How are you doing?
I'm not too bad Small Talk, just got through customs.
And you're off to Germany for the European Championship?
Yeah, just in the terminal now; terminal 3 at Manchester.
Tell us a bit about the European Championship
It's a nice little tournament to win. It's obviously not as big as the Matchplay or the World Championship. Germany's taken to darts really well now – every session's sold out. It's like that with every tournament now. Next year Barry [Hearn] is looking at going over the east and everywhere with us.
Have you ever known darts to be bigger than it is now?
No I haven't to be honest with you, not even when Eric [Bristow] and Jocky [Wilson] and [John] Lowey were about.
Have you ever played better than you are now?
I'm playing OK; I'm plodding by. I've just done a tour of Australia which knocked a bit out of me with the travelling, I'm still waking up at three in the morning which is driving me crackers.
Is regaining the World Championship your big aim?
It is now, yeah. I'll start preparing for that as soon as I get back. That's the big push now, that's in the mindset.
Which is the favourite of your 15 world titles?
I would say the first one [in 1990], getting over that hurdle. And then I think the one in 2009. I thought I might not win another one. It had been a couple of years and people were writing me off and I thought 'maybe that's it', but it wasn't.
Do you feel like that now or do you feel you're playing so well that it will come? You know what, December's a funny time of the year, because the weather changes, the central heating comes on; sometimes you can get colds and coughs and flu. So it's hit and miss really, December time. I'll start hitting the vitamins now …
How many hours a day do you practice?
Well, I should do about two hours a day but I've probably been doing about an hour.
Do you practice specific things? If you think about it, Small Talk, I've been practising 30 years. It's a matter of keeping loose really. There's not much I can learn now. You can't teach an old dog new tricks as they say.
What's your favourite memory of Sid Waddell?
I loved him to bits. He was my biggest fan, Sid was. I knew him more than half my life and I miss him dearly. There were so many stories. When we wrote the book together … he's a genius and a nightmare at the same time. He's brilliant. I used to repair his door for him you know; his handle broke on his door and he never stopped talking about it. He couldn't believe I could put a screw in some wood.
If you could change one thing about darts, what would it be?
I'd ban drinking from darts.
Do you mean backstage or in the arena?
I'd ban it all together.
Who gave you the nickname 'The Power'?
That was Peter Judge, who used to be the walk-on manager at Sky Sports. He stood on a plastic CD in my car and snapped it. He picked it up and said "Oh sh … ugar", and there it was: Snap – The Power.
Were you good at maths at school?
I got better with darts. Definitely. If you told me I was at No34 Blake Street I'd immediately think 'double 17'. If I was at No37, I'd think 'five, double 16'.
Do you see darts when you close your eyes at night?
Sometimes I'm playing darts in my sleep and I wake myself up. I hate it. Drives me crackers because if I have a catnap I'm dreaming about bloody darts! I'm on double 18 and I throw it, and then my arm goes and that wakes me up. I tell myself, 'Stop bloody doing that. Bloody idiot'.
Who's the most famous person in your mobile phone?
Have you seen a ghost?
Yes. I've seen three. I saw one when I was a kid; we used to have one at the pub; and I saw one in an old place in Herefordshire where we were staying. It was a little boy. I'm not frightened of them you see; whether that's because I see them I don't know.
Do you wear slippers at home?
Do I ever! Ugg slippers. I've just bought two new pairs of slippers from Australia. One are black and full of fur, and the other are like a shoe.
Cheese or chocolate?
Ermmm, cheese. Cranberry. That's our treat that is.
What would you put in Room 101?
Rucksacks! I hate 'em. I hate 'em with a passion. On aeroplanes, people walking past with rucksacks knocking me on the back of the head.
What's the last song you bought?
Robbie Williams! He's my pal so I've got to say that haven't I?
What's your favourite TV show?
At the moment it's Mrs Brown's Boys. I love it. I've got it on my iPad now so I'll watch it again on the plane. You should have a watch of it, it's brilliant.
What's your favourite film?
What do you have in your pockets? Probably not much if you've just been through customs
Thanks for your time Phil
Thanks Small Talk.
ESPN and ESPN Classic are broadcasting live and exclusive coverage of every session of the PDC European Darts Championship from 20th to 23rd September. For full details visit ESPN.co.uk/tv
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