At the start of the evening, we remembered the words of the great Sid Waddell. How might Sid have described those semis?
"There's only one word for that: magic darts!"
See you on Sunday.
At the start of the evening, we remembered the words of the great Sid Waddell. How might Sid have described those semis?
"There's only one word for that: magic darts!"
See you on Sunday.
Can the final match up to that Saturday night on the oche? It's hard to see how that first semi can be matched, but you feel that's what Anderson will have to do in order to stop Taylor from lifting the world title for the 17th time.
I trust you'll be joining us again? 20:00 GMT is your time to tune in.
Phil Taylor, speaking to Sky Sports: "It was a walk for the first two sets, then he came back and then I pushed on a little bit. It will be a great final. When we walked in, Gary said 'I'll see you in the final tomorrow', which Raymond's wife heard and wasn't happy about. There could be one or two nine-darters tomorrow. I'll do the rest of my interviews and then it's straight back to the hotel to get ready for the final."
An anti-climax? Perhaps. But for Taylor and Barney, following the Anderson-MVG semi was like trying to follow the Beatles on stage. In the end, Phil Taylor did what Phil Taylor does and booked his final meeting with Gary Anderson.
Well, in the end, it was comfortable for Phil Taylor, who reaches a 20th world final with tops. The over-riding feeling was that Taylor wasn't at his best, but he still averaged 102. As for Raymond van Barneveld, a great run to the last four was ended by ultimately not being quite good enough to push the best of all time.
What's happened to Barney? All of a sudden, he is looking like a man who will not go quietly into the night. A 180, but a poor throw lets the Power in. Taylor to a finish first, once more it's 142 for the match. 60. In. Another? Deflected out. He will be back for 58, unless Barney can take tops. He can't. Is that all she wrote?
Boos tells us the 141 has failed. Taylor wants 121 for the final. One dart at double 14... missed. That's one match-dart gone. Barney, showing the grapefruits, nails double 12 for a 12-darter. Massive break back.
180s traded, you feel a nine-darter is the only thing that could save this for Barney. He's nailed two!
Van Barneveld looks dejected, beaten. The crowd falls into a greater hush, knowing that the moment to explode might not be far away. Taylor on 147, but no treble means Barney will come for 60. Must take it, but misses two at tops. That could be all she wrote. Taylor does what Barney couldn't and we are at the point of no return.
Not a hint of a smile from Barney, the former postman looking like he's carrying a huge sack on a wet Monday in The Hague. Taylor to 177 in nine, a lovely treble 19 helping him get to 85. Barney needs magic, but there's no big number. One dart at double eight... landing in the lipstick. Taylor two away.
Has it fallen flat? We're heading for an inevitable conclusion thanks to Phil Taylor giving it the beans. The Power has the arrows for the match and a place in the final.
Defending champion Michael van Gerwen, speaking to Sky Sports about his earlier loss to Gary Anderson: "I missed too many doubles and it hurts so much. I failed myself. I have done great in the last three years but it doesn't count this year. I didn't play well enough. I need to get some rest, go back to the practice board and come back stronger."
Former England rugby player Will Greenwood: Is there any reason, any reason at all, why Darts isn't in the Olympics? #lovethedarts
Barney must hold to save the set and, you feel, the match. While Van Barneveld's average goes south, Taylor's is rising like a batsman better than Bradman. 124 for the set. 60, check. 14, check. Bullseye? Is it ever in doubt? The little red bit is speared, the seventh set is won with an average of 115. The Power is one away from the final.
In theory, five holds of throw would have Taylor in the final. Barney flirts with a break by hitting a 180, but Taylor is scoring well enough. Taylor for 141, not finding a treble. Barney for 95... no treble either. Chance missed? Taylor sits on 81. Treble 19... double 12. 2-0 up. The lead increases, RVB will soon be cut adrift.
Can Barney respond again? Remember, Taylor was 2-0 up earlier, only to be pegged back. The Dutchman, though, is starting to look spent. He's on 136 as Taylor misses the first chance for a break. Barney can't make a hole, shaking his head. Taylor takes tops and has a break. We could be at the beginning of the end.
Back in the groove? He's pitching a tent in it. From being all at sea, Taylor has become a treble-hitting machine, pushing the Barney throw in a leg that could win him the set. The crowd respond, singing as Taylor leaves 50 for a two-set lead. 180... 32 left. One at double 16, taken. Taylor wins set six with an average of 118. He's two from the final.
A seventh perfect dart! Nine 60s! Oh, the boos tell you the treble 19 has been missed. Still, Taylor wins it in 11. He's back in the groove.
Even the cheer for a Taylor 180 isn't that loud. We're getting more interested with a second, though. Nine-dart attempt coming up...
The standard has left the crowd flatter than earlier in the night, when Anderson and Van Gerwen had the entire Ally Pally eating from their tungsten hands. Barney with the arrows, doing enough to keep Taylor at bay, leaving tops. Simple hold.
So far, it's been a matched characterised by inconsistency, but Taylor looks to have improved. Four trebles from six in his first two visits. Barney, jovial in his win over Stephen Bunting last night, can barely crack a smile, watching on as Taylor does the business on treble 19 to leave 40. Second attempt on the money, first hold of throw in living memory.
Taylor with the darts in the sixth, throwing for a two-set lead. Game on.
The players head for the backstage area, to do what darts players do in these situations. My favourite fact about professional darts? The players are all drug tested. This is a serious sport, you know.
Phillip, are you finally pulling it together? Some treble-seekers give him a clear march on Barney, who must hold his darts to avoid losing the set. Another treble for Taylor, 84 left after nine. Van Barneveld leaves only 147, Taylor fluffs his lines to make a mess of his 84 shot. Still, tops for the set. Only one dart needed, the arrows once more tucked into the top pocket. In has to be said, it's not a classic. Gary Anderson will not be worried by what he sees.
Still Taylor isn't near his best - even the crowd sense it, they are almost talking amongst themselves. As Barney steals an advantage, Taylor is irritated, giving himself a talking to. It's not good enough, Van Barneveld has the chance for yet another break. Barney has six from 207, leaving himself 107. Taylor pressures, a treble 19 helping him sit on 90. One at double 14 for Barney. Short. Taylor for 90 and the set. 20, 20. Bull? Wide. Who wants to win this? Barney does. We got to a decider.
Actor and presenter Stephen Fry: It's the Game of Throws - who will prevail in this mother of all battles? I can barely contain myself #LoveTheDarts
Are we witnessing some problems in holding the throw? RVB doesn't start well, leaving the door open for Taylor. No trouble, though, for the Power, but still Van Barneveld can't punish. Finally, Taylor sets up 98 for the chance of a break. Treble 20 in, double 19 confirming a third successive break. Taylor to throw for the set.
Is the Power finally feeling it again? Three fat barrels lie in the red bit, but anything he can do, Barney can match. Down to 121 after nine for Taylor, but Barney is on 41. 121 must go for Taylor... double 14 just inside the wire. Barney, then, for 41, double 16 sealing an 11-darter and a break back.
RVB, a languid, melted-chocolate-off-the-spoon style, gets us back under way with some treble-hunting. Taylor, though, is back in the groove, three big numbers of his own for a 177. Taylor has snatched the advantage and looks good for a break. A 140 means he will come for 61. One at double 16, but just inside the wire. Still trouble in that area for Taylor. Barney can't pressure, with Taylor eventually taking double eight at the third attempt.
Is this merely a dribble of success for Barney, or have we witnessed a turn of momentum that could ultimately see Phil Taylor lose his first ever world semi? Barney with the darts in set five, the chance to lead for the first time since the first set.
Van Barneveld opens with a 140 and Taylor can't respond. The fans stand because they love the darts, with what looks like a group of nuns singing their hearts out. A seventh maximum leaves Barney on 46 after nine, with Taylor not even on the same street. Barney can afford to miss two at double 16, but double eight is his friend. We're all square.
Was it only a few moments ago that we were worrying about Barney's future in this match? From nowhere, he is the better player, and Taylor can't hit a cow with a shovel. Taylor's average is below 100, but he'll have 32 to stop the rot. One at double 16 missed, the second doesn't. Now, RVB for the set.
The standard rises, a 180 apiece, but it's still Barney on the march. Down to 16 while Taylor flounders around miles back. Taken out with minimum of fuss, Barney one leg away from being all square.
Phil Taylor averaged only 84 in that third set, his worst of the tournament so far. Van Barneveld is walking with purpose, looking to snatch this first leg against the darts. Taylor, though, is getting back on track. Two trebles have hit at 164, but a Barney maximum gets him in with a sniff. 130 for Barney. One treble, 34 left. Taylor for 77, making a complete hash of it. Now, Barney for the break. Double 17, missed. One dart at double eight. In she goes! Barney breaks. A swing in momentum.
You know what, Barney might just be starting to feel it. Taylor, also, is looking a little wobbly. 42? When does Taylor throw three that poorly? Still, Barney for 16 and the set, sealed with double four. The Dutchman is on the board.
The Power has the darts, but is being pressured. Barney is having a good go at a 170, getting a shot at bull Just falling into the green bit. RVB back for 25, no trouble on double eight. Taylor broken, Van Barneveld has blue sky behind him in this third set.
Does Van Barneveld look beaten already? Those arrows are still falling short of the red bit, while Taylor is a smidgen ahead against the darts. Better from RVB, a maximum leaves tops. Must take this. Two missed, but a double 10 saves it.
The end of another break, Barney coming back with the darts. Already, you feel this is a must-win set for the Dutchman.
Both men are just dragging down below the treble 20 red bit - not what you'd expect from those who have 21 world titles between them. Better from Taylor - a third maximum leaves 140 for the set. Two 60s missed only gives 100, tops left. Barney needs 106. Tops? Wire bent, but not home. Same target for Taylor, but the result is the winning of the second set.
The slower pace gives us chance to take more in. The crowd, for some reason, sing to the Toure brothers. Taylor has the option of bullseye, but, with Barney in a different post code, sets up 32. One missed, two missed, a third in. However, is the Power struggling at 8pm on the clock face?
Ex-cricketer Michael Vaughan has tweeted: It seems the whole country is watching the Darts. Interested to know how many... RT if Yes. FAV if NO.
The results so far? 1,400 retweets (Yes) and 343 favourites (no).
The crowd tells us that there's only one Phil Taylor. His average has recovered to go north of 102, while Barney is falling short of the lucrative treble 20. Taylor has a chance, but fails to take it, however, RVB is looking well below what is required. Taylor sits on 146, but an errant first dart means Barney will look at 92. 60... two at double 16... both missed. Taylor wants 72. Two at double six.. two missed. Jittery from both, Barney eventually taking it.
Already, you worry for Barney. You also wonder about the magic nine-darter for Taylor. 180. 180. Then another treble 20! 57? Missed. Boooo. 32 left after nine. Two 16s, an 11-darter.
What was notable about that Taylor break? It was the 56th leg he has won in this tournament, but the first with a 100-plus finish. He has the darts in the second.
Van Barneveld has had a disappointing run of form over the last few years, dropping down the rankings and came to Alexandra Palace as the 14th seed.
But he did win the the 2014 Premier League, beating both Taylor and van Gerwen to claim the title.
Would you bet against Taylor to break here? He's in for 140, but a Barney maximum holds him off. Taylor, though, is starting to cook. Another 140. He's left 221 after six and has the advantage. A wince as he throws each dart, but the 16-time champ has set up 121. Barney on 86. Taylor needs bull... in it goes! A point to the crowd from Taylor, then heading off the stage with the darts tucked in his top pocket. Taylor wins the set against the darts. Ominous for Barney.
It's early days, but Taylor's average is below 90 and Barney's is above 100. A 180 for RVB, who steals the advantage and will have six darts from 184 for another break and the set. Oooh, poor from the Dutchman, not set-up. Taylor in for 45, leaving 40. Barney has to take 126. The bull! Missed, in the green bit. Taylor for tops. Missed. Double 10. Missed. Double five. Finally.
Kev I, Formby: Come on Barney. Great champion, but can't warm to Taylor.
Think on this. Barney has not beaten Taylor in a major since 2008. Taylor has never lost a world semi, and he's played in 19 of them. Slight treble trouble for the Power, but he's in for a 140. Sedate, lolloping pace for these two old-timers, but Taylor is to 91 as Barney leaves 20. Taylor for the break, one dart at 16s. Missed. Let-off for Barney. Taylor shakes his head and watches RVB clean up.
Mercifully, the pace is already noticeably slower than the first semi. Taylor, electric blue shirt, slightly bowed spine, is looking to get behind the break, but has ceded the advantage to Barney. The Dutchman will come for tops under next to no pressure. An immediate break back.
The Dutchman in the trebles early on, Taylor's fat-barrels wobbling in his hands, as they usually do. The Stokie, though, is after trebles of his own, pressuring RVB, who pulls out another 140. The crowd sing for Taylor, he's to 161 as Barney throws for 127. Down to 28, double 14 needed. One missed, two missed, three missed. Taylor on 62 for a break. One at tops... in she goes. Taylor breaks at the first opportunity.
Barney to throw first. Game on.
Champion jockey AP McCoy: Well done Anderson, great game.
Incidentally, Phil Taylor says he's asked Robbie Williams to write him a new entrance theme. How could he move from Snap's classic? Handshake between the two. Barney is wearing glasses from the start.
The regal trumpets tell us to be upstanding.
"And now, here he is, the record-breaking, history-making, 16-time champion of the wooorrrrrlllll! It's Phil, The Power, Tayyyy-lllooorrr."
I've got the power!
The best entrance in sport?
Here we go then. The siren tells us that Raymond van Barneveld is at the top of the aisle The Eye of the Tiger for Barney, the five-time world champion and current Premier League champ. Blue shirt, five stars on the back. The crowd are having a good old sing.
Former world champion John Lowe: What a performance from Gary, now complete the job and win the title you deserve.
Before this evening, would Taylor and Barney have preferred for Anderson to beat Van Gerwen? I suspect so. After Anderson's performance, though, I bet both are reassessing. Before they can worry about the Scot, however, they have each other to deal with.
BBC presenter Mark Chapman: Top class Gary Anderson. Bring on Taylor and Barney. #lovethedarts
How can that 2007 final be forgotten? Raymond van Barneveld winning the world title in a sudden-death leg. The greatest game. Taylor had his revenge two years later and beat Barney in the semis in 2013. There was some argy bargy on stage after that match, too.
Don't go anywhere, we've got those old-stagers Taylor and Barney up next...
Need to know any more about the quality of that match? Gary Anderson averaged 102.56 while Van Gerwen, who lost, was at 103.67. The story? Anderson was 54% on the doubles, MVG 38%.
Won with double 16! Gary Anderson is into the World Championship final. Michael van Gerwen's reign as world champion is over. The world number four, beaten finalist in 2011, will meet either Phil Taylor or Raymond van Barneveld on Sunday night.
"Gary, Gary, Gary Anderson" is the song. 161 for the Scot. Set up with a 123. He'll come back for 38 and the match...
And a bounce out! Anderson takes the advantage with a 140.
Only 44 for MVG... is this Anderson's moment?
Anderson is just starting to look like a man who is realising what he could be about to achieve. The crowd sings MVG's name, but an opening left by Anderson goes untaken. A 180, the Scot's ninth, sees him to 64. Treble eight leaves tops, taken at the second attempt. Van Gerwen is at the point of no return.
Anderson is now the one who is rattled, Van Gerwen newly refocused. MVG has the arrows in hand, looking to get back on track in this ninth set. A 140 leaves 79, but Anderson is on 78 himself. Top for MVG... missed. Anderson... double 12. Missed. Double six? Missed. That's a big chance wasted as the world number takes double five.
If Gary Anderson holds his throw for the rest of this set, he will be in the final. He's on the trebles again, a 139. 302 each, with a 98 giving MVG a chink of light? No treble - the Dutchman looks gone. A 140 leaves Anderson needing 64, fantastic darts. 16, 16, double 16? One missed. Can you believe this? 149 for MVG - 60, 57... one at double.... unreal.
Only 60 to begin for MVG, with Anderson punishing with two trebles. More excellent arrows from the Scot, he's pinched the advantage. And more! He's left 90 after nine. Here he comes for a crucial break. Went for bull, got 25, tidying up for 50 to leave, you guessed it, tops. MVG miles back. This for the break... in it goes! Gary Anderson is two legs from the final.
Here we go. Are we about to see the end of Michael van Gerwen's reign as world champion?
Following that eighth set, Michael van Gerwen has a higher three-dart average of 103.67 compared to Gary Anderson's 102.56. Crucially, however, Anderson's checkout rate is much higher - 54.29% compared to 38.1%. Trebles for show, doubles for dough...
They head off what could be the final break of the match. When they return, Michael van Gerwen will have the darts in a bid to keep hold of his world title. Whatever happens, Gary Anderson will have the chance to throw for the match.
Tom, Birmingham: My darting nickname has always been 'Double 1'. Sums up my ability nicely.
Is Van Gerwen beginning to crack? "Come on Mikey" he says to himself, audible because the arena is so quiet. He's down to 170, but Anderson is pressuring, asking the scorers for clarification, only to leave the bogey of a 166. 170 for MVG, two trebles, but a missed bull. Ooohh, double trouble on eight gives Anderson a chance. 16 for tops and the set...it's there! Gary Anderson leads 5-3 and is one set from the World Championship final. Where did that come from?
A hush over the Ally Pally, we all know we're getting closer to the ball game. Two poor visits from MVG mean that Anderson streaks ahead. Both players averaging in excess of 103, by the way. Anderson has six at 121, leaving 56. No pressure from the Dutchman, though, with Anderson again kissing the top lipstick.
Van Gerwen with his trademark head-popping celebration as he opens with a max, the crowd booing when he can't follow it up for the chance of a nine-darter. Still, he leaves 47 after nine, with Anderson miles back. Ooohhh, double trouble at 16 for the Dutchman, but he gets another chance, which he takes. Breakneck speed.
Anderson looks relaxed as he opens with a 140, playing with his flights as MVG throws, then returning for a maximum. Another perfect dart, and another... he leaves 16 after nine darts. The Scot comes for double 16. That's an easy a hold as you will see. 10 darts. Brilliant.
And at the BDO World Championships at the Lakeside, David Cameron (no, not that one - this one is Canadian) is out of the tournament after losing 3-2 to Dutchman Michel Van Den Horst, who is known as the Invisible Man, in their preliminary round game.
Now we're getting serious. Players back on the dancefloor. Anderson throwing for a 5-3 lead.
Actor and presenter Stephen Fry is glued to the Ally Pally action: Oh my lordy lord. What a match. What. A. Match.
BBC presenter Mark Chapman: This is just brilliant sport. Brilliant. #lovethedarts
While Gary Anderson has opted for a sober outfit for tonight's action - black shirt with one tartan sleeve, it's fair to say his fashion sense has not been perfect all the time.
At the 2013 tournament, he showed up wearing what can only be described as a darting disaster featuring more patterns than your eyes could cope with...
Van Gerwen had four darts to win that set, but instead has to break the Anderson throw to avoid going 5-3 down. Anderson, the world number four, is six legs away from the final.
They scream for Anderson as he looks for the break that would steal the set. Van Gerwen, though, is not for shifting, spinning to the audience as he rattles in a maximum. Oh, Anderson suffering with a bounce out when he was one for a maximum of his own. 60 on the floor. Still, he's back for another maximum, down to 55 as MVG sits on 122. One at double seven! Just inside. Anderson for the set... 15... tops again! Gary Anderson breaks again, he's two sets from the final.
Have the levels just dropped a tad, both in the crowd and on the oche? It feels like we're waiting for another leg decider, especially with Anderson looking set for a hold. One dart at double 18 missed, MVG with 164 for the set. No dice, Anderson to return on 36. One missed, across to double nine. Nothing. MVG for the set... three at double 18 missed! Double four for Anderson. Saved.
Van Gerwen again taking his time - unusual for him. He has the darts, but Anderson is down to a finish first. 144 for the Scot, pressured as MVG reaches 40. Two trebles... one at double 12... missed. MVG steals it with double five. Painful for Anderson.
You feel MVG might smell Scottish blood, but Anderson is playing the role of Braveheart. As the crowd find their voice, Anderson has double 20 for the leg. Anderson might sleep in that red bed tonight.
How big might that break from Van Gerwen prove to be? He has the darts in the seventh, throwing for the lead for the first time in a long time. Quick as a flash he's down to 136, but Anderson is miles back. Double 10 puts the champ ahead.
Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen: This will be some darts night!!!!
Vertonghen is at Alexandra Palace with team-mates Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton.
The crowd sing for Van Gerwen as he looks for the break that would level this match. A chance as Anderson can only hit three 20s. A 140 and we're square around the 300-mark. Another 60 for Anderson, he looks worried, and a 41 has him really on the ropes. MVG to a finish first, 66 needed. Has to take this... double 18 missed... double nine taken! We are all square. Has Gary Anderson missed his chance?
Van Gerwen slows it a little, a long gulp of water. He has to hold to send this set to a deciding leg. Anderson is back in the 200s, leaving MVG with 12 from 212. No pressure on the Dutchman, he takes tops out for 2-2.
Anderson looking for another crucial hold, Van Gerwen livid when he can't hit a third 60. Made all the more disgusting by Anderson's maximum. He'll have six from 165, a brilliant treble 15 leaving tops. Applause, but pressured by MVG's maximum. Pressure? Anderson one leg away from 4-2.
Atmosphere subdued again as Van Gerwen, not a hair on his head, leans to the board in pursuit of a hold. Anderson, tartan sleeves on his shirt, looks like man already focusing on the next leg. MVG on 80, but doubles 10 and five missed. 160 for Anderson... yes, yes... tops? No! A rare miss, Van Gerwen taking two fives.
Now then, can Van Gerwen press the Anderson throw? Not yet, Anderson tangoing with the trebles to keep distance. A 140 leaves 127 after nine, with MVG not on a finish. Six to take out 127 from Anderson, who leaves his favourite tops. Simple hold.
Sixth set, Gary to throw first. Game on!
Michael van Gerwen started playing darts aged 13 and in 2006 was the youngest player at the BDO World Championships aged 17 before switching to the PDC in 2007.
Are you keeping up? We've had five sets in 45 minutes and we're not even halfway through this match. You feel this next set could be crucial, Anderson will be throwing for a 4-2 lead. If Van Gerwen breaks, we'll be levels, you devils.
Champion jockey AP McCoy: Top class arrows from Anderson & MVG can't wait to go to the final tomorrow evening
The world number one is flying here, streaking away from the Scot as he hunts the fifth set. One hundred and eighty! 42 left after nine, an 11-darter on. Double 16 missed, double eight taken, fifth set one in the blink on an eye. On throw, though, so Anderson retains that crucial break.
The crowd attempt to get behind the world champ, who must be wondering what he has to do to get back in this match. Anderson on 161, but a 41 is sloppy. Pressure from MVG, sits on 78 as Anderson looks for Shanghai 120... this is awkward. Tops missed, MVG takes double 12 to break the throw. He has darts for the set...
If you break it down, Anderson needs only hold his throw nine times to reach the final. Here, Van Gerwen is to 48 after nine - Anderson himself has 57. Incredible standard. Van Gerwen takes it out.
Set five, Van Gerwen with the darts...
Van Gerwen has been here before. In last year's third round he came from 3-1 down to win 4-3, with Anderson describing the defeat as one of the worst of his career. MVG went on to become world champion. I wonder...
This is big, Anderson throwing for a 3-1 lead. Two in the red bit, but a third strays. Still, he's got a healthy lead, with a 145 leaving 56. 16 for tops coming up? Big 16... two at tops. Only one needed! Gary Anderson leads the world champion 3-1. The remarkable thing is, Van Gerwen isn't playing badly at all - 11 and 12-dart legs are common. Still, he trails. Anderson is halfway to the final.
No sign of pressure on the throw in this set... yet. That won't change as Van Gerwen pops in a maximum. Double 10 seals a 12-darter, but Anderson is coming for the set.
It didn't take long for the crowd to wake again, standing up because they love the darts. Anderson, black hair, stubble and gold chain, is down to 48 in the blink of an eye. MVG is miles back, with Anderson even missing tops for the first time in living memory. Still, it's cleaned up and the Scot is one leg away from a 3-1 lead.
Van Gerwen with the darts, streaking ahead with a maximum. A relaxed shot at 87, no pressure. The man in green leans his head towards the board, steely eyed, taking out the finish with no emotion. For once, the crowd is hushed.
Fourth set away immediately, MVG looking to continue the trend of winning against the throw with a maximum. Sloppy, though, from the Dutchman and he's not on a finish as Anderson gets to 68. Treble 20, two at double four. Double two...pulled it down. The champion is miles back, however. Three more at double two. One missed, two, third squeezing in. He leads in the fourth.
Subdued from MVG at the end of that leg, he knows this is the key to the set. Anderson loose, but a 140 has him to 144 and a finish. MVG sits on 170 as Anderson hits one, two in treble 20. Double 12? Just inside. Double six for the set, then double three...in she goes! A tap of the head towards his corner. Anderson leads with another set taken against the throw.
The crowd sing Anderson's name as MVG looks for the hold that will prolong this set. Treble 20 peppered, the world number one on an 11-darter. Treble 20, double eight. Easy as you like. Anderson now throwing for the set.
Anderson is slowing it down, a good long gulp of water after that break. A maximum has him miles ahead, followed by a 140 to leave 56 after nine. 16, another dart in double 20. Six out of six. He's on course to take this set against the darts.
Anderson comes back better, sending three into a space the size of a pinhead for a maximum. A poor visit afterwards, though, means there's no pressure on MVG, who body-pops in celebration of his own 180. Anderson down to 107. No treble means no double, but MVG is in all sorts of trouble on double four. One, two, three missed. Will Anderson hit tops? What do you think? Five out of five. A break.
Here we go once more, MVG with the bullets in hand for the third set. There's no break between sets three and four I believe. Help...
Anderson's big win of 2014 came in the Players Championship at the end of November in Butlins in Minehead where he beat Christian Kist, Stephen Bunting, Phil Taylor, Vincent van der Voort and Adrian Lewis to lift the title.
The Scot had started the year in 18th place in the PDC Order of Merit but is now up to fourth.
The players head off as Chase The Sun plays in the Ally Pally. You know - "der der der der der, der der der der der der". What do darts players do in those breaks? Brew? Loo? Text the mrs?
Anderson now looking timid, with Van Gerwen peppering that lipstick. Wonderful switching from MVG - up, down - 131 leaves 130. Treble 20... 20 ... bullseye needed! My word, that is sensational. Three legs won in 36 darts, the third sealed with the bull and a 130 checkout. A breathtaking semi-final - and we've only had two sets.
Again MVG is down first, 88 left after nine. Double 14 seals a 12-dart leg. Anderson, though, is again throwing for the set.
Good from MVG, a much-needed maximum gets him to a finish first. 130 needed...two big darts leaving double eight. In she goes! A 130 checkout! A break back, the crowd singing for Van Gerwen.
Anderson with darts in hand for a 2-0 lead....
Van Gerwen isn't at the races, no treble in six at the start of the leg. The crowd sing for Anderson, Scottish Saltires being waved. A 140, Anderson effectively steals the darts and is down to a finish first. More loose darts has Van Gerwen looking frustrated. Anderson has the luxury of not going for 161, leaving tops. Hit again - that's four from four at top of the shop. The Scot has won five straight legs.
QPR striker Charlie Austin: Let's hope tonight lives up to expectations I'm sure it will #bigcheckouts #180s
Sloppy start by the black-shirted Anderson, but Van Gerwen can't capitalise. Further gurning from the Dutchman when two perfect darts aren't followed by a third, but his next visit yields two 60s and a 57. MVG down to 108, but can't force a shot at double. Anderson on 74... one at tops... all he needs.
Players back on stage - that first set took only five minutes. The crowd are seated, possibly back after trips to the bar. Back under way, Anderson with the darts.
Footballer John Hartson: Would love to see Gary Anderson win his semi-final against MVG. I think if Gary hits his Doubles it's his match. #theflyingscotsman
The players head off stage - we all need a break after that start. In this time, I can tell you that MVG, the world number one, has eight major titles compared to Anderson's six. The pair have met on 22 occasions, with the Dutchman claiming 15 wins.
One-hundred-and-eight-ty! Anderson hits his first maximum when he needs it most, but then a sloppy visit. No pressure from MVG, though, the Scot has six darts from 145. The fourth seed leaves 80 again. Two 20s... top lipstick is the shot... nailed it! Gary Anderson wins the first set against the darts.
Anderson throwing for the set...
Van Gerwen, garish green shirt, rat-tat style, leans low to pepper the red bit of the 20. Down to 141 in nine, Anderson leaving 170. The Dutchman's attempt at the big checkout is thwarted with a stray into treble seven. On his next visit, that's two missed at tops, with Anderson coming in for 80 and a break of throw.
Actor and well-known darts fan Stephen Fry: Lights low, volume high, ready for two epic matches #lovethedarts
Crowd telling us to stand up if we love the darts. Anderson, tattooed right arm, upright stance, is miles ahead of MVG with the darts. 92 left, six darts to get them. Missed double 16, missed double eight, sealed with double four.
No time to ease into this, MVG hitting a maximum with the second set he throws. He leaves 170 after nine, with Anderson back on 206. Treble 20, treble 20...he couldn't? Just missing the bull. Cleaned up in 14 darts.
Hold on, this will be quicker than a hiccup. MVG to thrown first.
Are there some boos for Van Gerwen? If there are, they are drowned out by the White Stripes' Seven Nation Army. "The champion or the wooorrrlllllld....Mighty Michael van Gerwen." Very, very rowdy. Tingly stuff.
Lights out, time for the theatre of the walk-ons. Plinky-plonky music for Anderson, before the Ally Pally explodes with the screeches of House of Pain's Jump Around. "I came to get down, so get of your seat and jump around."
Anderson on Van Gerwen: "He is favourite - put your money on him. All the pressure is on him and he had better play because I will be right behind him and Michael knows what I can do."
Michael van Gerwen: "It doesn't matter if you're number one or number four, you need to play well.
"I'm the favourite, I know that, but I need to make sure I don't make any mistakes."
And, if the festive period means darts, then this is a weekend of double Christmas.
Not only is the PDC World Championship reaching a conclusion, but the BDO World Championships have today got under way at the Lakeside.
Martin Adams, the three-time BDO champ, began his campaign with an impressive victory over Jan Dekker. You can watch Wolfie's win here.
How do you see this darting delight of a Saturday night panning out? A march towards a Taylor-MVG final, or will one of Anderson and Barney turn the tungsten tables?
Also, how cool are the players' walk-ons? Wouldn't it be brilliant to have your own theme music? Announced by the MC while the beats pump out on a Monday morning at the office. What about your darting nickname?
Tweet using the hashtag #bbcdarts, text on 81111. Don't tell me you've never thought about it before.
Which brings us to the here and now, the Alexandra Palace in London. More booze than Ian Botham's cellar, rowdier than double maths when the supply teacher is in charge, crazier than a wasp on caffeine.
So, two men at the top of the darting world, on course for a colossal clash in the final of the World Championship.
Not, though, if Gary Anderson or Raymond van Barneveld have anything to do with it.
Van Barneveld - a five-time champion himself - will be looking to stop Taylor later this evening. Before that, Anderson, one of the best not to win a world crown, has Van Gerwen to deal with.
Waddell's main point was to focus on Bristow's age. A fourth world title at 27, with a first coming at 22.
Though Michael van Gerwen had to wait until he was 24 to be crowned champion last year, his win was still the youngest on the PDC side of the darting divide.
One world crown at 24 could become four by 27. He's only two wins away from a second title.
What happened to darts? Phil Taylor happened.
A 16-time world champion, winning roughly two titles every three years since his first in 1990.
If Bristow had no more worlds left to conquer after four crowns, then Taylor has planted his flag on this Earth, Middle Earth, Neverland and Narnia.
And he's at it again.
The words of Sid Waddell, the greatest tungsten talker of them all.
But, in describing Eric Bristow's fourth world title in 1987, Sid may have jumped the gun slightly.
Then again, even Waddell couldn't have predicted what happened on the oche over the three decades that followed.
"When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to conquer… Eric Bristow's only 27!"