A POWER CUT hit the Dafabet Masters on Tuesday afternoon, plunging Alexandra Palace into darkness.

The lights went out just minutes before the first round match between Ding Junhui and Shaun Murphy was due to start at 1pm, with BBC presenter Hazel Irvine in the arena and the broadcaster set to begin their coverage of one of the ties of the first round.

There followed a chaotic period that saw tournament, broadcasting and venue officials desperately running around and trying to get the electricity supply , something that was achieved around 50 minutes later. The match eventually got under way at 2.15pm.

The patient audience of around 1,000 were kept informed over developments by MC Rob Walker, and then entertained for a brief time by BBC cameraman Jim Cemlyn-Jones, an accomplished musician who in a Cliff Richard/David Brent moment dashed to the car park, grabbed his guitar and performed a song  before fans were evacuated for safety reasons by the Ally Pally management.

Both Ding and Murphy seemed unaffected during the delay, with China's No1 laughing and taking pictures of the scene and the former world champion initially heading for the practice table before returning to see what was going on.