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A bit of Fry and Sidney

Posted by Sid Waddell at 09:41 on 27th May 2010 in UniBlog

I have never had as much fun in a commentary box in my 33 year career as I did on Monday night at the Premier Darts League finals.

Stephen Fry, actor, author, raconteur, wit and darts fanatic came along last Sunday to enjoy the ambience of top darts and do a bit of patter with me.

Sadly his debut as an arrows pundit was put off by the power cut that blacked out our event and most of north London. But Stephen used the occasion to get to know Phil Taylor and the lads. He went with me to the inner sanctum, the practice room where voices are hushed and brows furrowed...and tension usually reigns.

The ‘new commentating lad’ broke the ice in minutes. Mervyn King handed over his special darts and Stephen had a throw. Phil Taylor told him jokes and James Wade had a photo shoot. Stephen marvelled at the matey atmosphere where he had expected grim-faced rivalry.

So hooked on the buzz of top tungsten was the star of Jeeves and Wooster and ‘QI’ that he cancelled a top drinks party invite to return to the fray on Monday night.

COMMENTARY BOX CAPERS

They should never have told me to sit still ....

When Stephen, Rod Harrington and I lined up like three wise monkeys for Taylor versus King with a special commentary box camera, my histrionic streak kicked in big time. I jumped, twisted and emoted like a frog on a hot plate. Cue corpse of Rodders and Stevie F and Sky team in scanner. The patter peaked with me yelling ‘Total eclipse of the darts,’ as Merv sank beneath the Power onslaught.

‘BONNIE TAYLOR!’ rapped Fry as quick as a whip. It was the lad’s first time out over the course and he jumped in with the confidence and panache of a veteran. They even featured our ‘act’ on Sky’s main news.

DOUBLE NINE-DART

I have never seen Phil Taylor so relaxed at a big event in the 20 years I’ve been spieling about him, the lipstick and the stacking. He was jumping round the arena like a kid on a birthday outing. Half way through his match against King he opened the commentary box door and began shadow-boxing Stephen and me, shouting ‘How do you like the fight so far?’

Then came the final against James Wade and the two nine darters. What can you say? Early doors Phil made a 118 average look easy. He did a niner in leg two and always was looking for another. After the second, he nearly got a THIRD. Dave Lanning and I used every word in the Thesaurus to describe Taylor’s brilliance.

‘You talk now Dave, I’m too gobsmacked,’ I shouted as Phil moved in for the kill.

On stage Stephen Fry presented Phil with the trophy and Phil handed him his darts. I think Stephen will be back...

My prediction for Bolton is that Phil, who has done four nine-darters there over the years, could do THREE on the weekend. Exaggerating? Not one smidgin.

There is 1 comment to this post

Posted by oche balboa at 11:07 on 14th June 2010

it was a magic night with magic darts got to get spephen fry and sid togeter again ,it was great and a nice touch to get him present the trophy at the end, great darts great telly
the double 9 dart is something ill never forget

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