Monday | 10/01/2011
Having failed narrowly at the very last hurdle to secure the last remaining place at The World Championship, I had expected to have a very restful few weeks over the Christmas and New Year period.

However, I could not keep way from Ally Pally – it’s the greatest darts event in the world. Therefore it came as a most pleasant surprise when the Sky producer approached me while I was there and asked me to do a few stints for them just after Christmas. I was told to be myself and be as natural as possible with the microphone and in front of the cameras. I don’t really think I can be anyone else and I really enjoyed it.

And, what a great event it was with some fantastic darts – right from the beginning. I was delighted to see the quality of darts produced by the overseas qualifiers in the preliminary rounds.

I took a special interest in the game featuring Norman Madhoo from Guyana because I’d been impressed by the quality of his darts on both occasions I had seen him play at The Barbados Darts Festival, where he had earned the right to represent the Caribbean & South America region at The World Darts Championship on the last two occasions.

Norman’s contest against fellow qualifier Devon Petersen from South Africa was top quality darts that would stand comparison with most games on the professional circuit. Petersen hit check outs of 136 and 146 and Norman then hit a maximum and levelled with a 15 dart leg. The South African eventually edged the contest 4 – 3.

I also witnessed a superb display from Adrian Lewis to take the title and I was delighted to be “live on air” for the Sky 3D Channel when he produced the first ever nine dart finish in the final against Gary Anderson.

It was strange to witness a semi-final line-up without either Phil Taylor or Barney. To quote Bob Dylan – “The times they are a changin’ “