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Jake Humphrey | 10:16 UK time, Friday, 17 December 2010

After spending the year competing against loud engines, being confused by Eddie Jordan and almost getting mown down in the F1 pit lanes of the world, you might think it would take a lot to faze me. Well, come Sunday evening at 18:59:59 GMT, I will be a very, very nervous man.

As much as I see it as my job to take presenting onwards, embracing modern technology and being relevant to viewers as the world moves at such a pace, you are constantly reminded of your responsibilities as you take on the mantle of hosting programmes the audience hold dear.

The BBC's Sports Personality of the Year show is the one when I feel the weight of responsibility most.

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Only 10 presenters have had the honour of hosting a programme that is still seen as the most fitting way of rounding off the sporting year.

Peter Dimmock led the way 56 years ago when the event was held at the Savoy Hotel in London. That first show lasted 45 minutes and had one award, which the public voted for via postcard. My, how things have changed.

I wonder how Peter would feel walking out at the LG Arena in Birmingham in front of 13,000 people, who will no doubt have battled the snow to be with us.

And while Sports Personality has evolved and grown over the years, one thing remains just as it always has - the public vote.

And when vote lines open on Sunday, you will be able to choose your favourite from our list of  top 10 nominees, who were picked by the sports editors of numerous national and regional publications.

No matter how nerve-wracking presenting Sports Personality can be, however, I would honestly rather be hosting it than trying to pick a winner. This year, of all years, I have absolutely no idea who will get the nod. There is no standout favourite and it is easy to make a really strong case for all 10 candidates.

Some, like AP McCoy and Phil Taylor, have not only had incredible years, they have also done incredible things during their careers.

Equally, Tom Daley, Jess Ennis and Amy Williams have picked up gold medals in their chosen sports - they could not have done any more.

We also have Graeme Swann, Lee Westwood and Mark Cavendish, who are the best in the world at what they do, as well as David Haye and Graeme McDowell, who both enjoyed double glory in 2010.

It is a really strong list of British sporting names, all of whom who have ventured out onto the world stage and come back as winners.

There are always names you could add and, as a motor racing man, I think Lewis Hamilton and Dario Franchitti have had incredible years. However, the BBC did not decide who made the shortlist. Nor does it pick a winner. That's down to you.

If you want to know a bit more about how the show is put together, take a look at the video I filmed in the production office a few days ago. Apologies in advance for the photo!

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I realise you may be starting to have your fill of television votes. However, I have not seen another talent show on TV in 2010 with potential winners more deserving of your support. And I think a certain singer's performance, not to mention our Lifetime Achievement and Helen Rollason awards, will produce some of the best TV this year. I suggest you have a tissue to hand.

I hope you stay in for what will be a great evening. We are live from 1900 GMT on BBC One. One of my predecessors, Des Lynam, described Sports Personality as the greatest laxative known to man. I can assure you it is far more nerve-wracking than that!


  • Comment number 1.

    Will be interesting to see how your presenting style differs between this event and the F1 coverage.

    Will you make childish jibes about what your co-presenters are wearing like you do on the F1 coverage Jake?

  • Comment number 2.

    Oh Beef.

  • Comment number 3.

    I hope that your script is fact checked more accurately than your blog !

    You say that you are the 10th presenter but the others include Peter Dimmock, David Coleman, Brian Johnston, Cliff Morgan, Frank Bough, Harry Carpenter, Des Lynam , Jimmy Hill, Steve Rider, Gary Lineker, Clare Balding, John Inverdale, Sue Barker and Adrian Chiles. That is 14 so far ... who all either presented or co-presented by doing live interviews on at least 2 shows each ... then there were three others who each appeared on 1 show apiece ... Max Roberertson, Alun Williams and Kenneth Wolstenholme.

    The great Peter Dimmock has just celebrated his 90th birthday, It is shocking that he was never knighted for his incredible services to broadcasting.

  • Comment number 4.

    I wonder if there will be any actual sport in this years show? It used to be Sports Review of the Year but not like much of the BBC's sports coverage (F1 being an exception) more and more it's about talking heads and celebrity.

    Now the Beckham circus rolls in to town I can't see there being much for actual sports fans when it seemingly going to be targeted at readers of Heat/Hello magazine etc. Justin Bieber to win next year perhaps all he'll need to do is pop up at the Cup Final and kick a ball around for 5 minutes and the Beeb will find a way of shoehorning him!

  • Comment number 5.

    Thanks BBC for making my choice so easy.
    After 50 years of watching Sportsview Personality of the Year etc I shall, if I watch TV on Sunday evening, watch Edwardian Farmer and Bloomberg.
    Why are the BBC (and, unfortunatey, so many nouveau 'sports' fans) more concerned with celebrity over substance ?
    For me 'Brand it like Beckham' epitomises much of what is wrong with sport (to be honest, at the end of the day, you know).

  • Comment number 6.

    Interesting blog Jake, which raises a couple of questions:

    Does it annoy you that all of these people do so much organisation and preparation just for people like myself to arbitrarily say "hmm, don't really feel like watching it this year"?

    (For what it's worth, I'm only choosing to miss it because I don't think it's been a very good year at all for British sport)

    Secondly, have you read Steve Rider's excellent book on the history of SPOTY?

  • Comment number 7.

    Not to be completely anti-BBC but,

    The thought that a sports person should merit honour for achievement in one sport over someone from another sport seems a little off to me. What can the criteria possibly be and how can that criteria be weighted fairly across all sports?

    Darts players for example, highly skilled but hardly athletic, but then Phil Taylor has beaten everyone who has come before him for years.

    Boxers, Highly athletic, skilled but don't face anything like the same number of opponents as darts players and also the calibre of opponent can often be a lot wider.

    Golf, again highly skilled, not particularly athletic ( please don't try to persuade me otherwise!) but with the number of players / courses it is hard to be consistent for long periods on a regular basis.

    I could go on but I think you see my point. Although personally as this is Sports 'Personality' I think it should be declared a draw as they all have very little. Added to that, What little acclaim the SPOTY had I think was heavily diluted by Ryan Giggs winning last year, a bit part player for that YEAR. Great he's had an amazing career but to give him the award (in my view) because he has been consistently at the top of his game at other times in his career is akin to giving Matt Le Tissier a Premier League winners medal just because he was good.

    Sorry to sound like a nag, but the BBC have been over indulging in self publicity for this event since the year began, there has always been a SPOTY column on the sports news page. Its as if your trying to create the illusion of grandeur and prestige for the event and overly doing so because you know the public do not hold this event in the same regard as the BBC does.

    Board room: "ahem, seems our beloved SPOTY is not as grand and la-dee-da as we need it to be, pomp pomp,"

    Heat Magazine reading 17yr old work experience girl "wot bout Beckaaam sir, the public luvs 'im"

    Board room: "Beckham hmmm, publicity machine, press coverage, oh la-dee what a wonderful idea, order extra champers for the whipper scampers to coff on"

    think i need a cup of tea...

  • Comment number 8.

    SPOTY used to be one of the high points of the TV year. It has declined sharply since it moved to the indoor arena setting a few years ago. Style over substance is now favoured. Instead of normal footage from the year accompanied by normal commentary we now get fancy camera angles, slow motion shots and techno music. It's disapponting that this is what the producers think the tv viewer wants to see. Tonight's award to Beckham is a new low point. Good footballer (in his day) and England captain but nothing more.

    Come on BBC - less focus on celebrity and razzamatazz - let's get the substance back into the programme. Seb Coe or Steve Redgrave for a Lifetime award next year!

  • Comment number 9.

    Anyone else notice the guy who showed the seating plan and stage model, wasn't actually working on his computer but watching a youtube video. ;)

  • Comment number 10.

    Anyone going to focus on the positives at all?! Or stick with the traditional English trait of slaughtering anything anyone tries to do. Who cares if Jake got the number of ex presenters wrong or the style of F1 presentations or the over-development of celebrity-ism in our culture.

    The fact is that SPOTY represents a unique opportunity for sports men and women to be recognised for some fabulous performances, some very much against the odds, all the result of fierce commitment and determination to succeed. How about we salute those achievements for what they are and forget about the irrelevances of how the show is presented.

    You can't please everyone in life, sure, but if you don't like it, don't watch it and don't spend your time moaning and bleating. We'd sure as hell win a lot of gold medals in that.....

  • Comment number 11.

    Wow do the english complain, and dont get me started on the 7th comment about golf not being athletic (you clearly know nothing about the sport) but got to agree with sportybathboy on his point, yes it may be a bit "razz ma tazz" but at the end of the day, it is a unique chance to celebrate the sporting year, yes it may not be as good as past years, but what some people have achieved shouldn't be forgotten. Oh and anyone who doesn't think David Beckham doesn't deserve his award obviously doesn't know much about his career (Yes maybe he could get it another year once he's retired)

  • Comment number 12.

    uwicprout "it is a unique chance to celebrate the sporting year....but what some people have achieved shouldn't be forgotten"

    Summed up by an entire Olympic games (baring Amy Williams) being condensed into a brief musical consisting manly of crashes.

  • Comment number 13.

    Interesting, Tom Daley is a man yet Amy Williams, his elder, is a girl! Patronising, sexist? Or both??

  • Comment number 14.

    Not a go at you Jake, but the show is a joke with it's style & choices of nominees. If you are/is going down the 'Cowell' way at least get the viewers/sportfans to decide on the nominations. Beckham for Lifetime award, come on he's still playing & only 35, he is/has been a great player, but maybe in about twenty years time he will deserve it. Khan - to me & many I have asked, the best fight this year from a British boxer, but no mention or clips and Sport Relief - show or tell us where our money has gone to, not some overrated, crude, yesterdays, chav of a circus clown. They are just a few moans, but BBC you need to get back to looking after the sportsfans, not reality/More magazine viewers.

    Well done to AP Mcoy & Daley (right category), but from not learning from your mistakes with Giggs and the show, next year be watching Sky.

  • Comment number 15.

    algernon67: I noticed that too, "Manpower" then later "Girl Power" - I blame the Spice Girls.

    A few years ago the England Women's Cricket team had a blinder of a season, and who got Team of the Year? Yup, the Men's Tea.

  • Comment number 16.

    Beckham was brilliant!!! I read this blog post on him ...brings back a few memories!

  • Comment number 17.

    I know this is a long shot writing this on your blog as you probably get hundreds of people asking similar questions.

    I met you at the Norfolk show this summer and had a picture taken with you and your nephew. I spoke to you about my brother, Jack Nicholls, an up and coming sports commentator and we had a small conversation on the topic.It is his 21st birthday coming up and he has recently been offered a job working with Eurosport on doing more commentary in 2011 and being offered work with ITV when it arises in the near future. I was just wondering if there was any possibility in which there could be something sorted out, a present I could give him, that money cant buy? When in Monza earlier this year, he met Jackie Stewart and said that it was one of the most amazing experiences of his life. He lives and breathes motorsport and so i was just wondering if there is anything you could do.

    I understand if not, but here is my email address.

    [Personal details removed by Moderator]


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