UK Darts Issue 9 - December 2013 - Page 23

Who would have thought that three giant pieces of artwork depicting former champions on the wall of the Alexandra Palace would cause so much outrage? Canada’s John Part was in a far from celebratory mood after his first round triumph last year, using his post-match interview to berate the powers that be for omitting his portrait from the wall. Sure enough, the powers listened, and Part rightfully appeared, albeit with blindingly white teeth, a few days later. Unfortunately, though, the three-time World Champion succumbed to a 4-1 defeat in the following round. Who will make it onto the great wall this time around? Celebrity Darts Fans They may be multi-millionaires who, ten years ago, would not have touched a piece of tungsten with a bargepole, but now, even celebrities and royalty can’t turn down a free night at the darts. The VIP section of the Ally Pally will once again be brimming with big names as they take to the best seats in the house to be royally entertained by the world’s elite throwers. Comedian Jack Whitehall, actor Stephen Fry, Cricket legend Freddie Flintoff and pantomime villain Robbie Savage are all regular pilgrims to the top of Muswell Hill for the greatest show on earth. In perhaps the most bizarre tale, Chelsea footballer Michael Essien once scrambled to the merchandise stall for a replica Taylor shirt, before jumping on his seat and waiting until after midnight for The Power’s autograph. In 2011, Price Harry stunned fans and players alike by rocking up on the red carpet for a night at a very different palace, while Zara Philips has also been partial to the arrows on home turf. To quote the great Sid Waddell: “We couldn’t have more excitement if Elvis walked in and asked for a chip sandwich.” Fan Wars Ten pounds can make all the difference when it comes to buying your ticket for the World Championship. It’s the difference between sitting at a table, or sitting in the stands. Last year witnessed a peculiar war of words between those situated on the floor and those in the adjacent tiers. Cries of “you can’t afford a table” were countered by chants of “can you hear the tables sing?” as Scooby Doo and a Snowman made their feelings clear to one another. All light-hearted, of course. Photo: Mike Glover/UK Darts Magazine Murals