WARRINGTON darts wonderkid Luke ‘The Nuke’ Littler says there will be no weight on his young shoulders in the PDC World Darts Championship.

The 16-year-old former Padgate Academy student will head to Alexandra Palace next week for his highly anticipated debut in the sport’s biggest tournament.

He faces out-of-form Dutchman Christian Kist in the first round on Wednesday, with the winner then meeting 20th seed and reigning UK Open champion Andrew Gilding.

Before then, he will be on the Ally Pally stage this Sunday to defend his JDC World Championship title against Hungarian Almos Kovacs, having reached the final through qualifying matches in Gibraltar earlier this month.

A week earlier Littler capped a phenomenal year by being crowned PDC World Youth Champion after holding off a fightback from Holland’s Gian Van Veen in the final in Minehead.

He did so by hitting average scoring of 102 and seven 180s, a rate to trouble the biggest names in the game and he has achieved even higher during a year which has seen him succeed on the Modus Super Series and win five Winmau Development Tour titles to secure his place on the PDC Tour for the next two years.

Pundits and darts fans are already comparing ‘The Nuke’ to former world champion Michael van Gerwen at a similar age, while legendary Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor has predicted Littler can become one of the sport’s greatest ever players.

So what does Littler make of his progress, an intensifying rise in attention and playing on the biggest stage with the noisiest crowds he can ever expect to come across?

“It’s not added pressure, it’s just what people think. And if that’s what people want to say about me, they can say it,” Littler said after winning the PDC World Youth Champion title at the first attempt.

“It’s obviously a big thing, everyone knows who Michael van Gerwen is.

“I just throw my darts and let my darts do the talking. I take it leg by leg, game by game.

“I’m just going into Alexandra Palace full of confidence, with no pressure on me.

“You’ve got the big guys defending prize money, but it’s a free shot for me so I’m just going to let my darts go.”

Title sponsors Paddy Power have Littler joint 16th favourite to win the big one but does he believe he can do it?

“I could do, on my day. But I’d be happy to win my first-round game and then see.”

The 95 rivals in the Sky Sports televised tournament over 16 days, starting from today, will see him as a big threat.

He is in the same draw bracket as former world champions Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price, James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld.