Exclusive: Bunting ‘On His Bike’? The Bullet Battles COVID Risks!

Stephen Bunting will need to hit the ground running to be ready for the Summer Series and reach the Matchplay on July 18. He acknowledged the task ahead during an extensive conversation with Darts World.

Can Stephen get to the Matchplay? (pic: Taylor Lanning)

Bunting also reveals that he has made a huge decision to change his diet and lifestyle with so much information regarding Covid-19 affecting the vulnerable in society, which includes diabetes sufferers. For diabetic players such as himself, Ian White, Andy Hamilton, and Jamie Caven, the return to action poses extra problems.

The former BDO World champion said:

“My wife has bought me an exercise bike and I’ve been on that every day.

I’ve changed my diet and I’m trying to do things away from the oche to make myself fitter”.

The Bullet has made several other changes in order to give him the best chance and darting success and reduce his increased COVID risk. “We’re on a healthy meal club and we get set 12 meals for a week sent to you”.

“It’s perfect and I’m enjoying that and getting used to the exercise regime.”

Other areas, of the Liverpool thrower’s daily routine, are are also receiving attention:

“I’ve also tried to change my lifestyle by not staying up so late at night on the PlayStation.

I’m going to bed earlier and waking up fresher with more energy.”.

He added: “The way it has worked out for me it makes it very difficult. Obviously I’ve just got to get to Milton Keynes and forget about everything and go and play.”


More from our exclusive chat with ‘The Bullet’ tomorrow!

Exclusive: Thank Evans For “Mad Ricky”.

RAPID Ricky Evans admits he’ll always be a bit “mad” as he aims to finally shake off the oche joker tag with major titles. The Kettering ace is never short on laughs as arguably the wackiest star of the oche and has spent lockdown dressed as a cheerleader and in a blue morph costume on social media.

As per usual with the World No.29 it has been a wacky few months as he’s got kitted up for the Clap For Carers every Thursday night. Evans, 29, said:

“My dad and I have done three Clap For Carers dressing up nights. He collects masks and anyone who knows us knows I am just my dad 30 or 40 years ago. He’s nuts. “He’s got at least 100 masks. He’ll go on ebay and see a Donald Trump mask and buy it. He’ll buy any old rubber latex mask. 

“On one Thursday night, I was in a blue morph suit, wearing a PDC shirt on an exercise bike. I’ve been a cheerleader so far as well.” “My dance I did at the Ally Pally in December has been watched a few times and turned into a GIF. I still don’t know what happened then.”

Evans – who threw a 180 in 2.16 seconds in the Worlds three years ago – also also feared he’d be too quick for his own WiFi in the PDC Home Tour.

He added: “My board is in a little darts room that my mum and dad made for me when I was a teenager. I had to tell my mum and dad to stay off WiFi after 6.30 pm.

“Because I’m a quick player it was hard. Usually, I’m always on my tiptoes ready to throw against my opponent. It was weird having no one in front of me. It slowed me down a bit and certainly upset my rhythm.

“The biggest problem was that my phone camera wasn’t able to keep up with my throw, my throw is too quick for WiFi to trust me.

“I was looking forward to all the tournaments and trying to qualify for the big TV events. I’m usually away for 40 weeks a year, I was in 2019 and that was very successful for me.

“I had hit form for a few months just before the lockdown. Now it’s a weird one whether to practice hard or not.“Last year was awesome for me, I qualified for everything apart from the Grand Slam. I was a seed for the Europeans which was great.

“I ran into Michael (van Gerwen) in the Worlds. It wasn’t a 4-0 defeat game, I missed some big chances. But that’s why he’s World No.1 and I’m World No.29.”

Evans also admits that he’s unlikely to stop being the oche madman – unless he starts winning majors. He said: “I’m just me and that might not change ever. I’m serious on the oche. I’m never going to be the most serious player in the world. If I started making semi-finals and finals that jovial stuff would wear off a bit I’m sure. “I think people would get bored of my silly walk-ons and facial expressions. Maybe I could wear a mask!

“Until then I won’t change, I’ll always be a bit mad.”


Up Close & Personal: Ricky’s Rapid Q&A.

In the spirit of Ricky Evans reputation as the fastest darter in the west, or any other place for that matter, Darts World hit the world number twenty-nine with a rapid round of intimate but fun questions to help you get to know him better:

Says it all really.

FULL NAME: Ricky Evans

BIRTHDATE: 29/07/1990

NICKNAME: Rapi and Evs.

HOBBY:  Darts, watching sports, playing snooker and pool. Music of all genres, quizzing.

MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT? Losing my passport/wallet numerous times on airplanes and in airports.

BEST CHAT UP LINE? Are you from Ireland? Because when I see you my penis is Dublin!

FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MOMENT? Watching Kettering Town at Wembley, visiting Old Trafford and getting picked for England Youth.

FAVOURITE MATCH EVER? Versus Simon Whitlock 2016 PDC world champs

FAVOURITE MAGAZINE? The TV guide that comes in the Saturday paper.

FAVOURITE SMELLS? Freshly cut grass, Paco Rabanne aftershave and sizzling bacon.

LEAST FAVOURITE SMELLS? Cheese and Onion crisps, gravy and David Pallett’s feet. 

FAVOURITE SOUND? ‘Game shot and the match Ricky Evans’.

WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD? Being lonely, not playing to my best ability, watching other darts matches on TV.

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING? Check the phone, take the dog for a walk, go for practice. 

FAVOURITE COLOUR? Yellow, bright. 

FUTURE CHILD’S NAME? Ronnie or Archie.

WHAT’S YOUR RINGTONE? Phone’s always on silent…hardly answer anyway 😉

FAVOURITE FOODS? Hot curry, bacon, Jaffa cakes, sausage rolls.

CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? Chocolate. 

DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST? Don’t drive, but as a passenger no!

DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? Only if nobody else will keep me company.

STORMS – COOL OR SCARY? Cool.

FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION AND WHY? I love Portugal as a country, and will be visiting again June 2019.

IF YOU COULD MEET YOUR HERO – DEAD OR ALIVE – WHO WOULD IT BE? My dad’s my hero but I’d love too meet David Beckham and Lee Mack.

FAVOURITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK? Strongbow Dark Fruit. 

FAVOURITE SOFT DRINK? Cherry Coke.

WHAT IS YOUR STAR SIGN? Leo.

TATTOOS COOL OR NOT COOL & IF YOU HAVE ONE WHAT’S YOUR BEST? Would love to have a three lions one sometime or a KTFC badge.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB YOU WANTED WHAT WOULD IT BE? At school I wanted to be a sports journalist, I used to make my own sports paper.

IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY COLOUR WHAT WOULD IT BE? Bright Yellow.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST LOVE? Football and comedy.

FAVOURITE MOVIES? Happy Gilmore, See No Evil Hear No Evil, The Naked Gun trilogy.

WHAT’S UNDER YOUR BED? Old darts and football memorabilia.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE NUMBER?  29 .

FAVOURITE SPORT TO WATCH? Football and Snooker.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT DARTS? The camaraderie, top quality competition and obviously career changing money up for grabs.


Images: Target

Feature Pic: PDC

Saved By The Bull? Aspinall Thanks Price For Kick-Starting His Rise.

NATHAN ASPINALL goes into the BetFred World Matchplay as a title favourite but admits his career changed by a missed bullseye.

The World No.7 became the inaugural PDC Home Tour lockdown champion three weeks ago and is fired-up for the first major back on the big stage in a month’s time.

But the Stockport ace, 28, revealed he doesn’t think he’d be the latest star of the oche if Gerwyn Price had beaten him at the Worlds two years ago.

He said: “I often do wonder what would have happened if he had hit the bull to beat me three-nil in sets in the second round of the World Championships two years ago. Would I be wear I am now as World No.7?

“Hand on my heart I don’t think I would be. I really really don’t. I do think that game, me beaten someone of his calibre, he was pretty much the best player in the world at that time. To beat him on the biggest stage made me think I am actually good enough.

“I do think that moment and that game changed my whole career. So thank you Gerwyn Price!

“Our sport is 10 per cent ability, 90 per cent in the head. I’m quite strong minded. There’s some players that are and some aren’t. When you are confident and everything is right in your head and at home, it flows.”

Aspinall also admits that other pivotal moments came when he lost the 2015 World Youth Championships to Max Hopp in a deciding leg and then winning his first Players Championship three years later when he was penniless.

He added: “Not many speak about the Youth final to be fair, it absolutely broke me. For six months I couldn’t win a game, I was a broken man. It proper screwed me up. If I hadn’t lost that title I would have got a place in the Worlds and I would have retained my tour card. But I think that’s helped me be the player I’ve become now.

“It means I can dig deep and come back from positions that not many other players can come back from.

“I think that stems from games like that against Max

early on in my career where I’ve had a right good uppercut and now I’ve become stronger”.

“I won my first Players Championship in Barnsley and I didn’t have any money to get a taxi from the Metrodome to the train station. I had no money left but I had just won 10 grand!

“I walked to the train station with a suitcase on the train. I got home and thought ‘wow I can’t wait for that to clear because I’m skint’.

“I was buzzing, it was another moment in my career that I thought I am good enough to make a living out of darts.”

Now Aspinall can’t wait to get back onto the big stage for the Matchplay and he’ll start as a real contender for the title.

He added: “I’m just hoping I can kick off where I left off before lockdown. I’ve upped my practice, I’m playing really well.

“I never thought I’d miss the darts as much as I have. I’ve missed the darts, the lads, the craic, all the things that come with the darts tour.

“We’ve got the Summer Series on July 8 before the Matchplay which is a great idea with the PDC.

“You can play at home in matches and hit big averages but they count for nothing, it’s what happens on the big stage.

“To put the five days of Players Championships on before is a great shout and hopefully that will get rid of some rust and get us ready for the Matchplay, wherever that will be.

“Personally I’d love it to be at Blackpool but I can’t see it. Obviously we’ll have to see what happens on July 4 when the Government announces the next move. But I do think it’s going to be at an alternative venue and likely to be Milton Keynes.”


Pictures by Taylor Lanning

Join our Facebook community and get full ‘Players Lounge’ episodes here.

Exclusive! Bravedart Battles COVID Fears.

OCHE legend Jamie Harvey has revealed he is terrified that catching Coronavirus would kill him and is fearful of the consequences for others in a similar position.

Jamie Harvey a.k.a ‘Bravedart’ has previously battled cancer, but Covid-19 holds additional fears for the legendary Scottish player. (Pic: PDC)

The former world No.4 was diagnosed with throat cancer 11 years ago, had a 10-hour op to save his life, then underwent chemo and radiotherapy. He also had his voicebox removed and had a permanent laryngectomy stoma fitted to enable him to speak. In all, he lost four stone during the extensive treatment.

Yet battling Bravedart has lived up to his nickname by continuing to play in local leagues and attending big events over the past five years. But Harvey, 64, admits he is frightened of catching COVID-19 and the lack of relevant information.

Jamie revealed:

“I wish I could put my mind at rest but I can’t. Having had a laryngectomy my voice box was removed and a plastic valve inserted instead.

“I can’t breath from my nose or mouth, I breath from a hole in my neck”.

The Coronavirus is here looks like for a long time. I am 64-years-old, my concerns for me and other people who’ve had a laryngectomy are what do we do, we can’t breath through our mouths or noses only through the orifice in our necks.”

“The daunting thing is I have been in and out of hospitals for a few months now. Also the local doctor’s surgery. Not once has any doctor or nurse explained to me what we do to protect themselves against this disease which is spreading faster than butter”.

“They say do not touch face or mouth. That’s no use to us as I myself have to clean my stoma about on average between 20 to 40 times a day, not one specialist doctor or local surgery doctor can tell me what hygiene we are to do during this worrying time.

“There’s also no mention about anything at any time what kind of masks we wear for our throats. “l’ve got to put my finger on the button on my neck to talk to anybody. I think especially the doctors don’t know enough about the effect on people who have had a laryngectomy or this disease. 

“Please doctors and nurses get your fingers out and help us because my finger is in my hole for the rest of my life. 

“Hopefully I won’t catch this virus because it will kill me. Thoughts please I’m lost? They must help people with who have had a laryngectomy, it’s frightening.”


Phil Taylor Trophy Introduced For BetVictor World Matchplay

Ando Will Be A Player Reborn. Taylor Tips Flying Scotsman To Surge.

The Power is predicting a big comeback for pal Gary Anderson who finished runner-up in the PDC Home Tour a fortnight ago. The 16-times World Champion believes that Ando will be “reborn” when darts returns after lockdown.

Taylor said:

“Someone like Gary Anderson will benefit from this enforced break.

The time at home with his family will do him a world of good – he will almost be a player reborn.

Taylor acknowledges it’s not all one way though, speaking exclusively to Darts World’s lead reporter, the Potteries legend recalled some of the challenges of combining family life with professional darts:

“when you have to leave your loved ones week in, week out to play in the Premier League, and you’re only at home one or two nights a week…

it’s really tough. Especially when your family is so young.“

The two Phils covered a wide range of topics, including recent remarks about MVG and how he sees the game changing since his retirement during a recent conversation for Darts World. You can read the full story later today at dartsworld.com


  • Feature Pic: L Lustig (PDC)
  • Interview: Phil Lanning
  • Gary Anderson Image: Taylor Lanning

Ochepedia Adds To Darts World’s Number!

HE’S the man who, arguably, knows the dart players better than they know themselves. For every thud of the board around the competitive game, a stat is accumulated in the northeastern United States town of Bee Gees hit fame Massachusetts.

Master of ‘The Numbers Game’.

That stat is produced by Christopher Kempf, widely-recognised now as Ochepedia. Kempf is the go-to legend of the sport, used by the Professional Darts Corporation and often-referred to on TV by commentators Rod Mardle and Wayne Mardle.

Now the official statistician of darts has joined the official voice of darts. Kempf will now bring his incredible and unrivalled source of information to Darts World. The king of numbers is ushering in a new era of the sport, analysis to the extreme. Chris joins Darts World as a contributor across a wide range of darting areas. He is also leading the development of popular stats site dartsdatabase.com

The arrows have never seen such pinpoint accuracy since King Harold took one in the eye at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

If Kempf had been around then, he probably would have expected the Normans to take that route with a 46 percent success rate. But nowadays instead of the Bayeux Tapestry, being that source of information, it’s now the man Ochepedia himself, in Darts World.

Kempf admits he had never even looked at the sport until five years ago when he watched a YouTube video of Michael van Gerwen hitting 17 perfect darts at the Alexandra Palace.

Now he conducts a fascinating insight into the working brain on the oche. He will bring his unique plethora of graphs, tables, and data to the longest-serving darts magazine in the world – where he belongs.


Wacky White Wants Worlds Win!

WACKY Ian White is adamant he can be a World Champion…and then take the trophy off stage in a CARRIER BAG!

The real, very funny, Ian White is not often seen on stage or in front of a TV camera.

The Stoke star has been one of the most consistent stars on the oche and simply one of the best in the world in the Pro Tours. Diamond, 49, finally shattered his big stage quarter-final hoodoo last December by reaching the Players Championship last four.

But the joker in the PDC pack would definitely deliver a unique winning ceremony at the Ally Pally with another of his bag for laugh pranks.He said: “The carrier bag thing started when Gary Anderson beat me in one final. Years ago they used to interview the winner and runner-up, now they don’t bother. 

“My era was Morecambe and Wise…

it was like their sketch of Eric walking off at the end of the show.“

So when Gary was getting interviewed, at the end I walked away in the background with my stuff in a carrier bag and I said ‘I’m going now, ta-ra’! “After that, the same thing happened in another tournament with James Wade and I walked past with a wheelie bin shouting ‘any empties?’

“So what I’ll do at the Ally Pally is win the World Championship and walk off stage with it in a carrier bag!”

White is undoubtedly one of the most popular players on the circuit. He is practice partners with Michael Smith and close pals with Adrian Lewis, Gary Anderson, James Wade and Ryan Harrington, they all share a table on the ProTour circuit.

He believes that table can produce more trophies, adding: “I can be World Champion, definitely. I’m playing well. I’m working on a few bits but I should be OK.

“I’m knocking on the door at the moment and I just need one good tournament. I’m so close. “I’m a good character at exhibitions and on Twitter, everyone sees how much fun I am.

But when I’m up on stage I’m up there to do a job. I don’t jump around the stage. I might give it large if I win the game, that’s the extent of it though.“I know people went on about my quarter-final thing but at the end of the day I’ve got the best job in the world.“ “I enjoy what I’m doing and it’s paying for me. I can’t knock it” . 

“A lot of the people who criticise you on social media would love to be in my position. I do read it. And people are entitled to their opinions and we’ve got to watch what we say being in this spotlight. So I just sing on Twitter instead. That’s who I am!

“I think if I give up this job I going to dress up as a clown and entertain kids, that’s something I could be very good at.“

I practice with Michael Smith and we are great pals. He’s going to be one top dart player in years to come.“ “We all know we can do it, every player does. When we are on form, we can beat anyone. But every single player can do that in the practice room. It’s just timing and producing it when you need to.“I think we’ve all got the talent, it’s just whether it comes out on the day.“It would be lovely to get to play Michael in a final.

But there a few of us as friends, Adrian and Gary. We have a good table and all sit together on the Pro Tour. Us four plus James, Ryan. We are all playing well.“We’re a bit of a team on that table. It’s a hard tour all year so if you can make it enjoyable, it definitely makes a difference. “We spend a lot of time together, every weekend almost. It’s nice to have a great atmosphere.”



Images: Taylor Lanning

White’s Abuse Antidote!

Darts World have noted an alarming rise in the volume of social media abuse directed at dart players in recent times. However, during his exclusive conversation with Phil Lanning, Stoke’s Ian White revealed his ‘Diamond’ distraction tactics.

Ian White dabs his way past social media diatribes.( Photo : PDC)

Several players, including World Champion Peter Wright and reigning Matchplay winner Rob Cross, have commented in recent weeks that the abuse they recieve has increased and that the nature of it has worsened during LockDown. It seems, sadly, that Ian is not immune:

“A lot of the people who criticise you on social media would love to be in my position”.

‘Diamond White’, as Ian is known, has a somewhat different approach, to the trolls and other miscreants, than the often heard “ignore or block them” type clichés.

“I do read it….. people are entitled to their Opinions,

[But] we’ve got to watch what we Say, being in this spotlight”.

But, as anyone who follows Whitey on twitter will know, he doesn’t remain silent. Rather than respond in kind, or allow such bile to affect him, he offers Attenborough like clips of the wildlife in his garden, comic asides and even his own version of ‘Carpool Karaoke’!

White’s ‘Carpool’ singing and madcap antics seem to provide an insulation from much of the nastier social media abuse.

So I just sing on Twitter instead.

“That’s who I am!”


Ian was talking to Phil Lanning, for Darts World, and will soon be back in action at the Betfred World Matchplay.

Check out his full conversation, his tour posse, and the extent of his ambition here.

CELEBDARTY! Fallon adjusts to fame and maybe a jungle.


ARROWS queen Fallon Sherrock admits it would be easier to tackle eating bugs and face huge spiders on I’m A Celebrity than beat a man at the Ally Pally.

The Milton Keynes mum-of-one is still basking in the limelight after becoming the first woman to beat a man in the PDC World Championships and grab a draw with Glen Durrant in the Premier League.While her World Series debut has been put on ice until 2021, Sherrock admits she could be set for even bigger things off the oche.

She admits: “I think in the long run I might get some opportunities to push myself a bit further. I’m not really what just yet, I’m taking each day as it comes. I’ve had a couple of things come up, I’m not going to say anything because they’re not confirmed yet. Fingers crossed.“Obviously any opportunity like that if it came my way, I’d take it. I think everyone would take it if they got the opportunity. I’ve never been afraid to challenge myself, so anything different I will go for it. I’m so excited to see what happens in the future. “I can dance, a little bit. Can I eat bugs? Yes no problem. Spider and heights are much easier than beating a man at the Ally Pally, any day of the week!”

Sherrock has been flooded with messages from celebs since her wins over Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic at the Ally Pally including Billie Jean King and Sex In The City star Sarah Jessica Parker. She even played in a celeb event with Italian football legend Luca Toni.

Sherrock added: “It has started to sink in the amount of messages I had from people. It’s disbelief to get messages from these massive people and they know who I am. They are talking about me. I’m just a normal person. It’s just incredible. I’m so proud and happy with everything. “I’ve had a lot from Jacqui Oatley, she was messaging me support throughout the Worlds. I’ve met some more celebs, I played darts with Luca Toni in Germany, he was awesome. He congratulated me. I’ve had so much, I’ve lost count.”

Sherrock, who has certainly backed up her stage performances with impressive lockdown online displays, admits she’s suddenly got a big target on her back.

But she dismisses any suggestion that the pressure is too much on her shoulders, adding: “It’s not really been that difficult. I have got a target on my back now, I never had that before. Instead of people saying ‘I’ve got to play her, it’s fine’, now everyone wants to beat Fallon Sherrock, she is the one we want to beat.“I’m so happy about that in one way because it means I’ve got a game on my hands and I always like to be pushed as much as I can. In that respect I’m really happy.

“I don’t take any notice of stuff said on social media. If I see anything negative I just don’t read it. If anything it just spurs me on a bit more. I want to prove everyone wrong and makes me even more determined. I know what I can do, I’ve just never had the opportunity to prove it before.“I’ve possibly got a bit more pressure on me but I don’t put pressure on myself. I just try and ignore everything going on around me and play my own darts.“

I’m really happy that Lisa Ashton got the tour card it proves again that us women can compete with the men. Now there’s two women that are going to beat the men.“Getting through Q School is such a hard thing to do so that was an achievement in itself for Lisa. I feel so proud and positive that she will go week-in, week-out and so us proud. It’s only going to push the ladies’ game even further. It’s all positives.”

World No.1 Michael Van Gerwen is in the same Modus Sports stable as Sherrock and has helped her deal with the pressures of instant fame.And several of the game’s superstars have reached out to her with guidance after nasty trolls subjected her to social media abuse. But criticism from keyboard warriors is nothing compared to the battle mum-of-one Sherrock faces in looking after autistic son Rory. Not that the five-year-old has any moans about his mum’s new hectic lifestyle.

She added: “I’ve explained to him what I’m doing when I’m going away and he loves it. Now he just wants to try and play darts and always try and hit the bullseye!“All through the week though it’s mummy’s rules for him and then he’s away at my mum’s and he’s got no rules, he sees it as a little holiday. So he’s loving life at the moment.“I feel like I’m doing this all for him. It was hard for me being away from him. But I call him on FaceTime three times every day I’m away. So I still feel like I’m there. It’s working well at the moment.

“I’m doing all this work for him. I want to do this for the long run, for his future.

It just makes me want to carry on and do my best.”


Pix: Taylor Lanning.