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December 2007:

Would you believe it? This is my last column of 2007 already! How time flies when you are enjoying yourself!!

I know I probably said the same thing last year, but before you know it, it will be Xmas again…..and it is!

Not that it makes much difference at George Hall, because every day of the year is Xmas! Eat, drink and be merry!

Mind you, December is a memorable – and expensive month – for the George family. First up, young Robert (not so young any more) will be 20 years-young on the 12th, I am an ever youthful 62 on the 16th and Richie is 18 on the 18th!

That means we will be partying from the 12th to the 25th and beyond!!


On the subject of celebrations, I went and did the Club Mirror Awards in Manchester with Jim Bowen and Tony Green recently.

It was what Jim would describe as a Smashing, Super,Luvverly, Jubberly night as we entertained everyone with a very special version of Bullseye. As you will see from the photo, Jim was as happy as ever, and Tony is in real need of a good ironing!

Me? I’m a tribute to botox and superglue (mind you, I was only 61 at the time!).

Anyway, I went all the way to Manchester, had a lovely meal and threw 9 darts. The best 9-darter I’ve ever scored!

Alan Dedicoat, who you will all know as ‘The Voice of the Balls’ (hope that doesn’t sound too rude!) on the National Lottery Show on TV, actually did the voice-overs for the show , and what a nice bloke he is!

Without being rude, he’s one of those geezers whose voice is better than he looks. You know what I mean? He’s like all those radio presenters who look good on the radio! Think of Steve Wright and you’ll know what I mean.

Alan could be Ken Dodd’s brother and, to use a painful pun, he is certainly Dedicoated to his job! Ouch!!

I asked for a bit of advice on doing my lottery numbers. ‘Don’t do birthdays and anniversaries’, he told me. ‘Don’t put all your numbers across the ticket, or down the ticket. Don’t make them too high or too low’.

In other words, don’t bother having a go at all, I said to him. ‘You’ve got it, Bobby’ said the voice of the balls, with a big wink!


Anyway, back to the Bullseye part of the show. The climax was for me to ask the lady who managed to get to the ‘Mystery Star Prize’ bit of the evening, to answer a simple question and then score 101 between us with just 6 darts.

First of all the question: ‘Can you tell me how many people were on The Titanic when it sank, and give me their names and addresses?’ Her face was an absolute picture and I swear that Jim Bowen broke into a smile (but it was probably a bit of wind!).

Anyway, after I told her that I was pulling her leg, I invited here to throw first. ‘Ladies first, Doll’ I said. ’Just throw at the middle of the board and do your best’.

Well, she stood on the oche and hit two single 19’s followed by treble 19! All I had to do was go up and throw one dart. What a doddle of a night it was for me!

The Star Prize? In keeping with Bullseye we couldn’t quite manage a speedboat, so she had to settle with a mini-cruise from Southend to Canvey Island!!


It’s been another busy month and although I didn’t go on that mini-cruise I did fly to Holland for the Zeeland Open (see photo).

It was a real fun weekend, and my first ‘opponent’ was a lovely little baby named Rody (see photo). Although I was invited as a guest, I ended up playing in the tournament and found myself in the final against local hero Braulio Roncero (a Spaniard who has live in Holland for over 20 years).

It was a ‘revenge’ match for him, because the last time we met was on January 5th, 1998, when I beat him 3-1 in the First Round of the Embassy at Lakeside.

We all had loads of fun this time round and though I don’t think the Zeeland Open will ever be ranked, I had a marvellous time and the proceeds went to the Red Cross.

Cyprus was really great and Marie and I met some wonderful people – not least of all a Welshman by the name of Jason Tucker, who worked as a horse trainer, and who I nicknamed Jason Little Tucker (not sure if I’ve spelt that right!).

Jason is one of those people who gets everywhere and does everything. He won the darts tournament every day (I didn’t play); he entered the dancing competition, the singing competition and even the drag competition (I didn’t enter!).

No matter where we went in the hotel, Little Tucker was there!

One night, just to escape, I even agreed to go to bingo with Marie and, guess what, he was there calling out the numbers! I wouldn’t mind, but we didn’t win!

Don’t get me wrong, Little Tucker is a lovely bloke, but he’s a bit like Little Richard Ashdown – game for anything and talented with it!


Marie did warn me that Cyprus is hotter than Colchester, but I didn’t realise how hot until my first day on the beach.

I slapped on the suntan cream, put on a t-shirt, and even kept my trousers on. But I made a huge mistake by wearing a pair of ‘Crocs’ (the lightweight plastic shoes with holes in them) without socks!

I was in the shade but my feet must have been in the sun, because when I took the Crocs off, each foot was covered in bright red patches!

It looked as though someone had stubbed out dozens of cigarettes on my feet! Marie thought it was funny to see me hobbling around, but the pain was no joke I can tell you.

There can’t be a worse place to get sunburned. Well, there probably is another, but that only ever comes out in the dark nowadays!!


I must admit that I am not really a holiday person. I get bored too easily. For example, when I sat on the beach all I could think of when I looked at all that sand was ‘when is the cement coming’. I put it down to having spent too many years in the building trade.

I did try reading, but when someone lent me a copy of John Lowe’s book I was snoring my head off after three pages! Apparently, that was a hotel record. No one had ever got further than page 2 before!


This reminds me of a visit by Jehovah’s Witnesses to George Hall recently. Marie knows how I feel about people ‘selling’ religion or anything else at the front door, but when she saw them she asked me to be nice to them.

Before I go any further, can I make it clear that I have nothing against any religion – especially at this time of the year – so when I went to the door I invited them in for a cup of tea and a chat.

There were about half a dozen and they followed me into the kitchen and sat down with puzzled looks on their faces. As Marie handed the cups of tea around I said: ‘Right, what shall we do now?’ And they looked at me and replied: ‘We don’t know. We’ve never got this far before!’


I went to open a very unusual bar recently in Ipswich. It was at the home of darts fanatic Russell Leeburn and his wife Jane. They named it ‘The Dunfermline Bar’ and invited me along to celebrate the 25th birthday of their son, Robin (they also have two other children, Alice and globetrotter Jeremy.

Russell is an orthodontist by profession and certainly likes to get his teeth into darts – much preferring BBC TV coverage to anything else, which is why he wanted me to do the ‘honours’.

Cheers, Russell and family. Here’s to many happy nights in the Dunfermline Bar watching darts on BBC.


What a day out I had with the Mayor of Clacton recently. It was for a Rotary Club event showcasing all the many and varied clubs and interests in Clacton – everything from darts clubs to sewing clubs.

I was fascinated to see ladies who spend their spare time making the most beautiful flowers out of nothing more than sugar – even adding dewdrops to make them look like the real thing.

There were knitting clubs, wool-spinning clubs, sailing clubs, art clubs and even a club devoted to the growing of Cacti (which for the uninitiated is the plural of Cactus).

There was actually a 280 year-old cactus (that’s even older than Sam Hawkins) and I couldn’t resist turning to the Mayor and saying: ‘I’ve seen more pricks on this stall than I’ve met all year!’


Two major events in December to which I am invited: The Sportsman’s Dinner at London’s Hilton Hotel and the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.

Both are wonderful occasions and I won’t get an award at either – but I will enjoy them both tremendously.

I’m also looking forward to playing in the ‘Darts Legends’ night at the Circus Tavern, Purfleet on December 14th. As well as me, it features Eric Bristow,Cliff Lazarenko, Keith Deller, Wayne Mardle and Phil Taylor.

I will also be playing Phil Taylor at Reading FC’s ground in February, but more about that in another column.

Finally, my very best wishes to for a Very Happy Xmas and New Year all my readers and friends in darts (whoever you are).

Don’t forget, the 2008 Lakeside World Pro is just a few weeks away now. Can there be a better way to start the New Year?




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