Jacques Peretti's excellent programme Darts Tarts displays a real love for the game and affection for the obsessive characters who play it.
I should rephrase that as a real love for the sport, as darts is now officially a sport. That's thanks to this inconsistent government which bangs on about obesity and drinking and smoking, and now classes darts in the same category as healthy, exciting competitions like ice dancing and rifle shooting.
Peretti describes darts as the working class game, as opposed to middle class snooker which drove darts into the wilderness of satellite tv in Thatcher's eighties.
But was Thatcher to blame for this seismic shift?
Or was it the fact that snooker is just so much more bloody sexy?
Betty has already clearly demonstrated the sheer horn factor of snooker. Where else do you see fit men, bent over a table, a four foot pole perfectly balanced between their gentle hands, their smouldering eyes peering intently at a hard ball, the ball just aching to be kissed into a soft, tight pocket.
How could darts compete? Besides the fact that darts players are generally 5 stone heavier than snooker players, you are extremely unlikely to see a professional darts player bend over and show his arse to the world. A poor arrow thrower may spend half the game bending over to pick up a dart that has missed the board or hit it at the wrong angle and plummeted to the floor. But how many times has that happened to John Lowe over the past 30 years? And really, who would want to see it happen?
So Thatcher's not really to blame. In fact, she probably encouraged many workers to take up darts, practising throwing at a photo of her face on the wall.
No, it really is down to eye candy, not the destruction of working class culture.
Be honest. Cliff Thorburn or Eric Bristow?
Some book reviews
1 day ago