The programmes at the big UK snooker events have been of a high quality in the last couple of years, mainly down to the efforts of communications chief Ivan Hirschowitz, who is almost always working on the next publication while marshalling the media at the tournament in progress, and designers Programme Master.
This year’s Masters’ effort was no exception and among several interesting features was a ‘Bucket List’ questionnaire for various personalities in the game, featuring the traditional grilling over things they would like to do or own before leaving this mortal coil.
Former world champion Shaun Murphy revealed he would love to go into space on one of the new commercial flights, and as a pianist would most like to meet musician and songwriters Gary Barlow and Elton John. MC Rob Walker, a keen athlete, wants to run the brutal-looking ‘Marathon des Sables’ in the Sahara desert, one of the biggest endurance tests in the world.
Muhammad Ali gets a couple of votes in the ‘Person to meet’ category, as does Augusta in the ‘Sporting event to attend’ or ‘Golf course to play’. Stuart Bingham is still plucking up the courage to a sky-dive for charity, and lists the Terracotta Army in China as his place to visit, with no Far East tournament having yet been staged within striking distance.
Hong Kong’s Marco Fu skied as a child growing up in Canada and would love a go in the Swiss Alps, while top referee Jan Verhaas would love to meet Bill Clinton for a chat. The mind boggles, write your own punchlines.
Last but not least 1979 Crucible king Terry Griffiths fancies some lessons from a Tai Chi master having studied the philosophy behind the art form, while commentator John Virgo, sad about missing the boat with Brigitte Bardot, fancies a chinwag with Al Pacino and Clint Eastwood.