Paton the back

By Paul Woodage 16/08/2021

Darts World's newest columnist and the newly anointed lead presenter for SKY's darts coverage has certainly not had a rose covered pathway to the top of her profession:

"I’ve been at Sky Sports for nine years now and have done every job you can imagine. From typing out the yellow breaking news bar on Sky Sports News to breaking some of our biggest stories. I did anything and everything behind the camera before I got a full-time role in front of it in 2019.”

“I spent most of those years getting up at 2am, I was part of the breakfast production team, it was brutal! I don’t miss those days!”

With Sky Sports Darts looking for a new presenter it was actually the show’s producer, Mr Rory Hopkins who got the ball rolling for Emma She said:

“Rory has been working at Sky for around thirty years, he’s the man you don’t hear about but he changed the face of darts, he completely innovated it. “Last year, he invited me along to the World Matchplay in Milton Keynes for a bit of reporting duties. And things just went on from there really.

“I find it funny when people ask me about replacing Dave Clark. You can’t replace Dave!! They’re not just massive shoes to fill, but impossible shoes, he’s a legend. “For me, it’s never been about trying to be Dave, but being me, putting my own spin on things, being someone who loves watching and talking about darts and going from there.”

As a fan, Emma had enjoyed countless nights at the Darts - but as a presenter, it wasn’t until the climax of the Premier League when she could savour the party atmosphere from a very different perspective. Smiling, she said:

“Oh it was amazing. It was on either the first or second night, the video was rolling and the fans were watching on the big screen. Moments later, the director gave me the cue, the camera cut to me and a huge roar went up from the crowd. In that second, I completely forgot what I was going to say!! But I think I styled it out!

“There was a moment on one of the nights when fans were leaving and we were up in our studio. Suddenly they all began shouting my name - Wayne was telling me to wave back but I was worried they’d ignore me if I did!! I waved back in the end and they gave out a collective cheer. That was a lovely moment."

Asked about the famous ‘Wayne losing his voice moment’ and Emma laughs:

“Oh yes, that was ridiculous! I just saw the floor manager running across the arena and then Webby dashing in the opposite direction towards the commentary box. Until Wayne trudged out and motioned that his voice had gone, I didn’t have a clue what had happened. “ I always says [Wayne] is the Gary Neville of Sky Sports Darts – he has incredibly intelligent analysis and insight, but he’s so engaging as well.” “But the whole week with the fans back was just an amazing experience – it was ‘proper darts’.

So with the World Matchplay on the horizon and full crowds expected, Emma is eagerly counting down the days.......


Original Article appears in Darts World 575 Subscribe here!


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