THE WAY TO DO IT! By BOBBY
remember looking forward to the Millennium? Well, here we
are nine years on at the start of yet another New Year! Where
do they all go? Good thing that I still look and feel like
a 35 year-old (trouble is I can’t find one!).
that you are only as young as the woman you feel and as Marie
is also 35 we are OK there!
Resolutions? I think I’ll stick with the old one of
I’m not going to drink any more……nor any
less in 2009!
I’m truthful there is only one promise I make to myself
every year (no, not that one, Marie!) and that’s to
get down to Lakeside in the very first week of the New Year
and celebrate the start of 2009 in an atmosphere that should
be bottled and sold to darts fans who can’t be there!
magic! And I love every minute of being there – except
when I have to do a couple of minutes live to camera without
a script or an autocue (I’m too ‘blind’
to see the autocue anyway!). That’s when I need my mummy
or Raymond to help me out!
be my eleventh year of presenting the greatest darts show
on earth for the BBC alongside me old mate, Ray Stubbs.
days of fun, excitement, drama and great darts from January
3rd to 11th. How could there possibly be a better way to see
in the New Year?
THE WAY TO NEW YEAR IT!
a real Pro who for most of his BBC year is mainly involved
with football and ‘Final Score’. He’s the
main man for that, but at the start of the year he loves being
at Lakeside as much as I do.
not? Lakeside is the undisputed home of world darts and no
one does TV sport – especially darts - better than the
I might be a ‘pundit’ but it’s no good asking
me to name a winner! , Gary Anderson is the form player, but
that’s what I said last year! He seems to have some
sort of ‘Lakeside jinx’ because the closest he’s
come was the 2003 Semi-Final.
time a Scot won the title was 1997 when the lovely Les Wallace
took the trophy all the way back to Southampton! Can Gary
get the bagpipes back to Lakeside? Only he can answer that
one. He’s certainly got the game to do it.
THAT’S THE WAY TO SCOT IT!
Mark Webster coming back and successfully defending his title?
It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do. Only
two players in thirty-two years have managed it: Eric Bristow
and Raymond Barneveld.
Mark be the third? I have no idea! But like all the players
at Lakeside he will be trying his hardest to get the final.
It’s the very pinnacle of any dart players career.
anyone expect me to make predictions when any of the 32 players
can win it? They are all good enough or they wouldn’t
be on the famous Lakeside stage. There are no wild cards.
Just players who have earned the right to be there through
the tough BDO Invitation Tables, or the International Play-Offs.
be easier to do my predicting and punditing when the First
Round has been played. As we all know from past experience
anything can happen in those first 16 matches played over
the short distance of 5 sets.
the end it’s all about bottle. That’s what separates
the true Champions from everyone else.
THE WAY TO LAKESIDE IT!
of the usual tight printing deadlines at Xmas and New Year,
I am writing this before the 2009 World Pro, so let me tell
you about a couple of things that are coming up.
all, I will be playing a Government Minister in ‘A Leg
With Bobby’ during the week. It’s connected to
the BDO giving its backing to the re-launch of the Government’s
‘Get On’ campaign to raise awareness and improve
the numeracy levels of young adults.
campaign was launched by Andy Fordham in 2004 and was a huge
success. I played a Government Minister then, and now we are
going to have another go to show that when it comes to counting
and mental arithmetic, darts is not only a perfect way to
learn, but also an enjoyable way in which to understand and
THE WAY TO COUNT IT!
star of the week will be Justin Lee Collins, the long-haired
West Country based funnyman who stars in Channel 4’s
very funny ‘Sunday Night Project’ with his camp
sidekick Alan Carr.
darts and, following his C4 programme ‘180!’ in
which he played (and lost to) Cheshire’s Stuart Bousefield
at Pontin’s, Brean Sands last June, he’s now coming
to Lakeside to play in ‘A Leg With Bobby’.
looking forward to it, because he’s one of those rare
personalities who is just as nice and friendly off TV as he
is on it.
win or will he lose? You’ll have to tune in to find
THE WAY TO JUSTIN IT!
let the cat out of the bag in last month’s England Darts
Organisation page when the whole world – well Darts
World – was told that I am having an operation on my
time you read this I will have gone under the surgeon’s
knife and been ‘repaired’. That’s the knees,
back and shoulder so I don’t think I’ll be doing
the Okie, Cokie for a while – or anything else physical
for that matter!
It is the
shoulder of my throwing arm and its been giving me lots of
pain for a while now. Personally, I wasn’t going to
mention it, but now that it’s out there I have no choice,
I be able to play the piano after the op’ I asked the
specialist. ‘Of course you will’ he replied. ‘That’s
good’ I said, ‘I couldn’t play it before!’
The old ones are always the best!
THE WAY TO SHOULDER IT!
with the EDO, I am delighted that they have announced a couple
of new events for 2009.
is the England Eastbourne Classic, which will be played at
the Winter Gardens, Eastbourne from January 30th to February
the England Open returns to Bunn’s Leisure Complex at
Selsey from the 26th to 28th, and then in July there will
be the England Masters Darts Festival from July 17th to 19th
. This will be played at Edgeley Park, home of Stockport Football
all good news for the EDO and darts players, and hopefully
I can get along to these new events.
THE WAY TO EDO IT!
Had a great
time in Holland at the Drukkerij Westerlaan Open (try saying
that after a couple of sherberts!) where we not only enjoyed
the darts, but also the wonderful Dutch hospitality.
started in a small way in a pub in 2004, but is now a big
event that raises lots of money for charity. This year money
was raised for the Ronald McDonald Child Fund, and as well
as me, Eric Bristow was there with the two Gary’s (Anderson
and Robson), Dazzler Darryl Fitton, Scott Waites and the West
brothers – Tony and Steve.
a women’s event for the first time ever, and also a
pairs event. Big Robbo won the Men’s Singles, but other
than the darts it was a luvverly, jubberly fun event at which
we were looked after like Royalty!
know if it was anything to do with the McDonald’s connection,
but we were all given ‘chips’ that we could exchange
for food and drinks. They were brought round by a man who
had them (the chips) in a little sack. I called him Father
Xmas and soon everyone was doing the same.
was like the magic of Xmas when those chips turned into food
and drink…..but thought I’d had one too many (drinks
not chips!) when they auctioned a door (yes a proper internal
house door) with my picture on it!
was for real, and there were two more with Darryl Fitton (see
photo) and Gary Anderson on them. I have seen some things
auctioned for charity in my time, but never three DOORS!
THE WAY TO DOOR IT!
way, those three doors raised over 2,000 Euros for the McDonald’s
it was a brilliant event and I would like to send my personal
thanks to the organisers and sponsors for their hospitality
THE WAY TO DUTCH IT!
one from the archives! I found an old picture (see photo)
of me and Barry Hearn when I rifled through my (not Marie’s)
it dates back to the late 80’s when I was going round
Courage venues with ‘The Bobby George Challenge’.
This was probably Barry’s baptism into darts so I have
a lot to answer for!
serves me right, Steve Davis was there, and that’s where
Barry came in. He was his manager then and I think he still
it’s appropriate to use it, because when I get my shoulder
right I can’t wait to get back on the oche with ‘The
Legends’ both on the road in our sell-out shows, and
our second series on Setanta Sport.
you that in 2009 I’ll be fit enough to take on any Tom,
Dick or Barry!
THE WAY TO LEGENDS IT!
already looking good so all that remains is for me to wish
all readers of Darts World a Happy, Successful, Prosperous
and Healthy New Year.
darts always be with you!