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Davies, Dickie (1933- )


Main image of Davies, Dickie (1933- )

As the presenter of Saturday sports magazine World of Sport (1955-85), Dickie Davies was one of the most immediately recognisable faces of 1970s ITV. His ease in front of the camera and personable style made him a popular television figure, and his good looks and charm, with trademark moustache, led the tabloids to dub him the 'housewives' favourite'.

Richard Davies started his broadcasting career with Southern Television, in 1961, as an announcer and presenter. In 1968, after a period working as an understudy to then host Eamonn Andrews, He took over the role as anchorman on World of Sport (where he acquired the nickname 'Dickie'). Every Saturday, in a live five-hour marathon, Davies remained unflappable in the hectic World of Sport studio. His cool composure was only slightly tested on Christmas Eve 1977, when he played 'straight-man' to the anarchic Eric Morecambe. He remained presenter until the programme ended in 1985.

He also presented Sportsworld (ITV, 1972-77) with Brian Moore and was a calm guiding hand at many other major sporting events, including the Olympic Games, the European and World Figure Skating Championships and FA and World Cup Finals. He left ITV in 1990, disappointed at what he saw as a lack of commitment to sport, and took up a presentation role with Sky and Classic FM.

Inevitably, he did the rounds of the celebrity panel and game shows, including Celebrity Squares (ITV, 1975-79), Whose Baby? (ITV, 1973-88), Give Us a Clue (ITV, 1979-92) and Punchlines (ITV, 1980-84), and even made the odd foray into drama and comedy, with cameo appearances in Budgie (ITV, 1971-72), Pardon My Genie (ITV, 1972-73), Mind Your Language (ITV, 1978-79) and The New Statesman (ITV, 1987-92). In a playful dig at his old 'housewives' favourite' status, among his rare recent appearances was on Channel 4's spoof gambling show, Banzai! (2000-04) - in which viewers were asked to wager whether he could escape from a horde of mature female fans.

Kathleen Luckey

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