Snakebite part of a Wright old exciting 2016 PDC World Championship Ally Pally curtain-raiser

Peter Wright displays his colourful side at the UK Darts Open final. Picture:LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC

Peter Wright displays his colourful side at the UK Darts Open final. Picture:LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC - Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Peter Wright will be part of a bumper opening night when the 2016 PDC World Championship begins at Alexandra Palace.

Darts' biggest tournament, which spans 15 days, starts on Thursday, December 17, with the number four seed among the first seven players to take to the oche.

Runner-up in 2014 Wright – nicknamed Snakebite – from Mendham, near Harleston, locks horns with former world youth champion Keegan Brown for a mouth-watering first round clash while Gary Anderson begins the defence of his title on the same evening against the victor of the preliminary stage showdown between Andy Boulton or Per Laursen.

Norwich's Darren Webster is in action less than 24 hours later against John Henderson, North Walsham's Steve Beaton takes on Koha Kokiri on December 19 and Bradwell's Mervyn King, ranked 14th, begins his quest to reach the January 3 final by facing either Aleksandr Oreshkin or Paul Lim on Sunday, December 20.

The area's other hopeful, Bungay's Andrew Gilding, will have to wait until December 23 to get his campaign under way at Ally Pally. The 28th seed plays Welsh ace Gerwyn Price in the last session before the Christmas break. Sixteen-time champion Phil Taylor, beaten by Anderson in the last Ally Pally showcase, will do battle with either Keita Ono or Alex Tagarao.

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Nathan Derry (Gorleston), Jason Lovett (Norwich) and James Hubbard (Wymondham) will not be in the hunt for the £300,000 winner's prize after they failed to make it through the qualification process.

Anderson and Taylor, in a repeat of this year's final, will stage a one-off head-to-head clash in Norwich on February 1. Keep your eyes peeled for our competition to win special VIP tickets.

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