1. Do you plan on staying as a player for much longer in
light of your TV work?
I am not sure I understand the question. I only spend a week a so a
year commentating, and if there is a conflict, I always choose playing.
2. There has been much speculation on your change in darts.
How do you feel with the new arrows?
Same darts essentially, just 90% tungsten instead of 80%, so a little
narrower. They have been great. My first TV tournament with them was the
UK Open last year, and I lost the final, after beating Phil Taylor on the
way up. Working with the Unicorn team has been a pleasure.
3. Do you feel you have another world title in you
Most definitely. I believe I am the most dangerously unpredictable
player in darts. While I have always prided my self in playing
consistantly, I have not always got the results I have wanted
consistantly. I have what it takes to surprise at any time.
4. How does being a commentator for the BBC on the BDO events lie with
being a player in the PDC? Would you have lost money had you made it right
through at the PDC Tourney? Obviously you wouldn't have been able to take
your commentary post up on time. Or would you have simply done both?
This came up when I won the PDC Championship in 2003. I missed two days
of work, and the respective pay. I may have made up for this in prize
5. How do you think the two organizations compare and what would you do if
you had a carte blanche to change things.
The BDO seems unable to evolve, and as a result faces extinction at the
pro tournament level. It will always be the core of darts play in the UK
for all non-pros. The PDC has shown consistant growth in the number of
tournaments, prize money, and competitors. The PDC is the best hope for
darts taking a more significant share in the world of televised sport. If
I could change something, it would be to improve transparency in both of
the organizations, as I believe players feel better when they are more in
6. I heard last night the BDO is signed to the BBC until 2008, has your
contract with them been extended accordingly.
I have had a very good relationship with the BBC, and TWI who currently
produces the darts for them. I would fully expect to be commentating as
long as I am available.
7. Does the BBC plan to show more darts in the future.
I do not know the BBC's plans.
8. I found the interactive options excellent in the BDO tournament. Does
the BBC in the future intend to dedicate a channel to the darts in the
same way SKY does?
I will assume that in the first part of your question, you meant the
PDC. Digital viewers in the UK have the option of watching all the darts
live from the BDO on some sort of BBC digital channel.
9. Do you think it is disappointing that the top BDO players haven't been
invited into the new Premier League scheme. Also, what are your feelings
in general about the Premier League?
The Premier League is a great thing for televised darts. We have a
chance to establish a viewing base on an almost weekly basis, which will
really give us a chance to firmly establish darts in the minds of UK sport
viewers. The BDO players do not deserve a chance in, as they have not made
a commitment towards helping the PDC grow, as they choose to stay in the
10. You would have seemed to have had two peaks in your career, with
gradual improvements and wins before taking the two major prizes, and then
seem to tail off in form, only to start the cycle again. Any explanation
(if you even agree!)
A major championship will always appear as a peak on a results chart.
My form has always been improving. I think a crucial factor is fitness and
energy levels. Burning out is a factor to an extent. I see 2005 as a year
of renewal, and I see myself as a major threat for the 2006 Ladbrokes
11. Who got you into darts and how did it happen?
My interest seems to have been internally generated. After watching on
TV a few times in the eighties, and gaining a true appreciation of the
game, my parents got me a proper board and darts for Christmas one year.
The rest is...
12. If you were playing in a Mens Doubles 501 Tourney , and you are in the
final match , set , leg .... and you left your partner on a finish to win
the Match .
Who Would you Pick as your Partner to shoot for the Double .
Well, I have had many fine partners, but who wouldn't pick Phil Taylor?
I can always rely on Mick Manning, if we manage to get that far. Our best
pairs performance was at the Holland Open in 2003.
13. What is your favorite venue and why?
I love the Blueberry Hill in St.Louis. It is just a great place because
of Joe Edwards the owner. He has a great sense of fun.
14. Which of your world titles means the most, the first because it was
the first or the second because of who it was against?
They are both very important to me, and they are both fairy tale sort
of affairs. I am very lucky to have had to such great experiences. My 2003
title was much more satisfying, as I achieved something no one else has.
Beating Phil at his peak in a world final, in the longest format possible.
There was some nonsense talk from Sid Waddell during the commentary of
that final that Phil wasn't at his best, but it was Phil's best
performance in this century (excluding when he beat me in 2001, which was
his best performance in a World Championship final ever. In his only other
final loss in 1994 Phil only averaged 85.62. Phil has played in 14 finals.
Here is how he has performed.
2003- 99.98 (Year I beat him)
2001- 107.46 (Year I lost to him)
1994- 85.62 (Year he lost to Dennis Priestley)
Statistics compiled from GFX, Planet Darts, and the BDOdarts websites
15. Would you ever consider moving back to the BDO?
Only if it involved a reintegration with the PDC, or an obscene amount
16. As a fellow Canadian darter (with high aspirations), does it make
sense to move across the pond to try and break in to the pro circuit, or
keep hammering away in North America and try to make it from here? I
noticed that you went to the embassies every year while you still lived in
Canada and then moved over after a time.
I live in Canada now, and always have. Commuting is a bitch! A serious
player should try to make a few trips a year to the UK, and should join
the PDPA to be eligible to play in the televised tournament qualifiers.
17. Is Partzan really King of the Jungle!!!!
Much better to be the hunter than the hunted. Gazelles are really fast,
until they get eaten.
18. Does the Empire Strike Back
Certainly, but this year is The Revenge of the Sith!
19. Will you be more selective as to the Tournaments you enter during the
year as there are now so many different ranked events? And as a World
Champion twice over, how strong still is the determination to make it 3x
I am certainly being more selective this year, as I achieved Official
PDC World number 1 status in August 2004, I can now forget about rankings,
and concentrate on improving my conditioning for the major events. The
determination for a third world title is very strong.
20. Why do you think Phil Taylor is so dominant in the PDC?
He is dominant because he is clearly the most skilled player of the
last decade. Why he performs at such a high level I cannot answer.
21. Other than winning and losing, what are his best and worst moments in
his darts career. Experiences while on the road, tifts with other darters,
cute show girls in Vegas, things like that
The worst moment was being told I wasn't in the Masters of Darts event
in Holland which just concluded. I had been invited twice over the last
year, and then they dropped me. I feel I merited it by far over everyone
but Phil on the PDC side. I felt I would have beaten all the BDO players,
and maybe Phil. Also, there was quite a bit of prize money I missed out
on, as the worst player got 25,000 euros.
My best moment was when I had 77 left to beat Phil in 2003. The feeling of
euphoria at just being in that position was actually more of a buzz than
22. How did you learn to count like you do? Without a shadow of a doubt,
you are the best counter in the game.
I have a natural affinity for numbers, and there has been a tremendous
amount of repetition from playing as much as I have over the years.
23. This is hard to word, but I’ll try. Playing on different leagues and
tournaments, some nights seem to bring out a different intensity level.
How do the top pro’s maintain a high intensity level, regardless of who
they play or where/when? What type of mental preparation do you use and
what would you recommend for me?
The best idea is to concentrate on you personal performance levels, as
well as winning. Never be satisfied with a poor effort that wins.
24. At your peak, how much practice time were you spending per day.
2 to 3 hours a day, plus some practice matches with live opponents, or
John Part is one of darts' top
professionals having won both the Embassy title in 1994 and the PDC crown
last Sunday in a 13-set thriller against the mighty Phil Taylor.
2003 is set to be a big year for Part
as he looks to add to his impressive collection of titles.
The Canadian has also become one of
the BBC's expert commentators at the Embassy world championship.
He answers a selection of your
Steve Cassidy, England
What gave you the most
satisfaction, winning the Embassy in 1994 or knocking Phil Taylor off his
perch and winning the PDC championships?
The most satisfaction would have to be
last week because it was a long-term goal that I'd had in mind for many
years. It was obviously such a mountain to climb, so I'd have to go for
John, as a BBC pundit you've
obviously been keeping a close eye on events at the Embassy. How do you
see the final going?
It's looking like Barneveld, but I
think Davies has a very good chance. He's played very solidly, finished
well he's looked pretty cool.
Plus, he hasn't had the outpouring of
emotion that Raymond had after his semi-final. I think Raymond might have
let loose a little to much, because you do need to stay focused and not
give too much away.
But I'm sure Raymond is the betting
favourite, and I can't disagree with that. But it's not a foregone
As we saw last week, the bookies'
favourite doesn't always win!
Which do you think has been the tie
of the tournament?
Monk and O'Shea going to the 11th and
playing the deciding set was really exciting. That match had everything.
Mind you, the semi between Mervyn and
Raymond was great entertainment, particularly when they both had a
nine-dart leg on. That's very rare.
I don't think you can top Monk and
Matthew Bateman, England
Will you ever return to playing at
the Embassy? You must miss the terrific atmosphere.
No. I don't think it would possible to
be honest. I would never give up playing on the PDC circuit. I don't think
it would ever work out that we could. I'm fine where I am and I'm quite
Margie Underhill, Canada
Is there any particular player from
Canada who you think would be a success in the PDC league?
That's a tough question. It's very
difficult for a Canadian player to make an impact because of the
availability of tournaments there and the funding needed to get into them.
There's no one who comes to mind off
the top of my head. It takes a lot of experience to play well and win. Any
player would have to make a big commitment of time and come to England.
It's not something that would happen very fast but the potential is there.
Maybe with me becoming World Champion
is might become easier.
Are you disappointed that there
isn't more recognition of the sport in Canada and do you have any theories
why that is?
It's not viewed in any way as an
athletic sport, even though you do need stamina to play a three-hour
match. It's true that you don't necessarily have to be fit, but it
But I wouldn't say I'm disappointed
about those attitudes because when I started in the sport I knew what they
were. That's not to say I wouldn't like them to be better.
Hopefully that can happen by getting
my matches on TV. They need to start showing live darts. You can't get the
same excitement from watching a darts match if you already know the
After Barnevled's first Embassy
win, darts became very popular in Holland. Do you think you can have the
That's exactly my point. In Holland
they can watch Barneveld because they have the BBC. But that has never
been available in Canada for my victories, not this time or in 94.
I think the programmers are afraid to
take the risk, purely because they don't know the sport. The thing is,
when they have shown darts it's been very popular. There is a lot of
John, would you (as the PDC
champion) be up for a one-off match against whoever wins at Lakeside,
similar to the Barneveld v Taylor match a few years ago?
I'd be up for something like that. Not
that I think I've got to prove anything, but I think it would be a lot of
But I think they'd have to change the
format from when they did it last time. I don't think it was as exciting
as they would have liked. I don't think it quite worked.
I'd be interested, but I don't think
it will happen.
James and Alan Brewster, England
When did you first become
interested in Darts?
In the mid-80s, when I was in my late
teens. I never had that much exposure to it as a child. I was always
fascinated by darts but I didn't really know the game.
I liked the concept of throwing the
darts through the air. I might have had a toy dartboard as a child but I
don't think I ever threw the darts at the board!
It wasn't until I was 20 or 21 that I
really started to get to know the game.
James MacKinnon, N.S. Canada
When you first took up darts, how
long did it take you to settle on a grip? Did your grip just come
naturally to you, or was it a matter of multiple modifications over months
I just let the grip work itself out. I
did whatever felt natural. I concentrated more on my arm mechanics and my
stance, but I just let the grip come.
Brian Arthur, Scotland
My friend is a fantastic darts
player but does not seem to think he could "cut it" on the big stage. He
thinks it's too much hassle and too expensive to become a professional.
What's your advice on the best
method of getting yourself recognised and on the professional darts
The only way is to go out and get into
ranking tournaments, whether it's in the BDO or the PDC. My advice is to
look at the schedules, find the ranking tournaments and make a stab at
five or six of them.
You need to try a few because you're
not guaranteed to get a result in every one of them.
In the PDC some tournaments are ranked
more highly than others, so it's best to start with the lower ranking
ones. Just try and get some points under your belt.
Greg Lewis, Calgary, Canada
Why does the UK consistently
produce better players than the rest of the world? There are good darts
programs in Canada, Holland, Belgium and Australia. Do you think these
other countries will produce more world class players in the future?
I think it's about numbers, really. It
takes time for the darts playing populace of your country to improve. The
best way for any player to get better is to come to England, because it's
a higher standard.
But I think there's plenty of
potential for other countries to catch up, especially if there are large
numbers of people playing.
In Canada, people don't strive to
reach the tournament scene. They just like going out and playing in
leagues. You need a thriving, competitive field with more interest in
Neil Francis, UK
Do you ever the see the split in
the world of darts being bridged so that we get back to having one
Undisputed World Champion?
I don't see it happening. I don't
think the organisations will ever reconcile their differences to come up
with one thing.
But I don't think it will be in
anyone's mind anyway. I think the PDC Championships will continue to grow
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