||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)|
John Virgo in 2003
3 March 1946 |
Salford, Lancashire, England, UK
|Highest ranking||10 (1979/80)|
- 1 Career as snooker player
- 2 Career as exhibition player and TV commentator
- 3 Other activities & Injury
- 4 Tournament wins
- 5 Personal life
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Career as snooker player
Early professional career (1976-1978)
John Virgo turned professional in 1976, at a time when players such as Ray Reardon, John Spencer and Eddie Charlton were at the forefront of the sport. Although he had just turned 30 upon turning pro, he was still among the youngest players on the circuit at the time. In 1977 Virgo reached the semi finals of the UK Championship losing to eventual winner Patsy Fagan.
UK Champion and Top 10 player (1979-1990)
His snooker-playing fortunes peaked in 1979 when he reached the semi-final of the World Championship, and went on to win the 1979 UK Championship (though this was not a ranking event at the time). En route to the final Virgo beat Tony Meo, Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor. In the final he overcame the reigning world champion Terry Griffiths (Griffiths attempting his characteristic 'bore him to death' technique) despite being controversially docked two frames because of a miscommunication regarding the start time of the next session of play. He reached the Top 10 in the world rankings the following season. In 1986 Virgo reached the semi finals of the British Open losing 9-4 to Willie Thorne. Virgo ending the 1989-1990 season as world number 14 dropped out of the top 16 next season.
Later career and retirement (1991-1995)
In 1993 John Virgo entered the qualifying stages of the Grand Prix and the UK Championship but failed to qualify for the main events losing both times in round seven.  Virgo retired from professional play in 1995.
Career as exhibition player and TV commentator
Virgo, as part of his exhibition performances, had long performed trick shots and comedic impressions of other snooker players. During the 1982 World Championship, after one semi-final had finished early, he performed some of his impressions, such as of Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins, Terry Griffiths and Dennis Taylor. He repeated this act in the 1985 World Championship after both semi-finals ended earlier than expected.
He is now a TV snooker commentator who works primarily during the BBC's coverage of ranking events. From 1991 to 2002, Virgo was co-presenter of the snooker-based TV game show Big Break with Jim Davidson. During each show, Virgo participated in the "trick shots" segment, where a competitor who had been ousted from the main quiz would try to copy a complicated snooker shot performed by Virgo in order to win a prize.
Other activities & Injury
Virgo's tribute book to the late Alex Higgins, Let Me Tell You About Alex, was published in February 2011 and described as "explosive". In April 2012, his book Amazing Snooker Trick Shots was published.
On New Year's Eve 1999 John Virgo was performing in a prop boat in the pantomime Dick Whittington, produced by Jim Davidson. The boat got stuck on its tracks and stopped suddenly. Three other performers in the boat with him were sent flying and landed on top of him. He sustained serious injury. Davidson announced to the audience that all those in the boat had been sent to hospital. Virgo was the most seriously injured, cracking his coccyx. The pantomime continued with other cast members filling in. 
John Virgo lives in Surrey. He has 2 children, a son Gary from his first marriage and a daughter Brook Leah from his second marriage. He separated from his second wife, Avril, in 1991, after 18 years together. In 2009, he married Rosie Ries, then deputy managing director at John Blake Publishing. Virgo was once gunged on Noel's House Party. John is a fan of the football club Manchester United.
- commentary Trump v Ding 28 April 2011 and mentions this constantly
- CueTracker Snooker Database - British Open 1986
- CueTracker Snooker Database - John Virgo
- "John Virgo: My life in the eye of Hurricane Higgins". Belfast Telegraph. 29 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
- "Trick Shot Academy". Liberty Games. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- "Panto stars in stage fall rushed to hospital. - Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Cassidy, Denis (2 November 2003). "I'M BIG BROKE; Ex-wife's fury as snooker ace Virgo cuts payments.". The People. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
- "RICHARD KAY: Jagger's son, Jimbo the Mutant | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. 2009-12-30. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Virgo's official website
- twitter @jvofficialjv