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November 2010

I’m suffering from jet-lag and I’ve only been to Guernsey and Gibraltar!
To explain and show that I’m not a wuss (or a cissy), John Smith’s sent me on a most extraordinary People’s Darts trip that saw me taking off from Gatwick and flying to Guernsey, and then after doing my business (if you’ll  excuse the expression) flying back to Gatwick from Guernsey, staying in the airport terminal at Gatwick and then flying to Malaga!

 Once in Malaga I was transported by road to Gibraltar before flying back from Gibraltar to Gatwick – all in the space of two days!.
I felt like I’d gone round the world, or the A14 twice, or the Judge’s houses in the X-Factor! And all for the love of John Smith’s People’s Darts for 2010!
The end result is that both of these islands have produced champions for John Smith’s – Justin Stagno did it for The Rock (Gibraltar) and Billy Baird for Guernsey.

Billy is originally from Falkirk but moved to Guernsey nine years ago for three months and has never returned to his native Scotland!

Gib’s Justin Stagno was not the only person on the trip with ‘No’ in his name.  I was accompanied by a smashing Dutch bloke from Heineken whose name as Onno (pronounced O No!).  I made him laugh by telling him that I once had a Dutch girlfriend called Oyes (pronounced O Yes).

Seriously, he was a diamond geezer and a true gentleman and I take this opportunity to thank him for looking after me so well.....o no he didn’t, oh yes he did!
Also my thanks to all the lovely people I met in Guernsey and Gibraltar.  I can see why Billy never came home!

I had a really funny experience when travelling through Gatwick, minding my own business and carrying a rucksack as hand-luggage.  First of all a lady who was on the moving walkway (I think it’s called a ‘Travelator’)  caught sight of me and turned round to shout ‘Hello Bobby’, but she hadn’t noticed that she’d come to the end where the moving bit meets the static bit!

Her suitcase fell over and she tumbled after it......and so did several other people behind her.  Suddenly there was a heap of people, so I made my exit sharpish before the bods from health & safety turned up to blame me!
Then another lady came up to me and said: ‘You seem to be walking awkwardly. Can I help you with your sack?’  Well, what could I say? I’ve always had dodgy knees so I do tend to limp at times. ‘No thanks, luv,’ I replied. ‘My sack has always been full, but I can manage!’

It reminded me of an instance on our recent trip to Egypt when I went down to dinner in a vest because it was so hot.  A rather snooty lady said: ‘I would have thought that a man of your means would know how to dress for dinner? I replied by saying: ‘It is a rich man’s privilege to dress like this.  A poor man has no choice, darling!’

She responded with a smile and said: ‘Mr.George, not only are you handsome, but you’re clever with it!’  Now there’s a lady who knows what’s what!
Anyway, I suppose because ITV have got a new series out about Essex Men and Essex Women called ‘The Only Way Is Essex’  I was invited on to BBC Radio 5 Live to explain what exactly an Essex man is – not an easy thing to do (although as an adopted Essex Man, I didn’t really have a problem!).

To be honest, I don’t think the Essex man and woman that everyone talks about (or imagines to be)  are actually ‘proper’ Essex.  The flash, cocky, stereotypical Essex man or woman actually originates from London’s East End.......and I should know, because I was born in the East End, but now live in Colchester, Essex. The county was an overspill area from London’s East End when the ‘slums’ were being cleared.

Some families were moved from their  East End homes to Essex and others went to Kent years ago.  I suppose that’s what accounts for the accent and the image of Essex man and woman?

As I explained on BBC Radio 5, Essex man is expected to have a flash car, loads of bling, talk ten to the dozen, wear brand new white trainers, and has to go up north to chat up the birds because Essex girls aren’t interested in the flash gits!
Originally, Dagenham was the hotspot for all the Londoners moving out, because of all the work at Ford.  But that’s now gone and most have moved on to Clacton or Southend  to be by the seaside.

And who can blame ‘em?  Let’s face it, most of us would prefer to look out the window and see a tree rather than a chimney, wouldn’t  we?

Since moving from the East End I’ve always lived in Essex, but I’ve also had my toe in Suffolk from time to time, but that’s another story!
There’s a lot of rubbish talked about Essex man and woman. The truth of the matter is that they are the salt of the earth.

And what about Kent Men and Women?  All I can say is that I have met lots of Kent’s in my time and a lot of my friends are Kent’s. Just like their Essex counterparts, they are a great bunch of Kent’s.

Still on my travels, I am a guest at the annual Club Mirror ‘do’ at the Palace Hotel, Manchester on November 10th.  As I am so heavily involved with John Smith’s People’s Darts I will be presenting the ‘Darts Club Of The Year Award’ on behalf of John Smith’s and Heineken.

I’m also doing a few PA’s for Bet Fred up and down the country.  I was recently in Bloxwich and will never forget the cheer when the MC announced ‘Bobby George is in the building’.  They’re a friendly lot in the Black Country and they gave me a welcome that I will remember for a very long time.

Mind you, the Scots take a bit of beating when it comes to warm welcomes and generosity!

As an example,  I recently had a fantastic time at the Millennium Bar in Stranraer and the unusually named Box House in Cumnock.

Irishman Davy McCosh (no mug!) organised my night  at the Millennium Bar and was quite a comedian.  He told me: ‘One of my girlfriends was so ugly that even the tide wouldn’t take her out!’

I had to laugh, but he’s obviously not seen some of the darts players I’ve met.  One or two of them are so big that the tide wouldn’t even come in to take them out!!
Anyway, just to prove that  Scots are not mean and miserable and love their darts, Davy invited me to play a couple of extra games and then presented me with  £210 which went to the Woodbridge Gateway Club and my MC Roly’s  charity Mencap.
What can I say? Darts people have always been generous, but no matter what others say, I have always found the Scots to be extra generous.  Thanks on behalf of Roly for such a welcome gift. Much appreciated.

I was picked up at 4PM from Stranraer for the trip to Cumnock, and it took THREE hours!  I could have got back to Malaga quicker!
Anyway, the hospitality at The Box House was both lively and funny thanks to the laid-back guv’nor Stephen Thom.  He was so laid back that he made Garry Thompson look like a raver!

We had a really fun night, but I don’t know how anyone heard what was going on because the PA speaker was only one-foot square and the music was played through Stephen’s mobile phone!  Honest!!

Having said that, the lighting was great and he had a nice dartboard – but I just couldn’t make my darts go where they should, like in the treble 20!  To be brutally frank, I played crap and thought I was having an off-night.

But, it turned out to be the total fault of the equipment. No, not the board or the lighting, but a special measuring tool sold by one of the top darts equipment companies.  I won’t name them to save any embarrassment, but this ‘special’ measuring tape had been used as instructed by Stephen thinking it must be correct, only for the board to be one-and-a-half inches too low and the throw two-inches too short!

Can you imagine Marie getting hold of one to measure my vital statistics!
I was even beaten by Stephen’s 4 year-old boy who we nicknamed ‘The Milky Bar Kid’.  Thinking about it, the board was probably ideal for him!
But never mind all of that, it was a real fun night out and yet another great trip to Scotland. Och Aye the Noo (whatever that means!).
Moving back to Essex, Steve Hardy, who used to play for the county but now throws his arrers in the PDC,  fished my lakes with what can only be described as a ‘Mickey Mouse’ rod.  So I had to ask him if he wanted a ‘Big Boys Rod’ to fish at George Hall.

Anyway, staying with the George Hall lakes, I have been busy doing up all the cabins and making sure that they are the pride of Essex.  After all, I can’t let the side down and I must keep up appearances!
I have also been busy painting inside George Hall, but it’s a bit exhausting because there are 14 doors just in the hall – all panelled and all needing glossing on both sides!

Look out for me on the X-Factor soon!  Our local Ardleigh school is on the search for the next ‘big thing.’  No, not me, but local talent in their ‘Ardleigh’s Got Talent’ show for the youngsters.

I won’t be singing, but on the judges panel.  Not so much Simple Simon, but more Gorgeous George!






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