Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Billy on the Box: Shout it loud, Whispering Ted Lowe was best

The start of the final was largely over-shadowed by the passing of Ted Lowe, another of the golden generation gone to the big commentary box in the sky.

We all grew up with his velvety hushed tones on Pot Black and he had that uncanny knack that so many of the former players now turned commentators just don’t have. He knew when to shut up.

I love the story that he was once taken ill in the commentary box and said nothing for 10 minutes and no-one knew anything was wrong! If that was John Virgo you’d think you’d gone deaf.

Of course, he was no stranger to odd gaffe, the most famous and most mis-quoted being, ‘and for those of you who are watching in black and white, the pink is next to the green’. Ask 100 people and they’ll give you a different colour combination.

For me, his best line was about Fred Davis, who ‘is getting on a bit and is having trouble getting his leg over.’

But Whispering Ted was a true great, the voice of snooker and while the sport’s new era seems to be emerging it’s sad that such a big part of its past has gone for good.

While Ted featured several times in the Colemanballs’ books, the Beeb paid homage to David Coleman in a programme on Monday night to mark his 85th birthday but good as it was, it felt more like an obituary.

Over on Sky, they were paying tribute to Sir ‘Enry Cooper who also departed this week, but they were all over-shadowed by the death of an alleged Arsenal fan in Pakistan.

How he must have wished the raid had been led by Nicklas Bendtner.

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