HE was the Scot who went from poverty and obscurity to fame and fights with the taxman. The world champion in the only sport, snooker aside, where competitors smoke and drank as they played. And he was at the centre of one of British TV’s most famous gaffes (or was it?).

BDO Darts World Champion Jocky Wilson’s life and times are set out in a new BBC documentary that puts the former miner from Kirkcaldy at the tip of the sport as it went from pub pastime to big business.

When Wilson won the first of his two world championships in 1982 the top prize was £6,500. After Glen Durrant defended his title in the same tournament in January, he took home £100,000.

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Jocky Wilson Said, produced and directed by Liam McArdle, blends archive footage, contemporary interviews, and Wilson’s own words to chart his progress from the Lister Bar in the Lang Toun to the Wogan sofa.

Wilson describes himself in the early days as “a bit scruffy, no money, hardly any teeth”. One of two boys, he and his brother ended up in care after their parents separated.

When he left school he took any job he could find, and there were spells in the army and down the pit. By the end of the Seventies he was signing on. Many others would soon be joining him as the deindustrialisation of Scotland under Margaret Thatcher began.

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Darts would be Wilson’s ticket out. Patrick Chaplin, dubbed “Dr Darts” as he has a PhD in the subject, tells the programme: “By and large most darts players are working class. There is no other sport that can take someone from a public bar and make them a world champion.”

When he made it to the Scottish final, Wilson had so little to his name his trousers were held up by a piece of string. Then the money started coming in, not always to his benefit as when he won £500 at Butlin’s only to be shopped to the then Department of Social Security by a DSS staffer in the audience.

Around this time, BBC2 was looking for something cheap to fill its schedules. Darts players became household names. The pressures and prize money kept growing, and one of the game’s biggest characters was Wilson.

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His fellow champion, Bobby George, said John, as pals called him, was uncomfortable in the spotlight. Asked what he did to relax, Wilson said: “Just drink pints of vodka.”

At the height of this fame came the Top of the Pops episode in which Jocky’s photo appeared behind Dexy’s Midnight Runners as they performed Jackie Wilson Said, a tribute to the Detroit-born soul legend.

The show was mocked for what looked like a howler. But 20 years later, Dexy’s frontman Kevin Rowland told The Guardian he had asked producers to put Jocky’s picture up for a laugh. Yet the myth persists.

Wilson was a hit with the media initially. The TV Times bought him new teeth, the Sun gave him a makeover to turn him from “darts slob to heart-throb”. He took up every offer, saying: “I’m trying to make as much money as I can because quite frankly it might not last.”

After winning his second world championship in 1989, against Eric “The Crafty Cockney” Bristow, he was told to cut his drinking and smoking. He managed another six years on the circuit, his health deteriorating.

Eventually he went home to Kirkcaldy, to the council estate he had come from. “I just wanted to get back among my own,” he said. He had diabetes, arthritis, depression, and he was broke. “Forty-six years old and I’m all washed up,” he said.

He became a recluse, refusing to open the door to callers. Despite everything, he said he had no regrets.

Wilson died on March 24, 2012, from chronic lung disease. He was 62.

Jocky Wilson Said, BBC1 Scotland, 9pm on Wednesday May 15.