Over the next 16 years, with his mastery of the microphone, he ushered in and cemented darts' position as one of the BBC's top spectator sports. He noted in , while watching Eric Bristow win the third of his five world championships, "When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to conquer Bristow's only When the game split in , new satellite broadcaster Sky Sports wanted Waddell as its mouthpiece, who it saw as central to their ambitions.
It was noted that "on the big occasion he was always there — if he wasn't there it wasn't a big occasion". In , Waddell was finally lured to the channel's revamped PDC darts programmes, which were glitzy and glamorous events packaged for the 21st century. As he put it, "There's only one word for it — magic darts. While commentating on Phil "the Power" Taylor winning one of his 15 world titles, Waddell quipped with his instantly recognisable North-eastern twang, "If we'd had Phil Taylor at Hastings against the Normans, they'd have gone home. Waddell's other commentary work included pool's Mosconi Cup, an annual nine-ball tournament contested between teams representing Europe and the USA, while he also made a one-off appearance as the BBC National Lottery's "Voice of the Balls".
In , he won a Bafta for documentary work and authored 11 books, including Bellies and Bullseyes: The Outrageous True Story of Darts , his autobiographical account of the modern era of the sport; and biographies of darts competitors John Lowe, Old Stoneface , and Phil Taylor The Power , whom Waddell regarded as "the greatest living sportsman". Away from the oche, in the s, he had worked with interviewer Michael Parkinson at Granada. His proudest moment came in when he was voted Sports Commentator of the year, by his fellow sports commentators. Waddell underwent treatment for bowel cancer in September , but rejoined the Sky commentary team for the McCoy's Premier League Darts tournament at Manchester Arena in February His character was summed up when he wrote, "After days of chemo for my problem, bits of hair falling out Sid Waddell, broadcaster; born Alnwick, Northumberland 10 August ; married Irene, four children; died Northumberland 11 August You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.
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