David Vine

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David Vine
David Martin Vine

(1935-01-03)3 January 1935
Died11 January 2009(2009-01-11) (aged 74)
OccupationTelevision sports presenter
Known forSki Sunday, Match of the Day, A Question of Sport, BBC snooker coverage, Grandstand
Spouse(s)Shirley (1958–1970)
Mandy (1972–2009)
Childrentwo girls, two boys

David Martin Vine (3 January 1935 – 11 January 2009)[1] was an English television sports presenter. He presented a wide variety of shows from the 1960s onwards, most notably his coverage of major snooker tournaments for the BBC.

Early life[edit]

Born in Newton Abbot, Devon, he grew up in the north-west of the county, attending Barnstaple Grammar School[2] on Park Lane in Barnstaple. His father was a carpenter.


He worked for the North Devon Journal Herald from the age of 17 and various newspapers, becoming the Sports Editor of the Western Morning News in Plymouth. He joined Westward Television in 1961, though he worked for the BBC for the majority of his broadcasting career. He joined the BBC, to work on BBC2 in 1966. He was working at BBC2 even though Westward Television were not aware of this because at the time BBC2 could not be received in the South West. An article in the Daily Mail led to Westward TV learning about his BBC work and he had to resign from Westward TV.

Programmes he hosted include Sportscene, It's a Knockout (1967–1971), Jeux Sans Frontieres, Miss UK, Miss World, Quiz Ball, Rugby Special, Match of the Day, A Question of Sport (1970–1972, 1974-1977 AND 1989), Grandstand, Superstars, Starshot, Ski Sunday (1978–1996) and the BBC's Winter and Summer Olympic Games coverage.

He provided the BBC TV commentary for the Eurovision Song Contest 1974, also hosting the preview shows of the international entries, and compèred the 1975 Miss World broadcast, the latter resulting in some embarrassment because he found it difficult to understand what many of the contestants were saying.[2] He was the first presenter to introduce the tennis championships at Wimbledon (1967) in colour. He presented Wimbledon highlights until 1982 and also BBC's Show Jumping coverage.

He was the anchorman at the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, from 1978 – the first year the BBC covered the championships daily – until his retirement in 2000 as well as the Grand Prix, UK Championship and the Masters. Vine's supposed friendship with Steve Davis was parodied in a Spitting Image sketch in which Davis boasted, "I'm a mate of David Vine".

His final work for the BBC was covering the weightlifting at the 2000 Sydney Olympics which he had done since the 1970s, after which he retired owing to a heart condition.[citation needed] He had contributed to programmes on the ESPN Classic channel. He had a coronary artery triple bypass operation in 2001,[3] and he died of a heart attack on 11 January 2009[4] aged 74 at his home near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

Personal life[edit]

He married his first wife, Shirley, in 1958. They had met through amateur dramatics and had three children. The family lived in Mannamead, Plymouth. Shirley died in 1970. Vine married his second wife, Mandy, in 1972 in Wokingham. They had a son.


  1. ^ England & Wales Birth Register Index; Vine, David M; March quarter 1935; Registration District: Newton A; Volume: 5b; Page: 153
  2. ^ a b "David Vine". Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 12 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
  3. ^ "Vine 'doing well' after bypass op; Triple bypass op for presenter Vine". Birmingham Evening Mail. 19 June 2001.
  4. ^ "BBC sports host David Vine dies". BBC Sport. 12 January 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2009.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Host of A Question of Sport
Succeeded by
David Coleman
Preceded by
Terry Wogan
Eurovision Song Contest UK Commentator
Succeeded by
Pete Murray