TELEVISION may viewed as the ideal excuse to avoid homework for most 12-year-olds, but for Wishaw kid Chris Totten, it has acted as the inspiration behind what he sees as his future career.

After being captivated by local hero John Higgins' exploits on the small screen, the Newmains youngster is living up to his billing as Scotland's next potential snooker prodigy.

Tartan talent has thrived on the green baize in recent years, with Higgins (on four occasions) and Graeme Dott lifting World Championship crowns.

They are big footsteps in which to follow, but Chris believes he can do it.

"I started playing four years ago on a six-foot table and I have been playing on a 12-foot table for a year now," he told SportTimes.

"I started watching it on TV when I was younger and wanted to play. It has always been snooker that has been my sport.

"I practise for two hours every day, I used to do four a day and six at the weekends, but it is expensive to keep that up.

"I don't ever get fed up of it, I like playing the game. I have a highest break of 59 and I'm always practising to get better and better."

The hours Chris has spent honing his skills on the practice table have been put to good use.

He tasted success in three of his six tournament appearances on the Under-14 tour, where he is up against players more experienced in competition and advanced in years.

His biggest disappointment came a fortnight ago as he slipped to defeat against Ethan Laing in the final of the National Championship.

But Chris hopes his first tour season can lay the foundations for further success next time out.

He said: "I lost 3-1 to Ethan in the final, which was disappointing. It was a tight game and I could have won, but it wasn't to be unfortunately.

"It has been a good season for me. I have managed to win three tournaments and got two runners-up prizes out of six competitions.

"It is my first ever season so I was pleased with how it went.

"I have one more year in the Under-14s so hopefully I can do well again next year and keep improving my game."

Chris's form on the domestic circuit was rewarded with a trip to see the stars of the game in action on the biggest stage of all – April's World Championships in Sheffield.

"I was at the Crucible a few weeks ago," he said. "It was a great experience. The top four Under-14 players got tickets for the Graeme Dott-Ali Carter match.

"We sat in the crowd for the game, it was a great atmosphere, and we were given a behind-the-scenes tour as well by Leo Scullion, one of the championship referees.

"We were there for the whole weekend and saw Mark Allen and John Higgins play as well.

"John is my favourite player. He went to the same school as me and is someone I look up to."