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Pot Black

1 9 6 9 – 1 9 8 6 (UK)

The BBC began broadcasting in colour in 1967 and was looking for programmes that could exploit this new technology.


Broadcasting snooker, then still a minor sport, was the brainchild of the then controller of BBC Two, David Attenborough.

The first Pot Black was filmed at the BBC Pebble Mill studios in Birmingham and aired on 23 July 1969, on BBC2. The event featured eight players, namely Gary Owen, Jackie Rea, John Pulman, Ray Reardon, Fred Davis, Rex Williams, Kingsley Kennerley and John Spencer.


The first series was hosted by Keith Macklin and it was then hosted by Alan Weeks until 1984. David Icke took over in 1985 and 1986.

The show continued until 1986, by which time more and more snooker events were being televised and the Pot Black format was becoming outdated.

Pot Black is credited with producing one of the most memorable British sports quotes.

Legendary commentator Ted Lowe, aware that not all viewers had colour televisions, said; “and for those of you who are watching in black and white, the pink is next to the green.”