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September 2010


Who would have thought it?  Bobby George in the Valley Of The Kings! As it happens, I felt right at home among the fantastic pyramids and all that sand……trouble is, it was so hot that if I sat around for too long I wanted to make some cement!

What am I going on about?  Marie and I have just returned from truly memorable trip to Cairo (what a dump!) and a trip down the River Nile (makes the Thames look like a stream) into the heart of a country that had all the knowledge long before we even thought of it – if you get my drift!

Clever? Those pyramids (‘houses of eternity’) are made out of thousands of blocks of sandstone and put together like a giant Lego! They were all put in place by hand as a lasting memorial to Pharaohs like the legendary boy king Tutankhamun, who was just 18 when he died over 1,000 years BC.  It has been estimated that the largest of the pyramids in Giza took 20 years to complete.

King Tut’s was actually a hastily built tomb because no one expected him to die so young. It was hidden in the Valley of the Kings, underneath Ramses II’s tomb (which was found first). 

Lord Carnarvon sponsored Britain’s Howard Carter for 5 years to try and find Tut’s tomb which he finally discovered  in 1922 with just 5 days remaining of the 5 years. There was so much in there that it took 12 years to empty!

And what a find it was!  Carter discovered an ante chamber that contained the huge gold coffin containing the mummy of King Tut surrounded by over 3,000 pieces of treasure . Mind you, he also released the legendary curse that has become the stuff of many books and films down the years.

Amazingly, he found umbrella’s thousands of years before they were invented in modern times, he even had a fold up camp bed which I found amazing!!.

Not many people know this, but those umbrellas were not to keep off the rain, but to protect the ancient Egyptians (mostly the kings) from the sun.  The majority were bald, and having experienced temperatures of over 50 degrees centigrade on our trip to Egypt, I can see why they were needed.

It was so hot when we got on the boat to go down the Nile that when I leant on the wooden rail around the deck, I suffered third-degree burns!  Hot stuff!!

Tutankhamum had ruled for 9 years when he died at 18, and from some of the drawings of him, he was bald (as were all the Pharoahs) so they had to wear a head-dress. In King Tut’s case, legend has it that the umbrellas in his tomb were to still keep the sun off his head on his passage to the after-life.

Blimey, watch out Patrick Chaplin, Bobby George is rapidly becoming an historian!

But, that’s the way I am.  I love to soak up knowledge and I would recommend a trip to Egypt to anyone…..but not at the hottest time of the year!

I particularly enjoyed our excursion down the Nile, but it was so hot and exhausting that I re-named it an exertion! We even saw a road excavated in Luxor which was three miles long and built by the ancient Egyptians with not a pot-hole in sight! 

What made it even more amazing was that every one and a half metres, on both sides of the road, were huge Sphinx’s which easily weighed 5 tons each!

Real symbols of power, but how did they manage to get them there?

The Pharoahs throught they would live forever and they certainly have! 

From ancient times to modern times, we met some lovely people on our Egyptian adventure and, just to show what a small world it is, some of them were actually from Hull – where we will be heading this October for the BBC televised Winmau World Masters.

The photo on this page shows (from l to r): Eddie Edwards (not the famous ‘Eddie The Eagle’) from Hull next to Marie, me, Eddie’s lady Angie Wallace, also from Hull, Michael Carr from South Shields, George Edwards from Hull and Linda Carr from South Shields at the front.

Needless to say, me and Marie are looking forward to meeting up with Ed and Angie again when we’re at Hull’s City Hall for the World Masters.

The A Team has been made into a brilliant new film, but John Smith’s have beaten them to it by assembling the A-Team of darts mentors for the third successive John Smith’s People’s Darts.

I am the ‘leader’ with more bling than Mr.T, so you can call me ‘Mr.G’!

I will be looking after a team made up of the two England Captains, Martin Adams and Trina Gulliver, John Boy Walton, Ross Montgomery (who will be The Boss in Scotland), Gary Robson, Tony O’Shea and Darryl Fitton

It all kicks-off at Lakeside on October 23rd – and the live televised final will be staged at the home of World Darts on Sunday, January 9th before the 2011 Final is televised by BBC TV Sport.  And I will be there on both occasions!

This has to be the greatest ever series of events for ‘ordinary’ pub and club players, with loads of money to be won (mostly for worthy charities) and the opportunity to play on the most famous stage in world darts. 

It don’t get much better than that!

The big news is that darts will link up with horse-racing this year, and I am pleased to say that I will be at Aintree racecourse in Liverpool on November 14th.  The North-West regional finals will be played there and it is a bringing together of two sports that are generously supported by John Smith’s.

The annual Grand National (probably the most famous steeplechase race in the world) is sponsored by John Smith’s, and of course they have been strong supporters of the Lakeside World Pro for many years.

Funny, but I have always had a fantasy about taking part and winning the Grand National.  I’ve always been good at the jumps…..ask Marie….but I’d probably end up falling off.

The story of my life!

The BBC will be filming us at Aintree (on the oche not the horses!) and as well as doing some ‘mentoring’ I will be doing an exhibition.  Should be great fun!

The day before Aintree (November 13th) John Smith’s People’s Darts will be at Hamilton Park Racecourse in Scotland.

 I am even doing a bit of globe-trotting this year with trips to Guernsey and Gibraltar in October.

If you want more information on how to take part go to





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