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Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Justin Lee Collins:180, Sky One

Did we like it?
JLC takes a brief sabbatical from Channel 4 and jumps to Sky One to take on the challenge of becoming a darts player. The self-styled ‘Bristol Flyer’ he’s going to enter a competition of “the only sport he’s ever been any good at”. Spending 5 hours a day in his double garage, Justin realises how difficult it is to get to the top in the world of darts. A diverting enough hour, but maybe because he’s so determined to do well at the game, this just wasn’t as funny as his previous efforts. Maybe a return to Channel 4 will see him recapture his mojo.

What was good about it?
· As per usual, JLC’s initial efforts are shambolic. He’s got a cheap board from Argos that has staples blocking the score beds, and he’s throwing from an oche two feet closer than it should be. Fortunately, a session with former champion Keith Deller convinces him to invest some money in some decent kit.
· Justin realises that alcohol aids his game, but it’s a fine line between eliminating his nerves and acquiring the DT’s. As he convinces himself that it’s not about will, but total belief in your game, he proves it by throwing a treble 20 with his very first dart. Good times!
· Two or three pints and JLC’s at the top of his game – he can’t miss. But as he reaches four and five pints, he loses the plot and struggles to even hit the board. A harsh lesson is learned.
· We finally got to meet the Collins family. ‘Darts widow’ Karen, new baby and the very cute Archie – who seemed to consistently outperform JLC on his toy dartboard.
· The day of the competition arrives, but it’s soon apparent that Justin is somewhat out of his depth as he loses 3-0 in the first round. However, JLC’s pub darts team have made a trophy for him – Double Garage Champion 2008!

What was bad about it?
· During JLC’s practice sessions, we were a bit concerned that his three-year-old son Archie was sitting within six feet of the board. In a different room would have been a lot safer.
· The ending was pretty anticlimactic as Justin got nowhere near his opponent and was whitewashed in his first game.
· Usually JLC has us in stitches, but here the laughs were fairly sparse.

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