Snooker fans have been rejoicing this morning – not just because of the start of the World Championship but due to the return of one of the sport’s most popular faces.
TV presenter Hazel Irvine was back in front of the BBC cameras this morning and greeted her return with a cheeky “long time no see” to thousands of TV viewers.
Irvine, who has been the face of BBC snooker throughout the 21st Century, missed last year’s World Championship due what was described as a “family illness”.
However, the Scottish presenter also was absent during the BBC’s coverage of the UK Championship in December 2020 and the Masters at the start of the year.
Snooker Chat exclusively reported last month that Irvine’s management had confirmed that she would be presenting again for this year’s World Championship – a story which was met with delight by snooker fans.
Introducing TV audiences this morning, Irvine said: “Good morning. Long time no see, how good it feels for us all to be back here in the Crucible Theatre.”
The coverage was shown on BBC iPlayer/Red Button rather than BBC Two due to a change of programming because of today’s funeral of Prince Philip – The Duke of Edinburgh.
Snooker fans have been loving Irvine’s return.
Steven Wood tweeted: “Hazel Irvine is back where she belongs. On our TV screens in front of a snooker table welcoming us to the coverage of the world championship. This are getting right with the world again.”
And Gavin Nixon tweeted: “Reassuring to have her back with her insightful enthusiasm!”
The snooker itself saw defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan take a 6-3 lead against Mark Joyce after the opening session. The pair conclude their first round encounter tonight.
And Masters champion Yan Bingtao is level 4-4 against Martin Gould on Table 2.
Featured Image: Hazel Irvine – Picture: BBC