17th March 2007 – Bigwigs, Audenshaw @ UK Open NW Regional Finals

DartsMad – Hello Adrian, it’s good of you to talk to us, I’ll try to be gentle! Tell us a little about your new exhibition initiative? Who’s idea was it?

Adrian Lewis – It was actually Wayne Mardle that introduced me and Paul, my MC. We got on and the relationship seemed to work well so spoke about how best to run exhibitions and this is the result. We’re both fully committed to the cause and Paul really does help a lot. He’s worked on radio road shows and done this sort of stuff for years so its good to have his experience to draw on.

DM – It’s a pity MC Paul chose a date with Mickey Mouse over an interview with me (he’s currently holidaying in Florida) so you’ll have to tell us what its like to work with Paul, and how much of an influence he has had on your new venture.

ALHe’s been the biggest influence on this scheme of ours and he’s always working at it. Its his idea really and he’s determined to make it work.

DM – Your mum was a recent winner of our competitions would you believe?! She donated her prize of a spanking new dartboard to charity so I’d like to thank her here again for that. How does she cope when she’s watching you play? And how much influence does she have/has she had on your career?

ALWell its my mum that got me started. She took me to a British Teenage tournament and I blitzed it! I was 17 at the time and I won it with about a 29 average. I think I only dropped one leg. That was it, it set the ball rolling and it hasn’t stopped since. She follows me everywhere and she’s very proud. She wins with me and she suffers with me – she often needs a couple of shandys to calm the nerves!

DM – Do you practice your blind 180 a lot?

AL – No. I’m always doing it in the pub because usually I’m talking to somebody while I’m playing so it just happens and comes naturally. I just need to choose when and when not to do it.

Post interview note – Adrian subsequently went and tried it audaciously on double top against Barney the very next Thursday in the Premier League. He missed, got booed, went on to get beat and took some almighty stick from commentators and fans alike. We at DartsMad would like to say that without the entertainers the game would be the worse for it and anybody wanting to try something a bit different should be applauded not derided.

DM – Are you full time as a darts pro? Have you ever had any other job?

ALI am full time yes. I was a builder for 3 years between the age of 16 and 19. It goes without saying I’m happier with my current job!

DM – There’s a post on SoD with the heading “adrian lewis – did the PDC mess up by giving him the PL wild card?”, which I think is very unfair. How does this sort of thing fire your desire? And do you think you can qualify for the semis from your current position?

ALIt will be tough to qualify from here. I can do it but I can only lose one more game realistically. I really need to win them all so I’ll be trying my hardest. I really believe I deserve my chance, I was next in the rankings so there’s really no argument. I just need to find my true form by practising well and trying to get my head on it up on stage. Consistency is crucial and if I can find it I believe I can win the World Championship within 3 years. That’s my aim.

DM – We’ve covered the Premier League, so where does the UK Open rank on your list of priorities/favourite tourneys?

AL – After the World Championship, I’d put the Premier League and World Matchplay as my favourite two. After that comes the UK Open. It’s a great tournament and always really open.

DM – What’s your record like in the UK Open? How did you do last year? What do you think your chances are this year?

ALI’ve played in it twice and reached last 16 both times. I hope to better that this year but as lot depends on the luck of the draw.

DM – What excites you the most in the game at the moment? What gets you out of bed and onto the practice board?

ALHaha – the money and the fame. It’s the will to win and the desire to be the best at what you do. I want to be the best so I get out of bed every day and try to achieve that.

DM – Best nickname is darts? Worst nickname is darts?

AL – Jackpot’s not bad is it?! When you think of the reason behind it. It was Wayne Mardle and Kevin Painter who christened me and it stuck. I’m not really sure who’s got the worst nickname to be honest. I’ll have to come back to you.

DM – You’re basically whimping out of that question aren’t you?! Ok, There seems to have been a trend in the last couple of years of top players ‘trying something new’ in their approach. Barney changed his darts at a strange moment, Taylor is on a new fitness regime, Mardle famously decided to not practice, Manley is currently going ‘back to basics’. What inspires a player to change his routine so drastically? And is this a relatively new thing?

AL – Well I tried something new last week in the Premier League in Blackpool and it backfired big time! I won’t say what it was but I won’t be doing it again that’s for sure.

DM – That’s it. Thanks for your time. Good luck with the exhibitions, all the best with the rest of the Premier League campaign and we’ll speak to you again in a couple of months.