Back in the box
A delighted Sid Waddell says his return to the darts commentary box lived up to all of his expectations.
Last Updated: 12/02/12 1:49pm
I was delighted to be back in the harness for the Premier League in Manchester - and it lived up to all of my expectations.
The last match I commentated on was the final of the World Matchplay in Blackpool six months ago. I did that match with John Gwynne and was in the commentary box with him again on Thursday for Andy Hamilton v James Wade.
Gwynney was in top form and I thought we rocked it. Within the first two minutes I was talking about Charles Dickens, comparing Hamilton to Mr Pickwick's landlord, while James was Pip because his family had Great Expectations.
We roamed everywhere from the Romans to the Greeks to Hamilton Academicals (that's an old one...) to Henry VIII. We let rip for the whole game.
And when we came out of the booth at the end of the match, Rod Studd said he'd never seen a smile as big as the one on my face.
I was back home for the Taylor v Lewis match, hooked on every fling, and couldn't get to sleep until about 1.30am. I also picked up about 2,000 new Twitter followers between 6pm and midnight and had lots of canny messages from people.
Manchester, I had a ball.
Overall, I thought all of the darting planets that I'd seen aligning over the last few months came together and did exactly what I thought they would do.
I thought Andy Hamilton would play brilliantly because he's been throwing much faster and is more confident now. It was great to see him win on his debut.
I also enjoyed watching Kevin Painter, who could probably beat Les Dawson in a gurning championship. Both of the new boys showed they had mettle.
I've also been saying that Adie is the player with the box with the most varied chocolates in it, so it didn't surprise me to see him go 6-1 up on The Power.
Nor did it surprise me that Taylor ended up with an average of 113 and the two of them matched each other in a 7-7 draw.
With all of these elements in the mix, it's going to be like watching Brazil play Spain every week. The talent on display is simply incredible and the crowd loved every minute.
Thursday night also reaffirmed my belief that darts players are the biggest bunch of loonies you will ever find.
I met Simon Whitlock (who I've re-nicknamed The Fungus Who's Humungous) for a beer just after his match and he showed me his new party trick with his seven-inch beard.
Somehow he is able to flex his chin and split his beard into three prongs!!! It was like a fork with three ginger barbs!!! It shocked the wits out of me!
These boys never cease to amaze me.