PROFESSIONAL snooker star Ian McCulloch sparked a potting masterclass at Pot the Lot snooker club in Eastover, Bridgwater, last Friday (November 23).

McCulloch, currently ranked 21 in the world, brought humour and spellbinding shots in 12 exhibition matches against some of Bridgwater's brightest talents in a lively show.

The 36-year-old has amassed more than half a million pounds in prize money, knocked out reigning champion Graeme Dott in last year's world championships and has managed two maximum 147 breaks in a row at a previous exhibition match.

In an interview with the Mercury, the Preston born potter told of his hopes to squeeze back into the world's top 16, gave an insight into what it takes to be a top sportsman and a view on his life away from the table.

How many hours you put in on a practise table per day?

"I usually get in the club at about 9am in the morning, and then I'll have half an hour for my lunch and play until 4pm or 5pm. I then go home and have an evening meal with the wife and children, put the children to bed, then spend a couple of hours on the exercise bike. I try to keep my stamina up and my weight down and just keep myself in good nick."

What do you do away from the table?

"Spend as much time with my wife and kids, which is very little time really. I also try and go down to watch Blackburn Rovers Football Club as much as I can, but I've only been home three days in the last month so I just fit it in when I can really.

What are your hopes for this year's season?

"I'm up to about 21 in the world and I should get top 16 - I will get back in the top 16 because there aren't 16 players in the world better than me to be honest. I had a last 16 in China and semis in Germany last 16 in Ireland the other week so I'm going the right way.

Do you enjoy playing exhibition matches like this?

"Yeah it's good fun, it's good for the people to come out and see stuff and good for me to show off a bit and whiz a few in. I've not done so bad with 147 breaks either.