned to screen intermittently for a number of special programs, including ITVs. 50th anniversary of ‘World of Sport’ in 2005.
Davies has also presented programs and DVDs about the so-called ‘golden age’ of wrestling and co-edited ‘The Grapple Manual’ in 2005 with wrestler Kendo Nagasaki.
Perhaps he was aware of his debt to the sport, which, despite his supposed dislike, has done more to make his name known than any other.
Davies died Sunday at the age of 94. He is survived by his wife and two sons.