Darts is popular.
I'm sure many readers can remember Bullseye a TV game show television programme based, not surprisingly, on a darts theme.
Originally made for ITV network by Associated Television in 1981. Later, by Central Television from 1982 - 1995. It was hosted by Jim Bowen, a stand-up comedian who was influenced by Ken Dodd and television personality.
Bowen was a straight-faced comic known for his bad jokes, who used to make fun of guests on the show.
The animated mascot named Bully wore a red/white striped shirt and blue trousers.
The show also featured Tony Green who helped with scoring the dart games and sideman for Bowen. Green was an amateur player who became BBC's lead commentator when showing the annual World Professional Darts Championships staged at the Lakeside Country Club in Frimley Green, Surrey. He worked alongside Sid Waddell, a talented Geordie entertainer and well respected within darting circles and known as ''The Voice of Darts''. He was also a gifted writer, comedian and nicknamed the ''Theif of Bad Gags''. Waddell wrote 11 published books including autobiographies of John Lowe, Jocky Wilson & Phil Taylor.
He also wrote a racy novel in 1973 named Bedroll Bella (about a Georgie groupie) that was banned by W. H. Smiths.
Back to Bullseye.
In total there was 16 series of Bullseye and an incredible 354 episodes. The run time for the programme was 30 minutes. The programme was created and owned by Andrew Wood and comedian Norman Vaughan who had a successful career in television and theatre.
The game show was based on three pairs of contestants with one person the darts player and the other answering questions. Prizes included a car, speedboat, holidays in addition to a tankard and silver goblet alongside a Bendy Bully (the show's mascot).
The show was originally on Monday evening before being moved to its popular spot on Sunday. Later it was to be shown on Saturday afternoon. The show was planned for 1996 but cancelled after the network pressured Wood to modernise the programme which he deemed unsuitable.
One part of the show saw a professional darts player throw nine darts and their total score would give a pound a point for the given charity chosen by the contestant. If the professional dart player scored over 301 the money would be doubled. Alongside this, the highest score of the series would win the Bronze Bully Trophy. This was based on series 5 - 13 (1985 - 1994).
Interesting that the highest charity points scorer was Alan Evans in 1984 with a score of 401.
However, the Bronze Bully Trophy started in 1985.
Here is a list of the winners:
1985 - 86 : John Lowe (380)
1986 - 87 : Lionel Smith (365)
1987 - 88 : Ray Farrell (340)
1988 - 89 : Mike Gregory (380)
1989 - 90 : Eric Bristow (380)
1990 - 91 : Bob Anderson (380)
1991 - 92 : Mandy Solomans (363)
1992 - 93: Mike Gregory (340)
1994 - : Kevin Painter (380)