BBC Sport returns to being the exclusive broadcaster of the Lakeside World Professional Darts Championships in 2014 as the BDO’s top male and female players compete for their ultimate prize.
Featuring the largest ever field assemble in the tournament’s 27-year history, 40 men and 16 women will be competing for the most prestigious titles in BDO darts from January 4-12.
The BDO’s most recognisable faces, including likes of reigning world champion Scott Waites, three-time winner Martin Adams, multiple finalist Tony O’Shea and current BDO number one Stephen Bunting, along with three-time women’s world champion Anastasia Dobromyslova, will all be in attendance at the famous Lakeside venue.
Waites eased to his first World Championship title with a 7-1 demolition of Tony O’Shea in last year’s final at Frimley Green, where the 35-year-old dominated the all-English affair from the outset.
The Yorkshireman raced into a 5-0 lead before O’Shea briefly rallied to trail 5-1 at the interval, before he took out 110 with a double 16 to seal victory and add his name to the tournament’s impressive roll of honour.
This year’s BDO World Championship is set to be the biggest ever in its long and illustrious history.
The first three World Professional Championships from 1978 to 1980 were contested by just 16 men, with the field expanded to 32 from 1981 to 2013.
Now the men’s tournament features 40 of the BDO’s top players as the organisation aims to attract a more rounded international field of players by giving qualifiers from across the globe the chance to compete on the biggest stage, in front of sell-out crowds and millions of TV viewers.
The women’s world championship was introduced by the BDO in 2001 and has always been contested by eight women, but now the field has been increased to 16 women, with its final live on BBC Two for the first time ever.
The additional eight men for the 2014 championships earned their places from competitions held worldwide, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia, Scandinavia and the USA.
Stephen Bunting is the BDO’s top-ranked player after retaining his World Masters title in October without conceding a single set on his way to a second consecutive Winmau trophy.
The Liverpool man suffered a shock defeat in the last 16 against Darryl Fitton in last year’s tournament and will be hoping to go beyond the quarter-finals at Lakeside for the first time in his career.
After two years of shared coverage with ESPN, the BBC will screen the whole tournament live this year after extending its long association with the BDO Lakeside World Professional Darts Championships by three years up to and including 2016 on the eve of last year’s tournament.
“This is a significant, exciting and progressive step forward” says BDO tournament director Wayne Williams.
“Not only does it illustrates the global increase in the higher standards of BDO and World Darts Federation players, but it also satisfies the growing TV audiences created by TV coverage from the BBC.
“Needless to say, we are delighted to be providing even more valuable opportunities for our players – men and women – as we move the BDO forward and enhance the most prestigious championships in world darts.”
BBC Sport will be the place to follow comprehensive coverage of the 2014 Lakeside World Professional Darts Championships from Frimley Green.
Colin Murray returns to host BBC TV’s coverage across all nine days from Lakeside alongside two-time finalist Bobby George.
Commentary duties throughout the week will be shared between veteran Tony Green, Vassos Alexander and Jim Proudfoot, plus a number of special guests including Tony O’Shea and Scott Mitchell.
Respected sports broadcaster John Rawling will also be part of the BBC darts commentary team for the first time at the Lakeside from midweek onwards.
Rob Walker will provide regular reports from behind the scenes at the tournament, while ‘Little’ Richard Ashdown makes his debut as the tournament’s master of ceremonies, replacing Martin Fitzmaurice.
For the first time since 2011, the BBC will be screening every dart thrown at Lakeside exclusively live across TV, Red Button and online.
There will be live coverage of the afternoon sessions of the tournament over the opening weekend across BBC One and BBC two, including the first session of play on Saturday, January 4, plus a further four hours of live coverage on Sunday, January 5.
With afternoon sessions being held on weekday afternoons for the first time at Lakeside this year, BBC Two will screen live darts from Monday to Thursday running from 1.00pm to 4.15pm each day.
Every evening session during the week will be broadcast live and in full via BBC Red Button and online via the BBC Sport website, plus on mobiles and tablet devices via the new BBC Sport app.
Alongside the live action, there will be extended late-night highlights on BBC Two featuring the best moments from each evening session’s play. This will be followed by a further two hours of action in Darts Extra.
On the concluding weekend of the tournament, the first semi-final will be broadcast live on BBC One on Saturday afternoon, January 11, with the second following on the BBC Red Button at 6.00pm.
In between the men’s semi finals, the Lakeside Women’s Final will be broadcast live in its entirety on BBC Two, the first time the women’s showpiece has been shown on BBC network TV.
Rounding off nine days of drama will the men’s World Final on Sunday, January 12, live on BBC Two at 5.45pm.
All the action will be supported by additional content and live streaming of each BBC TV programme via the BBC Sport website.
Darts fans will also be able to catch up on all the action they have missed via BBC iPlayer.
For the latest news, scores and results from Lakeside visit the BDO website.
Saturday 4th January DAY 1 – First Round (Best of 5 sets) Afternoon Session Trina Gulliver 0-2 Tamara Schuur*
Scott Waites 0-3 Alan Norris
David Cameron 1-3 Martin Adams (Prelim)
Wesley Harms 3-0 Paul Jennings LIVE: 2.30pm-4.30pm BBC One / 4.30pm-5.30pm BBC Two Evening Session Madars Razma 3-2 John Michael (Prelim)
Harley Kemp 0-3 Michael Meaney (Prelim)
Jeffrey de Graaf 0-3 Martin Atkins
Rachel Brooks 0-2 Ann Louise Peters* LIVE: 6.00pm-11.00pm BBC Red Button Highlights: 11.55pm-12.45pm BBC Two Darts Extra: 12.45am-2.45am BBC Two Sunday 5th January DAY 2 – First Round (Best of 5 sets) Afternoon Session Hiroaki Shimizu 2-3 Christian Kist (Prelim)
Anastasia Dobromyslova 2-1 Karin Krappen*
Robbie Green 3-0 Richie George
Gary Robson 3-2 Ron Meulenkamp LIVE: 1.00pm-5.00pm BBC Two Evening Session Mike Day 3-0 Sam Head (Prelim) Jim Widmayer 3-2 Garry Thompson (Prelim)
Fallon Sherrock 2-0 Rilana Erades*
Remco van Eijden 0-3 Rick Hofstra LIVE: 8.30pm-11.00pm BBC Red Button
(Coverage begins online via BBC Sport website at 6.00pm) Highlights: 11.00pm-11.50pm BBC Two Darts Extra: 11.50pm-1.50am BBC Two Monday 6th January DAY 3 – First Round (Best of 5 sets) Afternoon Session Darryl Fitton 1-3 Tony Eccles
Karel Sedlacek 1-3 Paul Hogan (Prelim)
Jan Dekker 3-0 Benito van de Pas LIVE: 1.00pm-4.15pm BBC Two Evening Session Julie Gore 2-0 Rachna David*
Jeroen Geerdink 0-3 Dave Prins (Prelim)
Geert de Vos 3-1 Madars Razma
Ross Montgomery 3-2 Michael Meaney LIVE: 6.00pm-11.00pm BBC Red Button Highlights: 11.20pm-12.10am BBC Two Darts Extra: 12.10am-2.10am BBC Two Tuesday 7th January DAY 4 – First Round (Best of 5 sets) Afternoon Session Tony O’Shea 0-3 Martin Adams
Scott Mitchell 3-2 Paul Hogan
Stephen Bunting 3-1 Jim Widmayer LIVE: 1.00pm-4.15pm BBC Two Evening Session Deta Hedman 2-0 Lorraine Farlam*
Jim Williams 0-3 Dave Prins
Glen Durrant 3-0 Mike Day James Wilson 3-1 Christian Kist LIVE: 6.00pm-11.00pm BBC Red Button Highlights: 11.20pm-12.10am BBC Two Darts Extra: 12.10am-2.10am BBC Two Wednesday 8th January DAY 5 – Second Round (Best of 7 sets) Afternoon Session Gary Robson 1-4 Robbie Green Dave Prins 0-4 Stephen Bunting Wesley Harms 3-4 Tony Eccles LIVE: 1.00pm-4.15pm BBC Two Evening Session Irina Armstrong 2-0 Sharon Prins* Rick Hofstra 2-0 Martin Atkins (Atkins retired due to injury) Glen Durrant 1-4 Alan Norris Scott Mitchell 2-4 James Wilson LIVE: 6.00pm-11.00pm BBC Red Button Highlights: 11.20pm-12.10am BBC Two Darts Extra: 12.10am-2.10am BBC Two Thursday 9th January DAY 6 – Second Round (Best of 7 sets)* / Quarter Finals (Best of 9 sets) Afternoon Session Geert de Vos 2-4 Jan Dekker* Ross Montgomery 1-4 Martin Adams* Aileen de Graaf 1-2 Lisa Ashton* LIVE: 1.00pm-4.15pm BBC Two Evening Session Julie Gore 0-2 Ann Louise Peters* Tony Eccles 2-5 Robbie Green Stephen Bunting 0-2 Rick Hofstra Irina Armstrong 1-2 Deta Hedman* LIVE: 5.30pm-11.00pm BBC Red Button Highlights: 11.20pm-12.10am BBC Two Darts Extra: 12.10am-2.10am BBC Two Friday 10th January DAY 7 – Quarter Finals (Best of 9 sets) Evening Session Tamara Schuur 0-2 Lisa Ashton* Jan Dekker 5-2 Martin Adams Fallon Sherrock 1-2 Anastasia Dobromyslova* James Wilson 2-5 Alan Norris LIVE: 5.30pm-11.00pm BBC Red Button Highlights: 1.00pm-4.15pm BBC Two / 11.05pm-11.55pm BBC Two Darts Extra: 11.55pm-1.55am BBC Two Saturday 11th January DAY 8 – Semi Finals (Best of 11 sets) Women’s Semi Finals Deta Hedman 2-0 Ann Louise Peters Anastasia Dobromyslova 1-2 Lisa Ashton LIVE: 12.30pm-2.30pm BBC Sport Website Robbie Green 6-1 Stephen Bunting LIVE: 2.45pm-4.30pm BBC One Women’s Final Deta Hedman 2-3 Lisa Ashton LIVE: 4.30pm-6.00pm BBC Two Alan Norris 6-5 Jan Dekker LIVE: 6.00pm-8.30pm BBC Red Button Highlights: 11.40pm-12.30am BBC Two Sunday 12th January Men’s Final (Best of 13 sets) Stephen Bunting v Alan Norris LIVE: 5.45pm-8.00pm BBC Two