Former Bullseye host Jim Bowen who earned millions of pounds from his TV career left just over £360,000 in his will.
The comedian, who died aged 80 in March, presented the popular ITV gameshow for 14 years until 1995.
During his 1980’s peak, he earned more than £500,000 a year from the show which had up to 17 million viewers, and his stand up routines.
His fortune gave him a luxury lifestyle with a Rolls Royce, a BMW with a personalised number plate and a spacious country home.
The comedian who died aged 80 in March, presented the popular ITV gameshow for 14 years until 1995
He also received a generous lump sum when more than 300 old episodes of Bullseye were sold to the comedy channel UK Gold in the late 1990s.
But probate records reveal that Bowen whose real name was James Whittaker, left a net estate in the UK of only £363,232.
His will left his estate in trust for his wife of 58 years Phyllis and their two children Susan and Peter.
His estate would not have included property or bank accounts owned jointly with his wife.
Bowen, pictured with his wife Phyllis and daughter Susan, also received a generous lump sum when more than 300 old episodes of Bullseye were sold to UK Gold in the late 1990s
His fortune from the show gave him a luxury lifestyle with a Rolls Royce, a BMW with a personalised number plate and a spacious country home
Bowen, who lived in Penrith, Cumbria, was born to an unmarried mother and adopted. He worked as a binman after leaving school, before retaking his exams and becoming a teacher.
He was a deputy head at a primary school when he saw Ken Dodd on stage in the 1950s, and was inspired to become a stand-up comedian.
Bowen was able to work full time in northern clubs after appearing on TV’s quickfire gag show The Comedians in the 1970s.
He got his big break when he was invited to host Sunday evening show Bullseye in 1981 which gave away prizes such as speedboats, cars and caravans.
He got his big break when he was invited to host Sunday evening show Bullseye in 1981 which gave away prizes such as speedboats, cars and caravans
Bowen, pictured here with his wife Phyllis and daughter Susan, had originally trained as a PE teacher and became a deputy headmaster before quitting and joining the comedy circuit
What was Bullseye?
Darts based quiz show Bullseye first aired on ITV in 1981, and ran for 14 years until 1995.
It was presented by Jim Bowen, and co-hosted by commentator Tony Green.
Its mascot was named Bully – a bull in a red and white shirt and blue trousers.
Watched by 17million viewers, it involved three pairs of contestants to win prizes on the throw of the dart.
Players competed for Bully’s star prize, which could be a new car, a speedboat, a caravan, or a luxury holiday.
Bullseye was revived for a new series in 2006, for Challenge. It ran for 30 episodes and was hosted by comedian Dave Spikey.
Bowen was known for comments such as: ‘Keep out of the black, and in the red; there’s nothing in this game for two in a bed’ and ‘Have a look at what you would have won’.
His best known catchphrase was ‘Super, smashing, great’, although he claimed never to have uttered the words.
Bowen who lived near Carnforth, Lancashire, also gained a devoted student following and addressed the Oxford Union in 1992.
He had further TV appearances in Last of the Summer Wine, Muck and Brass, Phoenix Nights and Jonathan Creek.
Bowen also had a long-running role as a barman in adverts for Tetley’s bitter, and played the trumpet on the QE2.
He also won two celebrity editions of The Weakest Link and was employed by another radio station, Indigo FM, in Cumbria
Bowen died at at Royal Lancaster Infirmary after suffering recent poor health and two serious strokes.