Darts followers might have seen extra of Dan Dawson than anybody else throughout lockdown thanks to his omnipresence on the PDC Home Tour, and he is hoping the expertise has been a chuckle for all concerned.
While the coronavirus has worn out sporting calendars throughout the globe, the PDC has staged 32 consecutive nights of motion from darts gamers’ homes, with 11 extra nonetheless to come, and Dawson has been concerned in all of them.
Hosting, commentating and scoring from his basement, Dawson has been the overlord of the Home Tour and serving to present sports activities followers with reside leisure they’ve been starved of throughout the international pandemic.
The means to stage video games from gamers’ residing rooms, kitchens, garages and landings over their telephones is exclusive to the sport of darts and performs into Dawson’s perception that it’s a recreation that may put a smile in your face like no different.
His love for the sport is evident, however he is eager to hold the enjoyable concerned in a recreation which he believes is ‘innately hilarious.’
‘It is funny, it’s a humorous sport,’ Dan informed Metro.co.uk. ‘There’s a superb line between realising it’s a f***ing hilarious sport, but in addition giving it the respect it deserves, it’s a superb line to tread.
‘Darts has at all times been like that. You can admire Eric Bristow and Jocky Wilson again in the day whereas recognising that they had been absolute lunatics.
‘That was one of the appeals to me rising up.
‘Ultimately, as much as I love the sport and admire it, there are still plenty of opportunities to laugh at it because it’s innately hilarious.
‘That’s my method on social media and on commentary, which isn’t to everybody’s tastes, however what’s?’
32 consecutive nights of motion to preside over makes Dawson as busy as anybody in darts throughout lockdown, however it’s a life he is used to given the intense nature of the PDC tour, which he follows round the continent over the 12 months commentating, interviewing and presenting.
He additionally makes the level that the Home Tour ticks a number of bins: getting the gamers paid, preserving the followers entertained, but in addition serving to ease the psychological pressure of lockdown for all concerned.
‘It’s been good. It’s a fairly easy factor,’ he continued. ‘Compared to the tour, over the last couple of years it’s been tour occasion at the weekend, Premier League on Thursday then off once more for the weekend.
‘You might get a day-and-a-half at home and even then it’s travelling between my place and my girlfriend’s place. I’m used to doing day after day after day.
‘At least my commute is only down the stairs now rather than Hildesheim to Barnsley to Wigan or whatever. It’s been good to have one thing to work on and one thing a bit completely different. ‘
‘It’s been good to see the guys as effectively, to be trustworthy. The Home Tour has been good financially for the gamers, hold them ticking over, it’s been good for followers, however it’s been good for them psychological health-wise to see their mates and be concerned in one thing.
‘There’ll be some gamers residing on their very own who haven’t seen anybody for a few weeks.’
The Home Tour has seen some very good shows, and never essentially from the gamers you’d count on, with rising star Luke Woodhouse touchdown a 9-darter, whereas world quantity three Gerwyn Price couldn’t get previous the first stage in two makes an attempt.
While some flashy darts have been half of the allure, getting to see the gamers in a wholly completely different surroundings and studying extra about the lesser-lights that don’t get common TV consideration has been a spotlight for Dawson.
‘In terms of standard, there have been some obvious standout performers, Joe Cullen, Jose De Sousa, Luke Woodhouse’s 9-darter,’ mentioned Dawson.
‘There’ve been some humorous moments, I like seeing individuals’s man caves, like should you gave an 8-year-old boy a vast quantity of cash, that’s what they’d give you.
‘Then you’ve acquired Richard North in what seems to be a lean-to, with a telephone gaffer taped to a CD rack. Players are all completely different, some have simply acquired on with it and taking part in darts, some have been having fun with a bit of a chuckle.
‘Glen Durrant and Justin Pipe taking the piss out of each other, Matt Edgar constantly chirping away. You don’t get that on TV darts, however they’ll present a completely different aspect of themselves.
‘Some have done it with the darts, Carl Wilkinson had won two games on tour all year, won three on the night and won the group. They’ve showcased themselves as characters and as dart gamers.
‘It’s proven a part of society. One of the issues I really like about darts is that they’re regular individuals doing extraordinary issues. It’s been good seeing a choice of completely different individuals coming collectively and taking part in a sport that they love.
‘Luke Woodhouse, even when he’s completed notable issues, Daryl Gurney picked him out as a future star of the recreation and I don’t suppose he appeared a lot in the native paper. He fires in a 9-darter in his kitchen and the Express and Star can’t get sufficient of him, he’s the best sportsman in the world, he’s gone full Fallon Sherrock!
‘Everyone on the tour can play world class darts, it’s the consistency that marks out the actual nice ones and for a lot of who haven’t been on the tele, that is a platform for them.’
It has additionally been a probability to get to know Dawson, who has turn into such a common on the darting scene in recent times and an especially well-respected determine amongst gamers and followers.
He has labored extremely arduous to get to the level of internet hosting Peter Wright and Gary Anderson from his basement, however as a substitute of blowing his personal trumpet, he’d reasonably examine himself to an outdated potato.
‘It’s been my job actually for 4 years. Before that I used to be doing it by taking vacation from work at a radio station the place I learn the information,’ Dan defined.
‘I used to be doing it on holidays and weekends, shopping for vacation to go and work the darts however finally my boss mentioned, “look, you can’t keep going on unpaid leave to f**k off and pretend to be a darts commentator, you’ve got to make a choice.”
‘Luckily there was enough darts to keep me going and that’s what I’ve been doing since. Thankfully there’s been a lot ProfessionalTour stuff now that it’s turn into a viable job reasonably than simply in my holidays.
‘There’ve been individuals, notably with the development of social media, who’ve acquired into darts not too long ago, however once I first acquired on Twitter, there wasn’t a lot about darts on there, so put up something about darts and folks would discover you.
‘I’ve benefited from being round for a bit. Same as on radio, should you acquired a potato to host a radio present, it will be s**t, however do it for 20 years after which the bosses get rid of it, as a result of it’s s**t, individuals can be up in arms. “I grew up listening to that potato, it’s my childhood! You can’t take it off the radio!” Longevity makes a distinction.’
The PDC Home Tour continues type 26 May with the play-offs.
For extra tales like this, examine our sport web page.