Resurfaced Bullseye clip “would never air today” after Jim Bowen’s “bullying” weight joke to contentest

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
4 Min Read

Bullseye, a cult classic game show that once dominated British television screens, has resurfaced in a shocking clip. Surprisingly, it has left viewers questioning its place in today’s society. Running from 1981 to 2006, Bullseye was a Sunday evening favourite, boasting over 15 million viewers during its heyday. Hosted by the late Jim Bowen, the show blended amateur darts and quiz players in a unique format, earning it the nickname ‘Bullie.’

The clip in question showcases Bowen’s characteristic banter as he takes a cheeky jab at a female contestant’s weight. In a now-viral moment, Bowen asked the contestant about her hometown before delving into a weight-related joke. “Tell us, you went on a sponsored slim, didn’t you? How much do you owe?” he remarked, eliciting laughter from the audience.

Old Bullseye Joke Clearly Surprised Some Viewers

Bowen quickly apologised, followed by a jest about the other contestant’s choice of attire. “That’s very unkind of me, that. I knew they were good sports – has to be, wearing a dress like that. Lovely to have you both with us,” he quipped. The resurfaced clip has ignited a flurry of reactions on social media, with some defending it as harmless comedy and others labelling it as ‘public bullying.’

The Bullseye clip from 1989 is causing a stir all over Social Media.

Commenting on the clip, one Twitter user noted, “Imagine this happening today. The switchboards would melt,” capturing the sentiment that such banter might not be as well-received in the current cultural climate. Another user emphasised the potential outcry, stating, “The complaints line would be red hot if this was said now.”

However, not everyone condemned Bowen’s humour. Some users fondly reminisced, with one sharing, “I remember this at the time and fell off the settee laughing… wouldn’t happen today; there would be an uproar“.

The controversial clip resurfaced amid rumours of a Bullseye reboot, with discussions reportedly underway at ITV. The potential revival comes on the heels of heightened interest in the World Darts Championship. Unsurprisingly, the interest is driven by Luke Littler’s unreal journey. While no formal talks have taken place, Paddy McGuinness is touted as a potential replacement for the late Jim Bowen.

Potential Comeback For Bully?

An insider said, “ITV is already in discussions to bring back Bullseye after this year’s final drew in the event’s highest viewership in history. It’s early days, but ITV thinks it could be hugely successful.” Plans include reinstating iconic prizes like the speedboat, even if contestants reside in landlocked areas.

The Bullseye clip points to the changing dynamics of humour and cultural sensitivities. As discussions around the potential revival continue, it remains to be seen whether the iconic game show can capture the spirit of its heyday in the 21st century. You can watch the resurfaced clip that sparked the debate [here].

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