Monday, 25 April 2016

QUIZ: Happy Birthday Ian Darts

"Its only a game / so put up a real big fight / I'm gonna be / throwing some darts / tonight". So almost went the theme to a programme not about darts but I couldn't think of any songs about that and I'm fairly sure music by the 70s pop act Darts wouldn't count. I'll start again...

It's Eric Bristow's birthday! "The Crafty Cockney" is 59 today and still probably the most famous darts player in the world after Phil "The Power" Powerington, Ian Darts and the late Harry Secombe. His autobiography (amazingly titled "The Crafty Cockney") is one of the finest books on sport ever to be written by a man named Eric Bristow. To celebrate, I've got ten quotes from it here for you. But only six of them are real - can you find the fake flight-flingers and the true tungsten-tipped talking?

As they say in darts - LETS DARTS!

1. "My first detention was for farting on the school headmaster. He called me a 'darts-obsessed youth' and I called him a 'non-darting fanny'. I had to write a thousand lines about being respectful to my elders. I thought 'We'll see who has the last laugh when I pick up the News Of the World Under 18s Trophy!"

2. "I always walked the streets with a claw hammer stuffed down the front of my trousers in case of any trouble. Everywhere I went I took it with me. That claw hammer became my best friend. It got me out of some sticky situations because you never felt totally safe walking the streets of Stoke Newington."

3. "In 1988, I was asked to be a guest on Paul Daniels' Magic Programme and I thought why not, something to show the kids so went on and was asked to tie the feller into a mummy's tomb thing. I genuinely couldn't see how it was done and I worked out who did it in Murder On The Orient Express in 20 minutes. But that little baldy was just too quick for me that day. Dickhead."

4. "I loved having babies around the house. I was fine with changing nappies and mopping up sick. I was a New Man before the term had even been coined."

5. "I've always loved the darts but if there was money in playing Connect Four, I'd have happily been World Champion at that. I just always seem to win my games. Its like a magic spell. I was shit at Buckaroo though."

6. "I blame Roy Castle for the smoking ban. I did a few charity events in aid of the Roy Castle Foundation and the one thing that got me was how all the smokers there were frightened to light up. I just went dink at the first opportunity and puffed away. Then I’d hear the dink, dink, dink of other people’s lighters as they followed suit. What a bunch of idiots."

7. "We were all in the pub one night having a bit of after-time and Brian got a bit rough with this gay and started pulling him about. He was having a laugh, but going a bit over the top, as he was inclined to do when he’d had a few beers. He ended up pulling this gay by the arm and it came off in Brian’s hand. Brian just stared at this arm in bewilderment. I was on the floor rolling about with laughter. It was the funniest thing I have ever seen. In the end the one-armed gay landlord said, ‘Give me my arm back,’ snatched it off Brian and put it back in the socket."

8. "In 1987, I was playing in an American casino when a Yank came up to me and said, ‘You crazy mad Brits, shooting all those people in Hungerford.’ He was referring to the Hungerford massacre when Michael Ryan shot and killed sixteen people with two semi-automatic rifles and a handgun before turning the weapons on himself. I said, ‘I’ve never heard of Hungerford, you dickhead. What are you on about?'

9. "I've never believed in ghosts but one night coming back to the hotel in Manchester after a few too many sherbets I got a bit lost and had to ask directions from this black geezer in a fancy hat. He put me on the straight path and the next morning after a full English and a kip I thought I'd go out and find this guy to offering him two tickets to the final for being so kind. But when I went back he'd gone and nobody around had any memory of seeing him. Still haunts me to this day."

10. "We were all in the green room before filming started when Rod Hull came into the bar. He was the surprise celebrity guest who came on at the end of the show. I wasn’t keen on him; I’d seen what he did with other people. He basically used the puppet to feel up women and stick his hand between people’s legs. It was out of order. We’d all had a drink, perhaps one or two more than we should  I went straight up Rod Hull’s face, eyeball to eyeball, and said, ‘Now listen, pal. When you come on set later on with that fucking silly bird of yours, if you come anywhere near me with that fucking thing I will knock you out straight, on telly, whether it’s fucking live or not. I will bop you.’


When Hull came on later on he was pulling Jim Bowen all over the place with his stupid Emu, but he didn’t come anywhere near us; he daren’t. Then the silly sod went and fell off his roof and died some years later. What a plonker. When I heard about it I thought, well it’s a pity that bird can’t fly or it could’ve saved him. I didn’t like Rod Hull. He was a pervert who was getting away with something that wasn’t right. That’s why if he’d touched me inappropriately with his hand I would’ve sparked him. His bottle went when I threatened him. He’d only come down to have a quiet drink before the show, but I had to nip it in the bud. I didn’t want another situation developing as happened on Michael Parkinson’s show a few years earlier where he assaulted Michael so much that he fell backwards off his chair. That was well out of order."

Answers after the old Bull and Bush....