1. ITV Report

Darts broadcasting legend Sid Waddell dies

Sid Waddell Photo: Press Association

Darts broadcaster Sid Waddell has died at the age of 72. Waddell, who lived in West Yorkshire, had been fighting bowel cancer since last September and the news of his death was confirmed this morning.

With great sadness, we announce that following a long illness, broadcaster and author Sid Waddell died peacefully with all his family around him late last night.

– Dick Allix, Sid Waddell's manager
Sid Waddell Credit: Press Association

Sid was proud of his north east roots but he lived in Yorkshire for much of his adult life. The son of a Northumberland miner his talent for sport and a photographic memory helped him get a scholarship to Cambridge University.

But he was never destined for a life of academia. He joined Granada in 1966 and moved to Yorkshire TV in 1968 - when Calendar first went on air. He had a few forays on screen as a reporter but he then went on to produce the programme,

But his talents didn't end in news - he went on to devise and produce the popular pub games show The Indoor League, presented by the late Yorkshire and England cricket great Fred Trueman.

He then went on to create The Flaxton Boys, a historical drama which starred among others Dai Bradley, who went on to play the lead role in Ken Loach's film Kes.

But the defining point of his career came when he commentated on the first World Professional Darts Championship in 1978. For more than thirty years after his name, voice, and observations, became legendary.

He was a central part of Sky Sports' coverage of PDC darts events since 1994 and was known for his colourful and excitable commentary style, with his best-known lines including "There's only one word for it - 'magic darts'."

He also noted, while watching Eric Bristow become world champion: "When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to conquer - Bristow's only 27."

In addition, he has had 11 books published and wrote the sport-based BBC children's programmes Jossy's Giants and Sloggers, receiving a nomination for best scriptwriter from the Writer's Guild of Great Britain for the latter.

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