Snooker commentary can be heard on a number of television and radio stations
John Virgo, Ken Doherty and Steve Davis are three of the best snooker commentators
Lots of former stars are now working as snooker commentators for various broadcasters
Often broadcast on terrestrial television in the United Kingdom, snooker is readily available to a wide audience – although it is not a sport that will appeal to all.
Those who enjoy browsing snooker betting odds will appreciate the skill and mentality that is required to perform at the highest level of the sport.
Best Snooker Commentators:
And as many of the old guard hang up their cues, the snooker commentary booth is packed with a plethora of former World Snooker champions.
The likes of Stephen Hendry, John Parrott and Dennis Taylor are three of the best snooker commentators, providing expert insight into all aspects of the game.
The snooker world rankings are constantly changing and the snooker commentator role is no picnic. However, here are some of the greatest…
BBC Snooker Commentators:
The BBC had decided to replace Dennis Taylor and John Virgo in 2022, but they reversed their decision following a severe backlash from snooker betting fans.
Taylor has been heard on BBC coverage for decades, yet he is still best remembered for his famous win over Steve Davis in the 1985 World Championship final.
It was one of two ranking finals won by Taylor, who had a 28-year career as a professional.
Virgo, along with Taylor, will be returning for BBC’s 2023 coverage after the BBC backtracked on their decision to replace the iconic pair.
In response to the decision, Virgo said, "I wouldn’t have been like this 30 years ago, I would have been fighting my corner. But I’ve realised – and it’s taken me a long time to realise it – not to get caught up in something you have no control of.
“I can’t have any bad feelings. Maybe it’s a working-class attitude I’ve been brought up with but there’s b******s all I can do about it, so why get bothered?
“I’m not going to go round on my hands and knees begging for a job. I’m past that. So I’ll just get on with what I’m doing, enjoy it and treasure every moment.”
Virgo has been commentating since the 1980s, and became a nationwide star for his role in Big Break during the 1990s.
Stephen Hendry won seven world titles, completely dominating snooker during his pomp. Hendry retired for the first time in 2012, turning his attention to a career in the media.
His expertise has primarily been on show during BBC’s coverage, though he also appears on Eurosport.
In 2021, Hendry made a comeback, which has not gone as he will have hoped, having been eliminated from 2023 World Championship qualifying by his ex-wife’s nephew.
World champion in the early 1990s, John Parrott has been a staple of the BBC’s snooker coverage in the 21st century.
Parrott is an expert in the studio, analysing the play and doing demonstrations on the practice tables. He had a stint as a team captain of Question of Sport earlier this century.
For a long period, Steve Davis was recognised as the best British player ever.
Davis is still a name to consider in that debate, even if many would argue he has been surpassed by Hendry and O’Sullivan.
Immensely successful during snooker’s golden era, Davis is a recognisable face to fans new and old.
Switching between the commentary box and studio with BBC, Ken Doherty was world champion in 1997 and climbed to number two in the world 10 years later.
First commentating during the 2009 Masters, Doherty began working for ITV in 2020.
BBC added Jack Lisowski to their team in an effort to freshen things up. Lisowski is one of the best players in the world, and a six-time runner-up at ranking events.
Naturally, he can only commentate when it fits his schedule, but his early foray into media work has generally been met with praise.
Eurosport Snooker Commentators
The biggest sports betting name in snooker, Ronnie O’Sullivan remains the man to beat on the baize.
When he’s not competing, however, The Rocket has been bringing his own brand of punditry to Eurosport since signing a deal with the company in 2014.
O’Sullivan is typically outspoken and often controversial. As the greatest snooker player of all-time, his opinions are always going to generate headlines and provoke debate.
Professional since 1980 and with a naturally attacking style of play, Jimmy White has gained the respect and adoration of fans all over the world.
The Whirlwind has unfortunately been something of a bridesmaid in his career, losing six World Championship finals, but that is part of his charm.
More well-known than many of his peers, White has been a television personality for over 20 years, including an appearance on I’m A Celebrity in 2009.
Winner of the 1986 World Championship as a qualifier, Joe Johnson enjoyed a short, yet dramatic, period as one of the best players in the world.
Some current stars have criticised Johnson’s commentary in the past, including a high-profile spat with John Higgins in 2013. Johnson, though, remains one of the pre-eminent voices in snooker.
Long-time snooker fans will be very familiar with Neal Foulds, who has worked for BBC, ITV and Eurosport throughout a lengthy commentary career.
Once ranked in the top three in the world, Foulds has immense experience in the sport as both a player and commentator.
Despite achieving an impressive career-high ranking, Foulds won just one ranking event.
His career-best showing was at the World Championship was a semi-final, and he finished as runner-up at the UK Championship in 1986.
ITV Snooker Commentators
Working for Eurosport and ITV4, David Hendon began his involvement in the sport as a journalist. Hendon started the Snooker Scene blog after frustration at newspapers turning down stories.
Over the years, Hendon has become a major voice in the snooker community with original stories and astute coverage.
Formerly the voice of snooker on the BBC, Clive Everton has since been heard on ITV’s coverage.
The founder and editor of Snooker Scene magazine, Everton retired from the position in 2022. World Snooker honoured his career by naming the British Open trophy after him.
While Everton had a long career as a professional snooker player, his role in the media has been where he really made his name.
The thick Glaswegian accent of Alan McManus has been heard on all three snooker broadcasters since he retired 2021.
Nicknamed ‘Angles’, McManus had a career-high ranking of fourth, and made it to eight ranking finals, winning two.
Quickly developing a reputation for his insightful analysis, McManus has enjoyed the transition from player to commentator, and takes great pride in his new job.
Female Snooker Commentators
At the time of writing, there are no standout female snooker commentators on television or radio.
The likes of Hazel Irvine, Seema Jaswal and Jill Douglas have made a living as some of the leading female snooker presenters but commentary is still male-oriented.
As we see more female snooker referees breaking into the sport, hopefully we see more women in the snooker commentary box in the near future.
*Credit for all of the images in this article belongs to AP Photo*