Eric Bristow ()Eric Bristow () © Copyright

Eric Bristow talks winning, dartitis and the jungle

Five-times world darts champions Eric Bristow tells us about honesty, maths and the jungle

"The sweetest moment of my career was winning my first world championship in 1980 when I beat Bobby George in the final. I won four more but the first was definitely the sweetest and it taught me to not stop there and win more. A decent champion can always win the world title for a second time, but a true world champion is someone who wins it three times.

"I was beaten by Keith Deller in the 1983 final and it was called a shock defeat, but you can never underestimate anybody at a darts oche. Keith had gone the hard route in that tournament. It wasn’t a fluke as he took out all the big names on the way to final.

"I’ve been involved in darts since I was 13 – maybe because I was the only person at my grammar school to get 100% in maths. It’s the best sport in the world because if you have a bad shot you can redeem it with your next three darts. In snooker, for example, one bad shot and you don’t get another chance. Even though darts is financially onto a whole new level, I prefer to have played in the ’80s when there were 20 million TV viewers. My biggest strength in life is always being honest. In darts, not everybody appreciates that your friends in the practice room are your enemies on the oche. But when you look in a mirror as long as you see the honest person you are, that’s good.

"My big regret was developing dartitis (losing the ability to let go of the dart properly – the yips) as I will always be left wondering what I would’ve won if I hadn’t developed it. It was a massive hurdle to overcome and a horrible thing to have got.

"Even now, 20-odd years after I retired I still feel like I’m popular because of darts as I travel around the country doing exhibition nights and charity events with my good friend and MC Paul Booth. If I didn’t go out I’d just vegetate in my armchair. I love working for Sky as a pundit as they value my opinion. I also commentate for them and work as a spotter (telling the director which numbers the players are going to go for) and I do shop visits for the bookies BetFred.

"I loved being on I’m A Celebrity… in 2012, and I would happily go back in there again. It was dangerous as hell as I lost 22lb in 22 days. Who’d have thought that me and the posh boy Hugo Taylor from Made In Chelsea would’ve got on? I was very fond of Dr Who (Colin Baker) and David Haye, but I didn’t take too kindly to the chef Rosemary Shrager, or Limahl. It took him four hours to do his hair and when he’d finished he still looked daft. I never would’ve won because even I couldn’t have gone up against the fanbase of Ashley Roberts from the Pussycat Dolls. She was the reason I stayed in the hammock for an extra half hour every morning while she did her exercises."

Follow Eric Bristow on Twitter @ericbristow or visit his website


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