We were given some coaching by a lovely guy called Scott. Scott was a part-time darts player and a part-time landscape gardener. He took us through the mental side of the game (no sniggering, you cynical lot) with great patience, great skill and great insight.
I did wonder, briefly, quite why Scott wasn’t a full-time player, but he prepared us perfectly. I was teamed with the brilliant women’s world number one, Deta “the Dark Destroyer” Hedman, and we found ourselves matched against Liza Tarbuck and none other than Bobby George in the first round. We took to the stage. It was genuinely a dream come true for me.
We really hope you enjoy the tournament when it goes out this week on BBC2. It was great fun, and it’s for a great cause. I’m not allowed to give away any of the results, but I can promise a great atmosphere, some terrible “walk-on” music, and some spectacular darts from some unexpected quarters. As for Scott, the part-time darts player and part-time landscape gardener who had trained us all?
Well, he went back to the Lakeside in January, having qualified for the real world championship. I cheered him on from afar, hoping he would win his first-round match. This he duly did. He then won his second-round match, his third-round match, his quarter-final and then his semi-final.
I started to think back to that plucky “under-puppy” from 1983. Scott then took on Martin “Wolfie” Adams in the final. In front of four million TV viewers, he won it 7–6 and became the 2015 world champion. Scott “Scotty Dog” Mitchell was no longer a parttime darts player. A very patient coach and a very lovely man, Scotty took home a life-changing prize of £100,000, and the first thing he did with the money was buy his dad a new tractor. And you wonder why I love darts?
Let’s Play Darts for Comic Relief begins on Sunday 1st March on BBC2 at 9pm, and continues Monday 2nd March – Friday 6th March at 10pm