||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)|
John Virgo in 2003
3 March 1946 |
|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). On route to the final Virgo beat Tony Meo, Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor. In the final he overcame the reigning world champion Terry Griffiths with Griffiths attempting his charactersitic 'bore him to death' technique and despite him 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 pantomime named Dick Whittington, produced by Jim Davidson. He sustained a serious injury when the prop boat of which he was inside got stuck on the tracks causing it to halt. Three other cast members inside the boat with him were sent flying, landing on top of him. All of the cast inside the boat where sent to hospital, Davidson announced to the audience. Virgo was the most seriously injured member cracking his coccyx. The pantomime did continue with other cast members filling in. 
- commentary Trump v Ding 28 April 2011 and mentions this constantly
- http://www.cuetracker.net/pages/tournaments.php?ID=680 CueTracker Snooker Database - British Open 1986
- http://www.cuetracker.net/pages/players.php?ID=3556&season=1993/1994 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.
- Virgo injured in pantomime http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Panto+stars+in+stage+fall+rushed+to+hospital.-a060833746
- 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.