|I reckon that my preparations for a 12 day stint at the Ladbrokes.com World Championship has been spot on. It started 8 weeks ago when Eric Bristow and I recorded Bellies and Bullseyes for ESPN Classic, looking back at the great Embassy finals. It was inspiring to see the likes of Eric, Bobby George, Jocky Wilson and Phil Taylor do their thing. |
Next I went to the launch of the tournament at Langan’s Brasserie and had a deep emotional experience. At the end of the night Phil and Barney presented me with a magnificent cake to commemorate 30 years of commentaries. I must admit a couple of tears came to my old rheumy Geordie eyes.
Finally there was a quick trip to Peterborough to see my voice coach Stewart Theobold who took me through my Tongue Tango, Nose Screeches, and Lip Popping, all routines for relaxing while doing my part of 93 hours of live broadcasting.
RIGOURS OF ROUND ONE
Two stories stand out from the first night at Ally Pally.
First – the great recovery of Mark Walsh from nearly a year of suffering from dartitis. Mark played consistently well to beat Adrian Gray and finished with a flamboyant 110 check-out.
Second – hundreds of Wayne Mardle fans stood and cheered on their hero who had a victory over American, Ray Carver.
The national press has picked up on the fact that the brilliant Michael Van Gerwen has beaten Phil Taylor in their last two meetings. But Phil has been on magnificent form in winning the last four major championships, making 105 averages look easy.
Watch this space.