The relationship between the players on stage and the crowd at the Ally Pally is one of the most important, and often controversial, parts of the PDC World Darts Championship.
However, for the fans watching at home it’s their relationship with the voices from the studio that accompany the action that is important.
The start of this year’s tournament was marked with a moment of rememberance as it was the first World since the death of popular broadcasters Nigel Pearson and John Gwynne. Both men were staples of Sky Sports’ coverage of the darts and in the early stages of the first match between Mickey Mansell and Ben Robb, one of their long-time colleagues, Stuart Pyke paid tribute to the pair.
He said: “Before we go any further, it’s only right and proper that we should say that this is the first World Championship since we lost our colleagues John Gweynne and Nigel Pearson in 2022. Both John and Nigel are sadly missed, they always will be. A sad year.”
The current commentary team will have big shoes to fill and have done an exceptional job in providing extra entertainment to the annual showpiece event.
Here are the pundits and commentators who make up the current Sky Sports commentary team:
Television presenter Emma Paton began her career in journalism while studying at St Mary’s University before joining Sky Sports in 2012. She is now one of the main faces of darts, presenting from Alexandra Palace for a number of years and is also in the Sky Studio throughout the football transfer window.
Paton is a former track athlete, competing nationally in the 400m, and has worked on a number of big athletics events as well as WWE and eSport events. Paton has replaced Laura Woods as the main presenter for the PDC tournament following Wood’s involvement with the 2022 Qatar World Cup on ITV. Woods was part of the Sky Sports team since she first got a job as a runner in 2009 but left earlier this year to join ITV.
Former BDO and current WDF player Laura Turner has established herself as a key part of the commentary team over the past three years and a favourite of the darts fanbase.
Turner, 38, is a BDO World Championship quarter-finalist as well as a multi time tournament winner in the women’s game.
Still active on the women’s circuit, Turner will took part in the 2022 WDF Lakeside World Championship in April where she lost in the first round to Mikuru Suzuki, 0-2.
Pyke is a British-born sports journalist who is most well-known for his work on darts and rugby league commentary on Sky Sports and BBC Radio Five Live.
He has always been a huge darts fan and joined the Sky Sports team at the 2003 World Matchplay tournament. He has since been involved in nearly every PDC event live on Sky, ITV4 and ESPN.
Wayne Mardle was a crowd favourite during his time as a player, courtesy of his on stage antics and trademark Hawaii Five-0 walk on.
The 48-year old was part of the BDO from 1993 to 2002 before joining the PDC until his retirement in 2012.
He is a four time semi-finalists in the PDC World Championships and World Matchplay runner-up.
Mardle has taken his shining personality as a player into the commentary box where he has been a regular for Sky Sports for almost ten years now.
Unquestionably the greatest ever Darts player from the other side of the Atlantic, Part has been a part of Sky Sports commentary of the sport since 2013.
The three time World Champion flew the flag for Canada throughout his career and continues to play at the age of 55.
He joined the PDC in 1997 and is a PDC Hall of Famer, having won three major trophies in the organisation including the 2003 and 2008 World Championships.
Welshman Mark Webster is another former World Champion who makes up the Sky Sports presenter team.
The 38-year old won the 2008 BDO World Championships before making the switch to the PDC immediately after where he was a two time World Championship semi finalist.
Major trophies eluded “The Spider” in the PDC but he also made it to the semi-finals of the World Grand Prix and UK Open during his career and represented Wales at the World Cup of darts as recently as 2017 when he partnered current world champion Gerwyn Price.