Cue Sheffield: Five reasons to enjoy snooker
If you consider yourself a snooker-phobe, 2015 may be the year to sway your billiards brain in the direction of Sheffield, home of the World Snooker Championship.
The iconic Crucible Theatre will once again play host and BBC Sport will be there, bringing you comprehensive coverage on TV, radio and online.
As usual Hazel Irvine and the team will present all the championship action live from Sheffield but, this year, we are doing something a bit different.
We've called it Cue Sheffield - a festival of live BBC programmes and free events to celebrate the World Snooker Championship across the city of Sheffield. Here are five reasons why you will not want to miss it, snooker fan or not.
1. Your favourite BBC TV shows will be coming from Sheffield…
Nearly 30 years on, Steve Davis will attempt to re-pot the black ball he missed in the now-legendary 1985 final against Dennis Taylor during a special feature live on The One Show (Friday, 17 April).
There will also be something for children and the young at heart as a couple of CBBC favourites will be recorded from the city's Tudor Square.
Match of the Day Kickabout'sRadzi will present a host of interactive activities, including a football-snooker mash up called Snookball and one lucky audience member will challenge a special guest to the programme's popular Sav's Big Mouth Shoot-Out. (Sunday, 3 May) and the Blue Peterteam will be out in force so come along and join in or just cheer your mates on. (Saturday,2 May)
2. It is not all about Snooker and you can get involved
BBC Get Inspired will be laying on a range of free sporting activities in and around the Winter Garden from Friday, 1 May-Monday, 4 May.
Brave the climbing wall and experience a virtual cycle of the Tour de Yorkshire. The Get Inspired area will also include various sports taster activities for all ages. Complete an activity and earn your very own BBC Get Inspired medal. What's more, you may discover a sport you never knew you loved.
|The 10-times World Ladies Snooker champion has accepted an invitation to take on the men in the qualifying rounds at the tournament. Should she qualify, she will be the first woman ever to take part in the televised stages of the tournament. Evans needs to win three qualifying matches in order to progress in the main draw.|
Fancy yourself as the next Guy Mowbray or always wanted a role in The Archers? The BBC Experience Dome, open on 1 and 2 May,gives you the chance to try your hand at sports commentary, presenting the news and even recording a radio drama. If you are lucky, you might even be able to spot some of the colourful characters from The Furchester Hotel.
3. Sheffield soul is alive and well on BBC radio
For a perfect combination of music and snooker, you will not want to miss Jarvis Cocker's BBC 6 Music Sunday Service programme with his special guest presenter, Steve Davis (Sunday, 3 May).
BBC Radio 2's Ken Bruce will present his weekday show in a special live bank holiday broadcast, with live music and a Popmaster head to head between Steve Davis and John Parrott. (Monday, 4 May)
BBC Radio Sheffield will also be visiting with comedian Bernie Clifton recording his weekly programme (Friday, 1 May) and Paulette Edwards will bring her daily show (Saturday, 2 May) to the Winter Garden.
Steve Lamacq and Jarvis Cocker will round off the whole festival with a live 6 Music event on Monday, 4 May, with special guests the Mystery Jets, to celebrate The Leadmill's anniversary (evening event - age restrictions will apply). Tickets coming soon…
The Winter Garden events are open to everyone and there is no charge to see the programmes.
4. From Fighting Talk to Woman's Hour…
Radio 5 live's comedy panel show hosted by comedian Josh Widdicombe, will be broadcast live from Sheffield's iconic venue The Leadmill, as part of its 35th anniversary celebrations. Special guests will include outspoken World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn, Pointless's self-confessed know-it-all, Richard Osman plus FT regulars Bob Mills and Eleanor Oldroyd. (Saturday, 18 April).
Not only that, but BBC Radio 4's long-running magazine programme, Woman's Hour, with Jane Garvey will be broadcast live from the Winter Garden. (Friday, 1 May).
Steve Davis, Barry Hearn and Shaun Murphy will join BBC Radio Sheffield's one-off panel show Snooker Heaven broadcast in front of a live audience at Sheffield Hallam University (Thursday, 16 April).
For information on free tickets to these programmes and more, visit the BBC Shows and Tours website.
5. ...And, of course, the snooker
Hazel Irvine and Jason Mohammad will be bringing you live coverage every day of the tournament from the Winter Garden. Comprehensive analysis of every ball potted will be provided by guests including Steve Davis, John Parrott, Stephen Hendry, Ken Doherty, Terry Griffiths, Dennis Taylor, Willie Thorne and John Virgo. A veritable who's who of snooker stars.
Mark Selby, the Jester from Leicester, is the defending champion. He came from 10-5 down to beat Ronnie 'The Rocket' O'Sullivan 18-14 in last year's final. He took home the holy grail of snooker titles and the £300,000 prize money. This year's competition looks to outdo the last with all the star names once again descending on south Yorkshire.