January 12, 2009

British sportscaster Vine dies at 73

Veteran British sports broadcaster David Vine has died of a heart attack at age 73, his publicist says.

Vine, known to millions of BBC viewers as Viney, died Sunday at his home near Henley-on-Thames, the Daily Mail reported. Publicist Paul Madeley said Vine had undergone triple heart bypass surgery several years ago.

Vine hosted many sports and entertainment shows over a long career, including It's A Knock Out, Miss World, the Eurovision song contest, Wimbledon tennis, Match Of The Day, Grandstand and the Olympics.

Madeley called Vine a true and utter gentleman at all times, telling the

Daily Mail, I don't know of anybody who is regarded as he was in terms of his professionalism and dedication, whether he was presenting or commentating. He was like a member of my family. He was that close.

Vine's top moment probably came in 1985 when 18 million viewers were tuned in to see him interview snooker champion interview Dennis Taylor after his memorable win against Steve Davis, the British tabloid said.