BOBBY’S BLOG: Darts World December 2009
Here we go again! Yet another Xmas another New Year and Lakeside 2010 just around the corner!
Blimey, where do all the years go? It’s ten years since I became a BBC presenter at Lakeside 1999, and I still ‘want my mummy’ every time I start thinking about all that live stuff on camera…..and I won’t have me old mate Ray Stubbs with me this time.
Can’t give too much away, but there will be a bit of a ‘new look’ for Lakeside 2010. You’ll have to watch to see what I mean!
When it comes to Xmas, we certainly get a good reminder of the expense to come in the George household, because the three men in George Hall (me included!) all have birthdays within the space of one week, which happens to be the week before Xmas……Bad planning!
As regular readers know, I will be 21 again on the 16th! Cancel that!! As I recently revealed, I will actually be 64 this year and am being haunted (or should that be taunted?) by the constant singing of The Beatles hiT ‘When I’m 64’.
Not funny when I’ve already got my bus pass and I’m now only a year away from getting my pension! Thank goodness I’ve got Marie to keep me young!!
December is noted in George Hall as the most expensive month of the entire year: Robert is 22 on the 12th, and Richie leaves his teenage years behind on the 18th, when he celebrates his 20th birthday.
I will let you guess who is always at the back of the queue when it comes to presents? I just have to pay for them all…..Bah Humbug!
To be truthful, I am just pulling everyone’s leg, because I really do love Xmas and even the birthdays (not mine!). It’s a happy time, and the bonus is that when we get to the end of December and see in the New Year on January 1st, we have Lakeside 2010 to look forward to from January 2nd to 10th.
We’re spoiled really!
Having said that, I really was spoiled rotten on a trip to Alloa in Scotland for an exhibition night with John Lowe, Bob Anderson and Dennis Priestley. The reason? I was actually knighted!
I’m glad it happened in Scotland, because I do have Scottish blood running through my veins (a sort of Blended Malt!) and who else but Davie Hanson could organise something like this?
Obviously, Her Majesty must have been ‘otherwise engaged’ but I had a very able substitute in Terry Innes, Chief of the Clan, who came on stage with a very impressive sword.
If you look at the photo, it’s almost as though he’s going to chop my head off rather than Knight me!! I was assured that this is the way the Scots do it……and for the purists out there, it’s with a Claymore (that’s not a brand of whiskey but a Scottish sword).
Typically, my MC Little Richard ‘bigged it up’ with the audience and when Terry Innes had done his duty IT was a case of Arise Sir Bobby of Colchester!
What more can I say? Except, as I am often called ‘The King Of Bling’ I can’t resist repeating the famous saying:
ONCE A KING ALWAYS A KING BUT ONCE A KNIGHT IS PLENTY!
Did I hear someone say ‘Get Knighted?’
Staying on the subject of bling, I’ve been asked to do some TV commercials for ‘Got Gold Get Cash’ which is one of the many companies specialising in turning unwanted or broken gold items, like bracelets and rings, into lovely cash.
They spotted all the gold on my left wrist and about my body and clearly decided that the value was enough to buy a small country or I was the Million Dollar Man (where have I heard that name before?).
Anyway, I will be doing some commercials for ‘Got Gold Get Cash’ and you might have even seen them before reading this month’s column. Whatever the case, they will certainly help pay for those birthdays……with perhaps a bit left over to buy the Isle-of-Wight!!
It must be something to do with maturity, but I’m getting loads of enquiries for TV shows, including ‘Celebrity Come Dine With Me’ and ‘Celebrity Mr & Mrs’.
I would love to do them both, but the dates always clash with other commitments for John Smith’s, exhibitions and a hundred and one other things.
I don’t think I’ve ever been busier so there’s no chance of retiring and taking things easy – not with Marie as my manager! She loves the bees and honey too much for that!
Returning to the subject of gold, there’s been even more gold for me this month, because the ‘No Nonsense’ DVD I made to promote John Smith’s People’s darts has helped win a Gold Award at the prestigious Media Week Awards.
The hugely successful initiative, supported by the BDO with the finals played as part of Lakeside 2010 next month, has actually won two gongs. My Gold came in the ‘Collaboration’ category to recognise the achievements of all the agencies working on the project.
And there was a Silver Award to mark the fact that John Smith’s People’s Darts is the ‘Niche Media Idea’ of the year.
I really enjoyed making the DVD because it gave me a chance to translate the media gobbledegook into plain East End language…..in other words a lesson in ‘No Nonsense’ speak from Bobby George!
It was filmed in a typical East End pub, The Ravenscroft, and I had to interview PR people, advertising people and newspaper people. Terms like ‘increasing footfall’ (getting more people into pubs), ‘cohesion’ and ‘going the extra mile to resonate the message’ (getting 3,000 pubs involved and having the Daily Mirror on board).
‘Bobby Speak’ (no bullshit) fits in with John Smith’s theme of ‘No Nonsense’, which is just as well because I didn’t have a Scooby-Doo what most of the media and PR ‘suits’ said most of the time (no, make that ALL of the time!).
All I do know for certain is that John Smith’s People’s Darts was a great success first time round, and this year has been even better. I just hope they can find another charismatic champion like Tim ‘Teapot’ Jones.
My photo shows him enjoying his new found fame with Ted Hankey and Francis Hoenselaar at this January’s Lakeside Champions dinner. Ted actually mentored Tim to his famous victory, which has in turn led to Tim having a great year on the BDO circuit.
He looks proud (rightly so) to be the JSPD Champion sitting between the two Lakeside Champions with his teapot dwarfed by the Lakeside trophies!
Who will be crowned 2010 People’s Darts Champion next month? It’s just as unpredictable as who will win the proper Lakeside titles – men and women – because the standards are as high as ever and there are eleven new faces.
By the way, BDO darts certainly worked its magic for John Smith’s, because the People’s Darts Championship attracted sales of an additional 350,000 pints, producing £850,000 in extra revenue.
24,000 punters played the Daily Mirror game and the finalists enjoyed an unprecedented 60 minutes on BBC TV.
Now that is language I understand: More people in pubs, enjoying more darts in pubs and producing more sales for John Smith’s who are dedicated supporters of BDO darts.
It’s all about lots of people from different walks of life working together for the common good. Not bad in these recessionary times.
Maybe they should try it in the banking sector when they are talking about bonuses? One game of 501. Winner takes all!
Then they could consider doing away with General Election and playing an all-party Championship instead?
Nearest the Bull for Prime Minister!!
The good thing about darts is that it promotes community spirit – something which seems to get better the further north you go in this country.
It reminds me of a true story I was told about an Australian couple who went to this year’s BDO British Open in Bridlington. They had made contact with the BDO earlier in the year to arrange for the husband to enter the event and the BDO couldn’t have been more helpful.
So much so, that they were full of praise for the BDO, but the story isn’t about that. It’s about an incident that amazed them on their first ever visit to the Yorkshire resort.
They came out of their digs planning to walk to The Spa, before realising that they hadn’t a clue where it was! They decided to get a taxi. Trouble is, there was no phone box in sight and unlike London, you can’t flag cabs down in Brid!
So they asked a passing couple if they could help?
‘Don’t worry, luv’ they were told without hesitation, ‘we’ve got a number for a good taxi company and we’ll ring one for you’.
And that’s what they did on their own mobile (refusing any payment) and in minutes the Aussie pair were in the cab heading for The Spa!
Makes you feel proud to be British don’t it?
Must mention that on my travels I managed to get to the final of The Legends and played pretty well to boot (the shoulder must be getting better). I managed to beat Dave Whitcombe 5-0 and then had a great Semi with Bob Anderson. It went all the way and I just scraped over the line 5-4.
The pleasing thing is that I never missed a finish all day and was still going strong in the final even though I lost to eventual 2009 Legends Champ Keith Deller 5-3. He played well for an old ‘un and checked out the game on 65 after I had reduced 169 with a 129 to leave tops to stay alive in the match.
We were talking about how The Legends keep fit. I do it by working on my dartboards and fishing lakes; Keith walks the dog when he fancies a pint; Lowey loves his golf and (you’ll love this!) Dave Whitcombe plays chess with the window open!!
Nothing like a bit of fresh air!!!!
Well, I’m now off to pull a few crackers and enjoy loads of stuffing with my bird (a huge turkey) and count my money! Shouldn’t take long!!
Merry Xmas to one and all. Enjoy a wonderful festive season and a Happy New Year from myself, Marie, Robert, Richie and all at George Hall.
Keep smiling, put Lakeside 2010 in your ‘must watch’ BBC TV calendar and Be Lucky……always!
Hasta la Vista!!