Dennis Taylor is a former snooker player, BBC Sports pundit and after dinner speaker. His illustrious career spanned nearly three decades, with World Championship, Grand Prix and Masters wins.
After retiring, the much-loved sportsman joined the BBC snooker team, where he became known for his witty and light-hearted commentary on big snooker events.
One of Dennis Taylor’s most notable and famous matches was in the 1985 World Snooker Championship final against Steve Davis. After losing the first eight frames, Dennis recovered and went on to win 18-17 with the most dramatic of ends – the match concluding with the final black ball.
The match, which has become known as the ‘blackball final’, was watched by 18.5 million viewers, setting a record for viewer numbers for a post-midnight broadcast and for any broadcast on BBC2.
After an impressive 28 year career, Taylor retired from snooker in 2000. He has since been a regular on BBC’s snooker broadcasts, as well as appearing on a number of other TV programmes.
Dennis Taylor is a hugely popular after-dinner speaker, sharing anecdotes about the world of snooker, the excitement of his matches and bringing to life the excitement, tension and joy of his legendary matches.
To book the legendary ex-snooker World Champion Dennis Taylor for your next event contact Great British Speakers today.
Dennis’ career was established long before that momentous 1985 World Championship final. He had his debut in 1972. His first professional match was in 1973, when he lost his World Championship match in the first round 9-8 to Cliff Thorburn.
He returned in 1975 reaching the semi-finals, this time beaten by Eddie Charlton 19-12. He once again lost to Cliff Thorburn in the semi-finals in 1977.
In 1979 Dennis Taylor achieved a break-through and reached his first final at the Crucible. After losing 24-16 to Terry Griffiths, he was ranked second in the world.
He would have to wait six years before he reached a second final, the Grand Prix at the Hexagon in Reading in 1984/5. With his mother recently passing away, Dennis didn’t want to play but his family persuaded him. The nation shared his tears of joy as he took the match, his first major title.
After retiring,Taylor played matches on the World Seniors Tour and was playing all the way up to 2021 when he played his final seniors match against Barry Pinches.
Dennis has appeared in a number of TV programmes, most famously on the 3rd series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2005, partnered with Izabela Hannah with whom he reached eighth place.
He was also on The Real Marigold Hotel, a programme where a group of British celebrities, including Wayne Sleep, Miriam Margolyes and Dennis Taylor travel to India to explore the idea of retiring there. They embarked on a trip to discover if India offered a more rewarding experience for retirement than the UK.
In 2005, Dennis Taylor, alongside fellow former snooker player Willie Thorne, took part in Celebrity Antique Roadshow with the help of antiques experts Catherine Southon and Christina Trevanion. Together they hunted down antiques and took these back for an important auction to see how much profit they had made.
Dennis Taylor has also made cameo appearances in the long-running TV drama Lovejoy and the TV series Man Down, as well as game show Tipping Point: Lucky Stars.