Dennis Taylor (born Denis Taylor, 19th January 1949 in Coalisland, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland) is a retired professional snooker player and current BBC snooker commentator.
Winner of two ranking events, he is best known for winning the 1985 World Championship, beating World number one Steve Davis on the final black in one of the sport's most memorable finals. He also won the Grand Prix in 1984 and the Masters in 1987. Taylor is also well known for his sense of humour and his trademark oversized spectacles. He made regular appearances on the snooker game show Big Break.
Taylor turned professional in 1972 and made his world championship debut in 1973, narrowly losing to Cliff Thorburn in the first round. After world semi-final losses in 1975 and 1977, Taylor reached his first major final – the World Championship – in 1979, but lost 24–16 to debutant Terry Griffiths.
Having reached the semi final of the World Championships in 1984, losing to Steve Davis, Taylor was playing very well as he began the 1984–85 season. In September, however, he was devastated by the sudden death of his mother, which caused him to withdraw from the Jameson International. His first ranking event win came later in 1984, when he won the Rothmans Grand Prix by beating Cliff Thorburn 10–2 in the final.
Taylor now commentates on the three televised snooker tournaments each year for the BBC and is known for his bona fide and light-hearted commentary. His most famous commentary incident occurred in 1998 when co-commentator Clive Everton nearly strangled Taylor after instinctively grabbing his tie as he fell off his chair. Everton wrongly believed one snooker was required by a player before Taylor stated correctly that he actually needed three snookers to get back into the frame. Everton subsequently proclaimed that his "brains have gone completely" before leaning back in his chair which then gave way. He reached out as he fell, grabbing Taylor's tie and pulling him down with him. An audible bang rang around the auditorium as Everton fell off his chair and out the commentary box with Taylor laughing uncontrollably.
Taylor has also made guest appearances on Big Break, They Think It's All Over, Russian Roulette, A Question of Sport, The Weakest Link and The Sooty Show. In 2005, he was one of the celebrities taking part in the third series of the successful BBC show Strictly Come Dancing, reaching eighth place with his partner Izabela Hannah.
In February 1990, Taylor officially opened the Royal Mail Sorting Office, in Blackburn, Lancashire, giving it his own stamp of approval. He then took part in a one-frame friendly challenge match.Taylor currently lives in Llay near Wrexham and has been a resident of the village since April 2003. His son Damien is a professional golf coach. His autobiography is entitled Frame By Frame.