Sid Waddell (3 stars)

Bellies and Bullseyes (Ebury)

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Sid Waddell

SPORTS MEMOIR

Certainly among the most quixotic sports memoirs to have been published in recent times, this trip down memory lane from the iconic Geordie darts commentator Sid Waddell is a blessing for fans of the man and the sport (although it’s nigh on impossible to separate the two).

Skipping over his early years and career as a broadcaster (the layman poet persona is belied by the fact that Waddell has a degree from Cambridge, and started out making documentaries with Michael Parkinson), he takes up his story from the days in the mid-70s when he produced the light entertainment show Indoor League, a pub game version of It’s a Knockout which helped cement the idea of televised darts in the public consciousness. Struggles to help the sport to acceptance feature large, as do eyewitness chucking-out time reminiscences of its glory days, all in the pleasantly raconteurish style that’s distinctly Waddell.

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