Mic Drop! Tales from the Open Road, with John Fowler.

A version of this article first appeared in the July edition of Darts World magazine. This and other editions are available here: https://www.dartsworld.com/product/magazine/


Hello to all you dart players, fans and readers out there in ‘DartsWorld’. Welcome to the first of my monthly accounts of life on the road as a professional darts MC. By way of introduction, I would like to give you an insight into how I got involved on the microphone as opposed to the playing side of our wonderful sport.

I started off by helping as a referee for Oxfordshire’s home county matches. To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy it to start with, but the more I undertook the more I got into it. Then in January 2009, while playing for Oxfordshire in Yorkshire, someone mentioned that I should think about organising an exhibition with me as the compère. It was one of those “at the bar” chats that planted a seed. Fortunately, former World No5 Dennis Smith, was a teammate at the time and he offered his services for a reasonable fee and I decided to make it happen. 

So, on the 2nd of May 2009 at Bicester Town FC about 40 spectators joined us for a good fun evening of darts and humour. Later that year I organised my 2nd event at the same venue. This time Jamie Caven was the star attraction and, as always with ‘Jabba’ another great evening ensued.

By the end of that year, my first outside booking arrived and what a start I would be MCing for a 3 time World Champion! Despite my initial nerves Martin Adams proved a pleasure to work with and we have done so several times since. Over the following two-three years, I organised and hosted more exhibitions in the Bicester area, including with the late Eric Bristow MBE, Steve Beaton, Wayne Mardle, Peter Manley and many more.  Didcot GWRSA became almost a second home where we also hosted great events too, with World Champions and other great players.

When I, unfortunately, lost my beautiful mother in July 2012, just 10 months after my wonderful father had passed away, I decided that I was going to try to make a career as a professional MC. The first thing I did was to ring my good friend and former World Champion, Bob Anderson to ask his opinion on my plans. When he replied with an immediate positive response my mind was made up.

Over the next few months, I will tell you about some of my fantastic experiences at home and abroad, including my trips to Japan, unforgettable journeys and experiences. In the last 5 years, I have visited Germany forty-five times and this figure is rising all the time. I visit Switzerland for the annual, this year on the 2nd weekend in June, and I’ve many other great events coming up in the next few months. I hope that you have enjoyed this introduction. Meanwhile, I shall be on the ‘Open Road’. See you at an event soon, I hope.