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  Friday, 14 February, 2003, 12:38 GMT
Meet the BBC team
BBC Sport Online profiles the BBC's World Championship team.

Over the nine days of LG Cup, the BBC team will bring you expert analysis, news, views and interviews from the Guild Hall.

The BBC team: Hazel Irvine | Clive Everton | Steve Davis | John Parrott | Dennis Taylor | John Virgo | Willie Thorne


Hazel Irvine

Born in St Andrews, Scotland, Irvine attended the Hermitage Academy in Helensburgh before studying for an MA in History of Art at the University of St Andrews.

Hazel Irvine
Hazel, at the age of 27, was the youngest person to present Grandstand
A talented sportswoman, Irvine gained representative honours in golf, netball and athletics for Scottish Universities.

Irvine's broadcasting career began in 1986 as a production assistant with Radio Clyde in Glasgow.

Her move into sport came a year later when she joined Scottish Television as a reporter.

She worked as a presenter on ITV's coverage of the 1988 Olympics and reported for the ITV Network on the 1990 World Cup Finals.

Irvine joined BBC Scotland in August 1990 as presenter of its Friday night sports preview programme Sportscene.

She went on to work as part of the BBC's award winning team covering the Barcelona Olympics, and in the same year reported in Sweden on the European Football Championships.

Later that year she joined BBC Sport in London.

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Clive Everton

Senior commentator Clive Everton is one of the most respected figures on the snooker circuit.

He is the founding editor of Snooker Scene magazine, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, and is snooker correspondent for both The Guardian and Independent on Sunday.

Clive Everton
Everton: Nearly 30 years of snooker with the BBC
Everton first covered snooker for BBC Radio in 1972, when Alex Higgins won his first world title.

His network TV commentary career began at the 1978 World Championship.

As a player, he reached the 1975 and 1977 world amateur billiards semi-finals, but in the latter he exacerbated a back problem which later needed surgery, ending his hopes of a professional career.

Everton reached a high of ninth in the world billiards rankings, and is still 20th despite rarely playing.

In a varied career, he has also covered Wimbledon for The Times of India, rugby for the Sunday Telegraph and football for The Times.

He played tennis for Worcestershire for 13 years until 1974 and wrote a book with Ann Jones following her 1969 Wimbledon triumph.

He also managed Jonah Barrington when he was world squash number one.

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Steve Davis

Davis is one of the greatest players ever seen in the modern game.

Steve Davis
Steve Davis is one of the greatest ever snooker players
He has won six World Championship crowns as well as countless other ranking and non-ranking titles over a professional career which has spanned 22 years.

The "Golden Nugget" will also be remembered for taking part in one of the greatest televised matches of all time, when he lost on the black to Dennis Taylor in the 1985 Crucible final.

His run as world number one ended when a Scottish teenager by the name of Stephen Hendry arrived on the scene.

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John Parrott

With his role as a captain on BBC TV's Question of Sport programme, Parrott has become one of snooker's best-known faces.

John Parrott
Parrott won the World Championship in 1991
Parrott has been among the game's most consistent performers over a sustained period, having established himself in world's top 25 for over a decade.

He has an impressive record in the major events, with nine ranking event victories during his long career.

Parrott, a passionate Everton fan, has also reached eight world quarter-finals, one semi-final and two finals.

His crowning moment at the Crucible came in 1991 when he won the title before clinching a UK Championship victory in the same year.

More recently he led England to victory in the 2000 Nations Cup at Reading.

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Dennis Taylor

One of the most popular players to have graced the snooker circuit, Dennis is now a major part of the BBC team having finally retired in 2000.

Dennis Taylor
Taylor in his trademark 'upside down' glasses
The highlight of his career came in 1985 when, on the final black of the final frame, he beat Steve Davis to take the world title in front of 18 million TV viewers.

The Irishman turned professional in 1972. He reached the World Championship semi-finals in 1975 and 1977 before making the final in 1979, where he lost to Terry Griffiths.

Although he became one of the most consistent players on the circuit, a major title eluded him until he won the Rothman's Grand Prix title in 1984.

He never quite matched the heights of his famous triumph over Davis in Sheffield, but did win the 1987 Masters title and remained in the world's top 16 until 1994, having entered it in 1976.

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John Virgo

John Virgo is known to millions as Jim Davidson's trickshot-playing partner in BBC TV's Big Break. He was also no mean player as a pro.

John Virgo
The Entertainer: John Virgo
A former under-16 and under-19 champion, he turned professional in 1977, and reached the semi-finals of that season's UK Championship.

In 1979 he reached the semi-finals of the World Championship where he lost to Dennis Taylor, but ended the season with a career-highest ranking of 10th.

He claimed the UK Championship crown in the same year, beating Terry Griffiths 14-13 in the final, but that proved to be the pinnacle of his playing career.

He reached two ranking-event semis in 1982, and the last four of the British Open in 1986, but subsequently dropped down the rankings and finally quit the circuit in 1994.

John has remained a big exhibition draw, however, thanks to his reputation as one of the game's great entertainers.

A former WPBSA chairman, he found his niche on national TV in the mid-1990s with Davidson and is a regular commentator on the BBC's snooker coverage.

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Willie Thorne

Thorne only ever won one major tournament, but along with Virgo and Taylor, he will be remembered as one of the game's more colourful characters.

Willie Thorne
Thorne: Always a crowd favourite
Leicester's very own, who was renowned for his friendship with Gary Lineker and bald pate, won the Mercantile Credit Classic in 1985 when he beat his close friend and rival Cliff Thorburn.

The following season was also a good one for Thorne as he reached the final of the UK and British Open.

During the 1986-87 season he also won the Hong Kong Masters and the Matchroom Championship.

Thorne is now a fully-fledged memeber of the Seniors Tour and won the World Seniors Masters in 2000.

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