Viking so close to Strictly Come Dancing debut

A night out with golfing PR guru Pete Richardson always yields an array of interesting and entertaining stories and last Tuesday was no different.

I joined Pete, managing director of golf marketing company The Azalea Group, in his home village of South Harting (fewer than 1000 residents and three pubs!) in West Sussex to watch his darts team, The Ship, take on bitter rivals The Club.

Much drink was taken and various darts and media drivel spoken – but as always Pete came out with a tale to make me smile.

During his time representing larger-than-life darts legend Andy Fordham, he was approached by the producers of a new reality TV show (it was new at the time) called Strictly Come Dancing. It was to feature Bruce Forsyth and a host of celebrities learning to dance.

And amazingly for their first series, they were desperate to get The Viking involved. Fordham, who at the time weighed 31 stone and drank 25 bottles of lager a day, was keen to take part but had to turn it down because it meant clearing Saturday nights for up to 12 weeks and the big man was already committed to playing in high profile darts tournaments across the globe.

In any case, the show went on to prove a ratings winner but, despite having never watched it, even I would have been tempted to tune in had The Viking been strutting his stuff on the dancefloor.

A few years ago, Fordham suffered a health scare and was rushed to hospital suffering chest pains just before a World Championship match. But just last year the new slimline version returned to the darts scene and has given up drinking completely. Great news. You can’t beat a bit of bully and they don’t come much better than The Viking. I hope to see him regularly competing at the oche again soon. Maybe he’ll even need to look out those dancing shoes again.

For the record, The Ship beat The Club 4-3, including a particularly impressive 12, 12, Bull finish from Pete. Not the conventional way to hit 74 but ask him about it sometime – he’ll not be long in telling you and you might get a few other gems in there too.

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3 Responses

  1. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptA night out with golfing PR guru Pete Richardson always yields an array of interesting and entertaining stories and last Tuesday was no different. I joined Pete, managing director of golf marketing company The Azalea Group, … […]

  2. How quickly one forgets, eh?
    It’s blog mentions galore for your special new friends at Azalea (Hello Pete – glad to hear things are going so well!).
    Yet not a look in for your auld pals at Holyrood PR. Ingrate!
    Loved the Fordham post – but since the hoped for link to my own legendary (if I do say so myself) post on the Viking never materialised, I’ll hve to take care of my own self promotion and include the link:
    http://scottdouglas.wordpress.com/2007/11/16/slimline-darts-star-andy-fordam-no-longer-a-threat-to-the-throne/
    Cheers

  3. Scotty,
    My sincere apologies. As you know, I am new to this blogging malarkey and not quite got the idea of how important links etc are.
    For anyone who hasn’t read Scott’s entry on our favourite arrow chucker, then definitely do – it’s a good giggle.
    As for Holyrood, don’t worry, I’m sure there will be plenty of stories in the offing – some of which you may not want me to tell! 🙂

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