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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 January 2008, 13:25 GMT
Bobby George column
Bobby George
By Bobby George
Former player and BBC darts pundit

There is talk that darts is in a golden age similar to the sport's heyday of the 1980s.

Martin Adams defends his BDO world title
World Professional Darts Championship
Saturday 5-13 January
LIVE: On BBC TV, Interactive and Online

John Part has just won the PDC world title in front of huge crowds at Alexandra Palace beating exciting 21-year-old outsider Kirk Shepherd in the final.

Over at the BDO World Championship, which starts at the Lakeside Country Club on Saturday, there are similar levels of talent and excitement.

It's worth noting that no player has won the PDC world title without first winning the BDO version.

And I believe we will see the best player in the world playing at the BDO event in Gary Anderson.

On current form I'd say he was the outstanding player from either side and he showed it by beating PDC legend Phil Taylor in Holland earlier last year.

The Scotsman enjoyed a brilliant 2007 and has rightly been installed as the bookies' favourite.

Okay, he has never performed at Lakeside in the past as he always seemed to freeze on the big stage.

He would blow opponents away on the floor at tournaments, but as soon as he was on the stage under the lights and in front of the cameras the darts just wouldn't go for him.

This year though he has won on TV in Holland and I think it will be his time.

I am not convinced reigning champion Martin Adams will put up much of a fight.

My other two to keep an eye on are Martin Atkins and Gary Robson.
Bobby George
'Wolfie' seems to have lost his bite this year and it is very difficult to win the world championship and then retain it a year later.

In a strange coincidence, Adams faces a repeat of last year's epic final when he takes on Phill Nixon.

It will be a shame to lose one of these players so early, but if their match is half as good as the final (in which Adams threw away a 6-0 lead before finally winning 7-6) we will be in for a treat.

My other two to keep an eye on are Martin Atkins and Gary Robson.

No one ever mentions either of these two despite Atkins' brilliant darts at the World Masters.

Two players that viewers might not be so familiar with are number one seed Martin Webster and number three seed Scott Waites.

Don't get me wrong, Webster's a great player, but his number one seed is a bit of a red herring.

Someone like Anderson hasn't got time to play for Scotland so misses out on ranking points Webster accrues from representing Wales frequently.

England's Waites is making his Lakeside debut and you just never know how newcomers are going to get on with the pressure of a big crowd as it's completely different.

You think you are going to play well but your arm doesn't do what it normally does and feels like it is unscrewed.

Sadly, PDC champion John 'Darth Maple' Part won't be joining the BBC commentary team this year as he needs a break after his exploits in recent weeks.

This means I'm going to have to climb into the commentary box for some occasional stints behind the mic.

I listen to some commentators and they just go on and on, my plan is to let the darts do the talking.

Mind you, I might be rubbish and they could sack me!

Let's play darts!

Don't forget to watch the action from Lakeside on BBC TV, Interactive and Online starting on Saturday 5 January until Sunday 13 January (UK users only).

Bobby George was talking to Paul Birch



SEE ALSO
BDO World Championship draw
31 Dec 07 |  Darts
Darts results
12 Oct 00 |  Darts
Darts on the BBC
04 Oct 06 |  Darts
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