The Isle of Man Darts Festival has been hit by the wintry weather.

The 37th edition of the prestigious tournament was due to get underway later today (Thursday) when hundreds of dart players from all over Europe were scheduled to descend on the Villa Marina. 

The Darts Corner-sponsored festival, believed to be the longest running event of its kind anywhere in the world, was initially set to run for four days during which more than £30,000 in prize money is up for grabs,

Unfortunately, the amber weather alert for wintry weather and potentially heavy snow has forced the closure of a number of facilities around the island, including the Villa Marina.

Therefore, the organisers released a statement earlier on Thursday, saying: ‘Following a decision by the Department for Education Sport and Culture, the Villa Marina will be closed this evening for safety reasons in light of the most recent forecast for heavy snow and high winds.

‘As a consequence it is alas clearly impossible for us to host tonight's men's and women’s masters events.

‘On behalf of the EDO (England Darts Organisation) we can only apologise for this disappointing news that is clearly fully out of our control.

‘We are already discussing how we can 'tweak' the weekend’s schedule to hopefully ensure the Masters will be played and of course will update you with full details once a decision has been taken.’