This very brief and hasty interview with snooker legend Willie Thorne follows the news that last night Cambridge-based snooker player Neil Robertson defeated Graeme Dott to win the world championship at the Crucible Theatre. Broadcast at 08:58 on Tuesday 4th May 2010 in the Paul Stainton Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Peterborough. Paul interrupts his handover talk with BBC Cambridgeshire’s Andy Harper to hear that producer Ben Stevenson has finally managed to get an interview with a snooker personality.
PAUL: And don’t forget we’ve had people looking for Cambridge-based snooker player Neil Robertson on the show. Morning Ben, what’s the matter?
BEN: I’ve pulled in a big gun.
PAUL: What have you got?
BEN: We’ve only got the man.
BEN: Not .. not The Man, but ..
BEN: Where Neil Robertson plays his snooker is at Willie Thorne’s Club in Cambridge.
BEN: On the phone now, the man himself, Big Willie, Willie Thorne.
PAUL: Do you mind if I interrupt you Andy?
ANDY: Feel free.
BEN : Sorry Andy, I’ve already done it.
PAUL: It’s Willie Thorne! Willie Thorne, good morning.
WILLIE: Good morning, how are you doing?
PAUL: Oh. Brilliant. We’re getting late for the news, but we’ve managed to get you, right at the last minute. Can you tell us about Neil in twenty seconds, how good he is, and how brilliant he is?
WILLIE: When he first came from Australia he came to my club at Leicester, and he’s undoubtedly the most improved player ever. As you know he went to and fro for three or four years, and eventually moved to Cambridge, practiced a lot with Joe Perry at WT in Cambridge, and he’s now become one of the best players in the world. Delighted for him.
PAUL: Are you happy with the hairstyle, because obviously you don’t support that sort of hair do you?
WILLIE: (laughs) I wish I could have the hairstyle, but unfortunately not.
PAUL: (laughs) Is he going to be a major star in snooker terms?
WILLIE: Well he’s going to be a top eight player, without a doubt. If John Higgins, unfortunately with the scandal we’ve had, gets banned, he might be the new number one now, so that would be great for Cambridge, and great for Australian snooker.
PAUL: Willie, thank you for coming on this morning, appreciate that.
WILLIE: Pleasure. Nice to talk to you. Good luck.
PAUL: Willie Thorne, at the eleventh hour! Well done, Baby Ben. He was all excited, I thought he’d got Eddie Charlton for a minute there.