Darts fans furios as glamorous ‘walk-on’ girls axed
Darts fans in Britain hit out at officials who decided to abolish the use of ‘walk-on girls’, scantily-clad young women who accompany the booming sport’s biggest names through crowds of fans to reach the stage.
Almost 7,000 people had signed a petition by Saturday night demanding that the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) reverse their decision to axe the models.
It’s a decision expected to put pressure on other sports such as motor racing and boxing to drop their use of glamourous women to promote events, a long-standing tradition now deemed inappropriate for some modern audiences.
“We regularly review all aspects of our events and this move has been made following feedback from our host broadcasters,” a spokesperson told Britain’s Press Association Sport.
However, former world champion Raymond van Barneveld led the backlash on Saturday.
“I will really miss the girls !! For me they are a part of the darts,” the Dutchman wrote on Twitter.
A petition organised by fans, meanwhile, pleaded with PDC chairman Barry Hearn to change his mind.
“Walk-on girls in darts has been traditional for years and so many things in this world that was tradition has been scrapped,” said the petition.
“Well this is one that should not be scrapped not only would we break tradition but women would be out of work also.”
Two of the most popular walk-on girls — Charlotte Wood and Daniella Allfree — were putting on a brave face on being cold-shouldered Saturday night.
“Myself and @daniellaallfree will still be available for exhibitions and events,” tweeted Wood.
( Agence France-Presse )