Is 16-year-old sensation Luke Littler the "real deal"? Laura Turner and Michael Bridge believe the teenager has the tools to cause darting destruction at Ally Pally; we're back for the World Darts Championship from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 - live on Sky Sports
Wednesday 29 November 2023 07:17, UK
Laura Turner and Michael Bridge believe 16-year-old Luke Littler is the "real deal" ahead of his World Darts Championship debut in December.
Littler, nicknamed 'The Nuke', will have the opportunity to showcase his talent at Alexandra Palace next month when he makes his highly-anticipated debut in the capital.
Having also secured his PDC Tour Card for 2024-25, Littler will pit his wits against the world's best on the professional circuit for the next two years.
Littler has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign on the Development Tour, scooping five titles to finish second on the overall Order of Merit.
And Littler, who will celebrate his 17th birthday in January, reaffirmed his credentials with victory over Gian van Veen when he was crowned as the 2023 PDC World Youth Champion following a thrilling 6-4 win at Butlin's Minehead Resort.
The Warrington thrower has registered an astonishing 22 ton-plus averages on the Development Tour this year, while also landing his first PDC nine-darter in July's Event 20.
Sky Sports pundit Turner understands the hype surrounding Littler, who will become the third-youngest player to compete in a PDC World Championship.
"There's a level of expectation and I totally understand way," she told Love The Darts Podcast. "I've seen him play on a lot of occasions and he really does seem the real deal and he's so young.
"I think that's why he's hyped up so much because of the age but also the level of performance he's got in there as well.
"It will be interesting to see how he transitions that from one stage to another because it is a big platform."
Bridge has been bewildered by some of the numbers Littler has been producing on the floor.
"He hit 117 average in one of the Modus events," said Bridge. "He's kind of box office at such an early age but it's not just at certain stages. He's done it consistently on the Development Tour as well so it's exciting to watch."
Turner added: "He's got consistency, he's got form, and we do have expectations. I don't want to put pressure on people but come on now."
Two-time World Champion Gary Anderson has talked up Littler's chances of building a successful career, but he has also warns the teenager that life in darts is never perfect.
"He's something else," said Anderson. "As it looks now he's got a great career ahead of him but four years down the road, you don't know!
"I've always said when kids leave school, come into darts and have a good three or four years and it goes wrong, what are you going to fall back on? They've got nothing, they've got no trade behind them. They're then in their mid-20s and have to learn a trade to get work.
"If you take up darts when you leave school, get a job as well or some kind of trade behind you."
The sport's biggest event will be held from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 as 96 players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace.
You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.
Watch the World Darts Championship from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 - live on Sky Sports. Stream your favourite sports and more with NOW