Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help
Last Updated: Thursday, 27 October 2005, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK
Pot Black returns
Steve Davis
I always used to tune in with my father - it was really the first time you could watch snooker on television
Steve Davis

The famous competition that propelled snooker into a nation's consciousness has returned.

Eight players, three rounds, twenty-two balls, one frame, one chance, and only one Pot Black.

This Saturday snooker's old favourite returns for an afternoon of tension on the green baize.

When the show was first aired in 1969 snooker was a game played in the pub after a few beers; when it was last broadcast in 1991 the game was a global sport.

No-one benefited more from the exposure than a young Steve Davis, who would go on to become a six-time world champion.

"I've got great memories about Pot Black - it was a breath of fresh air when it arrived on television in the 1970s," Davis told BBC Sport.

"When it started I always used to tune in with my father - it was really the first time you could watch snooker on television.

Pot Black 2005
LIVE on Grandstand and this website (UK users only)
Saturday, BBC One, 1305

"It was ideal when colour television arrived in the late 1960s, although of course most people still had black and white sets in the 1970s, so you couldn't see which balls were which."

Luckily the BBC had commentators of the calibre of Ted Lowe, who was always there to help those who had not invested in a colour television.

As he pointed out in one particularly memorable commentary: "Steve is going for the pink ball - and for those of you who are watching in black and white, the pink is next to the green."

The class of 2005 may not remember Pot Black in its heyday, but they all know the debt they owe the competition.

Preston Grand Prix champion John Higgins is no exception.

He may not have watched Pot Black in the 1980s, but he has read his history books and says he jumped at the chance of taking part this year.

2005 LINE-UP
Preston Grand Prix winner John Higgins
Ronnie O'Sullivan
John Higgins
Stephen Hendry
Stephen Maguire
Matthew Stevens
Paul Hunter
Jimmy White
Shaun Murphy

"It will be great entertainment for the spectators, as one mistake can cost you the game and the pressure will be on," Higgins told BBC Sport.

"I'd love to play more events like the world pairs and Pot Black - it's something out of the ordinary.

"You usually think that the best of nine frames is quite short, so one is going to be incredible - a bit of a lottery to be honest."

Higgins arrives in decent form after his win in Preston, but says recent results are irrelevant in the shorter format.

"I'm feeling a lot more confident about my game after winning in Preston but it's almost impossible to predict who is going to do well," he said.

"I think the key will be to get that first shot - you're only going to have one chance out there.

"I'm sure everybody will be going for their first chance and just try not to make a mess of it."

With the world's top eight in attendance mistakes are not expected, but don't discount the pressure of the occasion getting to the players.

After all, this isn't any tournament - this is Pot Black. Who will blink first? Find out on Saturday.

First round draw:

Ronnie O'Sullivan v Paul Hunter
John Higgins v Stephen Maguire
Stephen Hendry v Matthew Stevens
Shaun Murphy v Jimmy White

Snooker signs five-year BBC deal
26 Oct 05 |  Snooker
Superb Higgins blows Rocket away
16 Oct 05 |  Snooker
World rankings: 2005/2006
11 Oct 05 |  Snooker

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport