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John Virgo

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A successful snooker champion now television snooker commentator.

John Virgo is to snooker what Lee Trevino is to Golf. Versatility is his byword, and laughter is never far away. For years Virgo has been one of the circuit's leading lights, a member of the elite top 16 and a tough competitor. But despite many playing honours, he is best known for his off table activities.

Virgo's ability to amuse and entertain was first exposed to a major audience when his side-splitting impersonations of fellow stars were broadcast on BBC TV during the coverage of the Embassy World Championship. Virgo's version of Ray Reardon, Terry Griffiths, Cliff Thorburn, Steve Davis and others were uncannily accurate and extremely funny, they were an instant hit and became John's trademark. Indeed one of the subjects of Virgo's impersonations once said "John is more like me than me".

Apart from exhibition work, Virgo is now one of the BBC's most well respected commentary summarisers and has featured in a number of excellent videos. However, Virgo became a household name when he brought his skills and colourful personality to the job as co-presenter on the phenomenally successful BBC quiz show 'Big Break' with comedian Jim Davidson.

Born in Manchester, Virgo now lives in Surrey. He first made his mark as one of the country's leading amateurs in the 1960s and 70s when he captured both the British under 16s and under 19s title and represented England. In 1976 Virgo turned professional and three years later he became the UK Champion, in a nail biting final.

On route to that final Virgo beat Tony Meo, Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor, who had denied him a place in the final of the World Championship seven months earlier. This former chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, the game's governing body, is one of the sport’s elder statesmen and is revelling in his new roles.

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