Darts has been huge news on U.K TV for decades, only beaten out in the ratings by soccer. Now, what is perhaps the greatest spectator sport of all time, has found a new U.S. home on BBC America, airing Thursdays 10/9C. If you’ve never thrown a dart, or watched a pair of pros battle it out, then you’re missing a treat. And we’re not the only ones who think so. A host of celebrities, from soccer stars to A-list actors, are shouting, tweeting and Instagramming about their love of darts.
The Guardians of the Galaxy star recently took to Instagram to boast about what might just be his proudest ever achievement: “My dart in dart bulls-eye is not only THE single greatest accomplishment in sports history… it’s the single greatest accomplishment in the history of man kind,” wrote Pratt. “And if you disagree with me maybe you need to read a book about all of history and try to find something better or more amazing.” Having been inspired to play recently and also hitting a bullseye of our own, we can attest to the incomparable elation the elusive shot produces.
The British actor, presenter and pundit Stephen Fry is a darts aficionado and loves to gush about it. In an open letter from 2011, he wrote: “There is no way adequately to describe my fascination with this game and its proponents, heritage, atmosphere and thrill. The heroes of darts from Bristow to Barneveld, from Jocky to the Power, are as totemic and heroic as the myrmidons of Achilles. Go on, laugh. It’s true.” And his love hasn’t waned. Last year, Fry tweeted a pro-darts article from British magazine The New Statesman, adding the hashtag #lovethedarts.
The One Direction star donned a flat cap to sit in the stalls at the 2016 William Hill World Championship. He looks pretty engrossed but he did take time out to snap pics with fans — and fellow celebrity darts enthusiast, Jack Whitehall. Such good sports!
The groom-to-be and fifth in line to the throne has given darts his royal seal of approval. Prince Harry joined thousands of his countrymen at London’s Alexandra Palace to watch the William Hill 2015 PDC World Darts Championship. He was pictured joking with friends as he witnessed Stephen Bunting beat James Wade 4-1. “I didn’t know Harry was here. I’m going to have a pint with him now! But it is great that darts is getting this type of coverage,” Stephen ‘The Bullet’ Bunting told the Daily Mail.
The award-winning actress star of detective drama Vera recently confessed a guilty pleasure type of love for a British darting game show from the 1980s. Bullseye, which ran from 1981 right up until the mid 90s, was hosted by the inimitable Jim Bowen and featured an anthropomorphized bull as a mascot. “I’m a massive fan of it. I binge watch [reruns] on Challenge,” she told whatsontv.com. Sounds blissful, Brenda!
The British comedian, presenter and actor (Fresh Meat; Bad Education) got a teeny bit carried away at the William Hill 2015 PDC World Darts Championships. Whitehall and a gang of pals rocked up in fancy dress. That’s British, by the way, for “wearing a costume.” We’re not sure what inspired the Wizard of Oz theme (that’s Whitehall on the left, dressed — we assume — as a flying monkey), but a tweet from Jack confirmed that their untraditional attire was banned in their section. Oh no! Still, we going to assume they managed to move past the sartorial snub and enjoy the darts anyway.
The Professional Darts Corporation (PCD) was so thrilled to see actor David Harewood (Homeland; Blood Diamond) in the audience of this year’s William Hill World Championship, they tweeted about it. The star was clearly just as happy to be there as they were to have him, quickly replying “get in!!”
The German soccer international and Real Madrid midfielder takes sport very seriously, and not just his beloved “Fußball.” Toni Kroos is a huge darts fan and even took to Twitter to argue with his brother Felix, a Union Berlin midfielder, over who to support in the 2017 World Darts Championship. Toni liked Dutch player Raymond van Barneveld (a five-time world champion) while his sibling was firmly on the side of his opponent, Phil Taylor, as they faced off in the quarter-final. “Walking in a Taylor Wonderland. Come on power,” tweeted the younger Kroos. Awks!
British golfer, Lee Westwood, was spotted sitting in the audience of the 2017 World Dart Championship and appears to be having a great time. Snapped on December 18, 2016 (the tournament in fact starts at the end of the previous year), the professional putter looks like he’s getting into the holiday spirit too, sporting a t-shirt with the slogan, “Dear Santa, define good.” Love it!
Are you tempted to tune into BBC America for a spot of darts?