Sid Waddell (born August 10,
1940 in Alnwick,
Northumberland) is a British born
sports commentator and television
personality. The son of a Northumberland miner, he
attended King Edward VI School (KEVI), Morpeth, and he went on to
obtain a scholarship to St John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a degree in modern
history. He currently lives in Pudsey, Leeds.
Early television career
Shortly after finishing University, Waddell joined Granada Television
working with Michael Parkinson
programmes. In 1972
he moved to Yorkshire Television
where he created
the show Indoor League
various pub games including darts
1972 and 1974, he was a producer for over 600 editions of local
news programme, Calendar
, he switched to the BBC and his prior
experience with televised darts helped him to become one of the
commentators on the first World Professional Darts
when it began in 1978
stayed with the BBC until 1994
Other television credits
During his time with the BBC, Waddell penned ten episodes of a
successful children's television series, Jossy's Giants
in 1986. He was also the
writer of two series of another children's show Sloggers
which ran from 1994 to 1996. he also
devised the ITV network children's series 'The Flaxton Boys' a
historical derring-do that ran for three years from 1969.
His credits also include working with the eccentric scientist
and was Alan Whicker
’s producer on Whicker’s
He worked on The Russell Harty
and in 1993 did a series for Tyne Tees Television
in which he was a butler to a posh
Tweeddale family, a caravanner and on the dole.
He made one performance as the "Voice of the Balls" on the
National Lottery Red Alert
1999. He claims to have been sacked for being "too Geordie
Besides darts, he has commentated on numerous other sporting events
produced by Sky Sports
and/or Matchroom Sport
. Most notable, he regularly
commentated on the four annual nine ball
events on which the two companies collaborated (World Pool Championship
; World Pool Masters
; World Pool League
; and Mosconi Cup
). However, as these events began to
be hosted further away from the UK, Waddell gradually withdrew from
the sport. His commentaries in these events gained him
an international following, particularly in the Philippines.
In 2007, he recorded a series of darts programmes about the World
Darts Championship from 1978 until 1990 for ESPN Classic, which
were later broadcast on the channel in December 2007.
Contrary to popular belief, Waddell wasn't part of the PDC
revolution from its
beginning. Dave Lanning
and John Gwynne
were the commentators on the first
PDC World Championship
in 1994. Waddell was still with the BBC for the 1994 BDO World
Championship, and it wasn't until June 1994 that he joined the
commentary team. Waddell now
commentates on all major PDC televised darts tournaments.
He has written eleven published books, including biographies of
and Phil Taylor
latest book, 'Bellies and
' published by Ebury Press
was short listed for the British Sports Book Award for 2008. In
2009 he published a memoir of his boyhood in a Geordie pit village
'The Road Back Home', Ebury Books.
At the 2008 PDC Awards Dinner he was incepted as a member of the
PDC Hall of Fame along with fellow commentator Dave Lanning
.In Jamuary 2009 he was voted by
Daily Mail sports staff in the Top Ten of all-time great sports
His skewed eloquence has won him great affection among fans and
fellow commentators. Here are some of the most notable quotes from
Waddell down the years.
- "Fordham is sweating like a hippo
in a power shower."
- "He's majestic, just like that great big fat bloke singing
- "I consider Phil Taylor to be a
better all-round athlete than Ryan
- "He's got a heart as big as Moby-Dick!"
- "That's the greatest comeback since Lazarus."
- "Bristow reasons ... Bristow quickens ... Aaahhhhh, Bristow."
- "Jocky Wilson ... what an
- "When Alexander of Macedonia
was 33 he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to
conquer - Bristow is only 27"
- "The atmosphere is so tense, if Elvis walked in with a portion of chips, you
could hear the vinegar sizzle on them"
- "That's like giving Dracula the keys to the bloodbank!"
- "Big Cliff Lazarenko's idea of
exercise is sitting in a room with the windows open taking the lid
off something cool and fizzy."
- "He's about as predictable as a wasp on speed!"
- "As they say at the DHSS, we're getting
the full benefit here."
- "There hasn't been this much excitement since the Romans fed
the Christians to the Lions."
- "The players are under so much duress, it's like duressic park
lad has more checkouts than Tescos."
- "You might see some Shakespeare on
BBC2 but how about this for drama"
- "He's as happy as a polar bear in a sauna"
- "He looks as cosy as a hedgehog in a tumble dryer"
- "John Lowe is striding out like Alexander the Great conquering
- "When I see Steve Davis I see two
letters... C S... Cue Sorcerer"
- "Barneveld's copying of Taylor's understacker will be his
downfall" - (Mentioned more than once during early rounds of the
2007 PDC World Championship which Raymond van Barneveld went on to
win - beating Phil Taylor in the final!)
- "He's sweating like a donkey in a shower!"
- "This guy's so good, he could play without arms!"
- "There's only one word for that - magic darts!"
- "Keith Deller's not just an
underdog, he's an underpuppy!"
- "I don't know what he's had for breakfast but Taylor knocked
the Snap, Crackle and Pop outta Bristow"
- "Even Pythagoras would have trouble
working out these angles"
- "If we'd had Phil Taylor at Hastings against the Normans,
they'd have gone home!"
the nearest thing to public execution this side of Saudi Arabia!"
- "Steve Beaton - The adonis of
darts, what poise, what elegance - a true Roman gladiator with
plenty of hair wax."
- "Eat your heart out Harold Pinter,
we've got drama with a capital D in Essex."
- "Steve Beaton, he's not Adonis, he's THE
- "That's the créme da le milk, that is".
- "He's twitching like a Frog in a Blender."
- "Mark my words, this kid is a future World Champion" - said
about virtually every player under the age of 30 that appears on
television while he is commentating, including Colin Lloyd, Wayne
Mardle, Mark Dudbridge, Adrian Lewis, James
Wade and Michael van Gerwen,
none of whom has won the World Championship yet.
- "Not even Harry Houdini covered in
rubbing oil could have got out of that one!" (Commentating on a
particularly tricky pool shot)
- "James Wade is a bag of nerves, like
a bag of ice cold spanners in a sack."
- (On Eric Bristow) "Look at him as he takes his stance, like he
has been sculptured, whereas Bobby
George is like the Hunchback of Notre Dame!"
- "If you open the door to the tiger, the tiger might just come
- "He's got the body language of a snake with a hernia!"
- "He's got the hand-to-eye coordination of a rattlesnake."
- "He's hopping around like a kangaroo on a pogo stick!"
- "Dennis' eyes are bulging like the belly of a hungry
- "Darts players are probably a lot fitter than most footballers
in overall body strength..."
- "The pendulum's going up and down like a trampoline."
- "He's sweating like a swamp donkey."
- "He's as cool as a camel after a hump transplant."
- "He's got an axe to grind with Taylor, and a crowbar sandwich
for his missus."
- "He's as cool as a frozen edam."Co
- "Just when he's had your meat and two veg, he comes back and
nicks yer puddin'!" on Phil Taylor
- "He's in the lipstick like Valentino on the rampage" (referring
to John Part hitting a lot of treble 20s
in the 2008 PDC world final)
- "Eat your heart out Einstein, because
this is the appliance, of ballistic science!" (On Darts)
- "Taylor hits lipstick in this game of tantalising
- "There are no kings or queens, just two geniuses and their
- "We couldn't have more excitement if Elvis walked in and asked
for a chip sandwich."
- "If anybody is foolish enough to predict this then they're a
fool." (commentating on Wayne Mardle vs
Jelle Klassen - 2009 PDC Premier League)
- "I think that those thicker barrel darts could be a disadvnage
to John Lowe hitting that treble, could
get deflections (said seconds before Lowe hits his first 180 of the
match), Who would be a commentater anyway?" (1987 BDO World Darts
Championship final; John Lowe vs.
- "Phil Taylor, perhaps the greatest
man to ever tickle the tunsten, a tungsten warrior!"
- "He has to very sharpish get from lukewarm to luketepid to Luke
Skywalker." - Referring to Phil Taylor against Colin Osbourne in
the UK Open final 2009.
- on phil taylor hitting a 180: "some people could throw a
hedgehog at the board any only score 37"
- "That throw was as popular as Danni
Minogue's comments on the X Factor" -
on Adrian Lewis missing a double,
ironically frustrating the crowd.
'My voice is so bashed I'll have to cancel tonight's shift on the
late bingo at Malahide workimgmen's club.''Taylor flinging tectonic
tungsten in his hunt for Green October.'