Media Matters: The Litter Effect

Red Dragon Darts

Okay, now even I have to admit this is getting a little bit strange. He has scaled the heights of breakfast cereal stardom. He has conquered the broadsheet front pages. But now Luke Littler has even chucked his way into the Forbes Europe 30 Under 30 list for sports stars.

“Qualifying for the PDC World Championships at the age of 16 was itself an accomplishment,” the prestigious American business magazine said, “but for British darts phenom Luke Littler, it was only the beginning.”

Damn right it was. After this, I am not sure what we can expect next. Guest griller on Dragons’ Den? Appointment to the United Nations?

“The world’s gone mad [for darts],” Littler told the magazine. “It’s one of ’em sports where you’re standing there throwing some tungsten into a board and you’re winning yourself some money and you creating yourself some legacy.” Yes, I relayed that verbatim. The subs definitely let him down a little there, but props to Luke on another starring turn.

Not everyone was happy. As Phil Lanning reported, Michael van Gerwen was less than gushing in his praise for Littler’s achievement. “People don’t win anything and they get into Forbes,” the Dutchman said. “I don’t think that’s serious. What he has created for darts I think is phenomenal. But with respect he played crap tonight and I beat him in a crap game.” 

That’ll keep young Luke’s feet on the ground.

One of the benefits of Littler’s surge has been the cascading effect onto his fellow players. Such an effect was apparent on 3 April’s edition of BBC North West Tonight, aired a day before the Premier League ventured to Manchester.

The programme’s sports presenter rather bluntly admitted to Nathan Aspinall that Littler had been their original choice of interviewee, but his manager had pulled him out due to other commitments. “Well, we share the same manager so I am not too happy about that!” Aspinall admitted. Ouch indeed.

Easter Sunday saw a very welcome reverie down memory lane over on BBC Four. The channel aired a series of excellent darts documentaries, including a great BBC Scotland programme on Jocky Wilson and the classic 1979 ‘Arrows’ film following Eric Bristow.

We are all enjoying the recent increase in attention, but it is also nice to have the game’s equally important past recognised.


Words: Thomas Bartley

Images: PDC

Column From: Darts World Extra 16 (April 2024)


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