Dennis Taylor

Former World Snooker Champion in 1985 who made television history playing the epic match against Steve Davis.
A regular television personality, having appeared on Question of Sport several times, Strictly Come Dancing and BBC Sport.
Dennis is a natural after dinner speaker, bringing his Irish background into the act and with stories relayed with the emphasis firmly on humour.

Steve Davis OBE

The Steve Davis Legend started 36 years ago when he first picked up a cue to play on the dining room table at his parents’ South London home. What followed was the development of a snooker phenomenon who took the game to new heights.

By the time he left school at 17, with seven ‘O’ levels under his belt, Steve was already becoming a star of the amateur game culminating in winning the Pontin’s Pro-Am in 1978.

Later that year, aged 21, he turned professional and after a steady baptism his career burst into life in 1980 with victory in the Coral UK Professional Championship – his first major trophy.

That victory heralded the start of a ten year period in which Steve totally dominated snooker, winning countless trophies including the World Championship six times, in 1981, ‘83, ‘84, ‘87, ‘88 and 1989. All in all, Steve has amassed over £5.5 million in tournament earnings.

It was during this period that Steve received an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen, something that gives him great pride. Subsequently, Steve received an OBE in the 2003 New Year’s Honours List and the prospect of a knighthood at some point in the future does not seem unreasonable.

Over the 27 years of Davis’ professional career he has amassed 71 major titles, been a member of the successful English World Cup team on four occasions – captaining it twice – and won the World Doubles title four times.

In 1982, Steve had the honour of being the first ever snooker player to compile a televised maximum break of 147 – a feat he achieved in the Lada Classic winning him….. a Lada estate car!

After being written off as past his prime Steve shocked the sporting world in 1997 when he won the Masters title against all odds. At 8-4 down to red-hot favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final session, Steve won six frames in a row, including the highest break, to win the biggest cheque of his career. That mesmerising performance lead to Steve being voted BBC TV Snooker Personality of the Year.

Over the past seven years Davis, as well as maintaining his top snooker ranking, has been competing against the best in the world at 9-Ball pool, the most popular cue sport in the world. He has represented Europe in the Mosconi Cup on nine occasions, was a member of the winning side in 1995 and potted the final 9-ball to clinch the Cup for Europe in December 2002.

Steve is also an avid poker player, spending many hours playing online. He has competed in some major televised events and even reached the final table of Pokermillion in 2002.

In December of 2005 at the age of 48, Davis rolled back the years as he reached the final of the UK Championship, 25 years after he first won it. That saw him rocket to No.3 in the world rankings.

Having gained a reputation for being “interesting” during his heydays, he has taken that character and surprises his audiences with a dry, very witty and hugely entertaining after dinner speech.

Steve is also available for snooker exhibitions.

Willie Thorne

Snooker was a passion of Willie’s from a young age. Honing his skills as a junior player, Thorne became national under-16 champion at both snooker and English billiards in 1970. Since then, Willie’s snooker playing career became a certainty. In a career spanning three decades, Willie can now boast holding a total of 14 tournament victories worldwide.
“The Great WT”, as he is affectionately known, was a regular in the Top 16 World Ranking players for well over a decade and is one of the top record breakers for the highest number of 147 breaks in the history of snooker (190), earning him his recognisable nickname “Mr Maximum”. Willie has definitely established himself as one of the greatest characters of snooker for over 25 years.
His experience and big personality make him a guaranteed success at any event and his appearance on Strictly Come dancing made him a household name, for snooker fans and all.

Dougie Donnelly

Dougie Donnelly is one of the BBC’s top television sports presenters and, since joining the BBC in 1978, he has been involved with a wide variety of major network sporting productions including presenting the BBC’s premier sport programme Grandstand.
In Scotland he is perhaps most associated with the sport he has presented and reported on for more than twenty years, Football, while the rest of the UK will know Dougie better through his fifteen year presentation of Golf and Snooker. Dougie has also presented on numerous Olympic and Commonwealth Games, as well as the World Cup and the European Championship.

Nowadays Dougie is in equally high demand on the after dinner circuit, entertaining audiences all over the country. His vast knowledge of the sporting world and experience in presenting makes Dougie both interesting and likeable to any audience.

John Virgo

John is a highly sought after, experienced speaker in the snooker industry but also a highly amusing after dinner speaker and funny man. John incorporates impressions and wit into his entertaining speeches about his days and the green table. A subject of John’s impersonations once quoted “John is more like me than me!” This former Chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association the game’s governing body, is one of snooker’s legends who is embracing his new roles.