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The morning after the night before

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Roger Mosey | 10:45 UK time, Monday, 11 December 2006

Some of you have already given us your verdict on last night's Sports Personality of the Year show in the posting below this one. They range from Adam's "brilliant" to Dan's "awful" with Chris in between with his "very entertaining" but accompanied by some interesting points of criticism.

So let me give you some of the figures before inviting more bouquets and brickbats.

In the main award, it was an emphatic victory for Zara Phillips. The figures we had just before 9pm last night were:

1st Zara Phillips 221,514 (32.5% of the total vote)
2nd Darren Clarke 144,310 (21.2%)
3rd Beth Tweddle 88,352 (13.0%)

As for the TV viewing figures - award shows generally have been declining quite sharply, but Sports Personality bucked the trend. Last year it averaged 5.1m viewers - and this year it went up to 5.8m average. Our share of viewing rose from 19% to 22%. The peak audience was for the last 15 minutes when 7.2m people were tuned in.

Finally, a special thank you to everyone who came along to be part of the audience. It was a big move for us - literally - to take the show from London to Birmingham. But we were delighted by the welcome we received in the West Midlands, and we'll now be looking at whether we can do something similar next year.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 01:08 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Dan wrote:

Roger, i wont bring up the result, there'll be enough on that.

Care to expand on the treatment given to certain nominees over others. The biggest highlights of this, nicole cooke (if i was her i wouldn't attend the show again) being interviewed in her seat. Worse still being asked about FALLING OFF, great way to highlight her acheivements, the best female cyclist in the world, do u fall off a lot?

Phil taylor not treated much better either, why not have a go at a 9 darter, never know, if tweddle can perform in the studio, why not taylor. A televised 9 darter would have gone down in histroy.

I won't even compare to the other nominees who all went on the stage. Rather the (fit) luge silver medalist. She got a 3 minute video saying all the sacrifices she made and how other people raised the cash for her (cooke doesn't ride 400 miles a week) AND gets invited onto the stage for a longer interview than taylor and cooke combined.
And i wanted calzaghe to win it, lol.

Also, i don't want to sound bad, but with all respect tiger woods heartache in the last year had zero to do with last night seeing as it also got more time than cooke, taylor AND calzaghe.

The show itself was ok, better than last year (lucas' put down of the crisp guy being the best lol) but the voting times needs to be addressed next year, poor panesar being highlighted as the lines closed, tut tut.

  • 2.
  • At 01:28 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • greg wrote:

For a supposedly revamped format it was remarkably similar to that of recent years and just as dull. In the old days the emphasis was on the "review" bit rather than the "personality" and it was enjoyable as an opportunity to relive the excitement of the events of the year.

Nowadays it is a sequence of scripted interviews with embarrassed-looking sportspeople mouthing platitudes as questions are put to them. . If it's too expensive to buy in the clips from rival broadcasters then just make it an awards ceremony and be done with it.

  • 3.
  • At 01:36 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Guto Henry wrote:

Did every Royalist in middle England vote? It seems to me that she was only given the award for who she is and not what she achieved.

Had she not been royalty, no one would have voted for her.

The BBC spent ten minutes promoting her early in the show and then gave athletes like Joe Calzaghe/Ricky Hatton/Nicole Cook/Monty a minute each (asking N.C silly questions such as "how many times do you fall off your bike?") just before the lines close.

This was a bad year for sport in Britain. But not that bad!!

  • 4.
  • At 01:37 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • R Phillips wrote:

Dear Roger Mosey,

I found it a pretty enjoyable waste of as Sunday night this year, so generally well done from me for what it's worth.

There were some excellent features - Hunter, Tweddle, Borg, the boxers (though the phone rang halfway through that bit!)

It was good to see Bjorn Borg get his award - that bit took me right back to junior school and was the highlight of the show for me.

As for the main awards: No surprise at all, given the political backdrop regarding field sports, to see the country crowd release a few moth balls to Vote Phillips.

Well done St Helen's, but what on earth was going on with Theo Walcott winning young personality of the year? That is the most bizarre award of a gong I can think of in any award show ever. I mean, there must be others equally as ridiculous, but I can't actually name one...

Finally, in the old days this show was repeated over Xmas. So I was wondering if it will be again this year?

  • 5.
  • At 01:40 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Jason Crawley wrote:

Judging from the majority of comments made about the show both here and elsewhere, it's clear that the main issue people had with it - myself included - is the fact that the ten finalists for the award did not have equal screen time and as such created an element of bias when it came to the vote.

Each of the top three had big feature pieces devoted to them relatively early on in the show; you had Darren Clarke right at the beginning talking at length about his Ryder Cup experience, Zara Phillips in a long piece with her royal mother talking about her world win, and Beth Tweddle even got to demonstrate her skills on the uneven bars in the arena.

Compare that to the little time spent on the others; Calzaghe and Hatton got lumped in with the other two British boxers towards the end, Panesar hardly got a look in as he was left until last, and all Phil Taylor and Nicole Cooke got were rather flat interviews with Adrian Chiles accompanied by a few seconds of footage each.

What makes that even more ludicrous is the fact that more time was devoted to David Walliams - a man who wasn't even up for the award, let's not forget - and the story of his cross channel swim, followed by the presentation of his 'thanks for turning up' award; incidentally, my uncle is planning to run the London Marathon next year, so if I send you his certificate, could you send out a special achievement award to him as well please?

Now I don't want to come across as some kind of crackpot conspiracy theorist, but there's no argument that the top three had much more time devoted to them in the show than anyone else, so people can decide for themselves whether that was by accident or design; I've seen one comment, though, saying that in terms of using ways of subtly influencing the vote, last night's show was no different to the X Factor or Big Brother - and maybe Gary Lineker deciding to reveal the top 5 halfway through went to illustrate this.

Aside from the differing length of time the nominees had, you had differing lengths of time devoted the various sports; most notable was cricket, which in stark contrast to last year only had a cursory minute or two at the end, and got me wondering whether that had anything to do with you having to take all the footage of it from Sky Sports with the accompanying rights caption.

Ultimately, though, I think it is a problem when you're trying to make the poll as transparent as possible yet you give such differing amounts of time and levels of prominence to the ten finalists, and it would be nice to get some formal comment from someone on the show about how the lengths of time each nominee and sport has is decided, whether it's got anything to do with obtaining rights for footage of them in action, and whether they see that has possibly having a bearing on the outcome of the vote or not.

As for Phillips winning, I didn't agree with it at the time but I'm now quite glad that she won as when we come to look back and see her name in the roll of honour for the year 2006, we'll be instantly reminded of what a terribly thin year it was for British sport.

  • 6.
  • At 01:42 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • David Martin wrote:

I thought the BBC were less than even handed in how they treated the nominees, in particular the almost complete ignoring of Phil Taylor and Nicole Cooke. In particular the interview with Nicole Cooke was an embarrassment that showed a complete lack of respect for the determination and ability of a world champion in what is a major international sport. Why didn't Cooke or Taylor get a glossy resume of their achievements like the others?

  • 7.
  • At 01:55 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Gary wrote:

I too would like to know how the running order was put together and, as I asked on the previous thread, why so little time was given to Nicole Cooke's achievements, for crying out loud they weren't even listed let alone shown ... we just heard Adrian Chiles say she was the best female cyclist in the world.

The show itself was an improvement on last year and enjoyable in the main, but I would question the overseas personality section - Lineker/Woods v Barker/Federrer was just silly. Was it because neither star deigned the BBC with their presence?

  • 8.
  • At 01:55 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Andrew D wrote:

Is it any surprise that the top 3 winners were the same people who got extended, lengthy features highlighting their year in the first half of the show?

Andy Murray and Monty Panesar got, what, 10 seconds each? Nicole Cooke and Phil Taylor were both given utterly cringeworthy treatment by Adrian Chiles and the two boxers were lumped in together.

To say the result was rigged would be pushing it, but some of the nominees were treated MUCH more favourably than others. It was obvious who the BBC wanted to win.

  • 9.
  • At 01:59 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Charlie wrote:

It is sad that so man people are seeking to belittle the result.

I'm also dissapointed that the show continues to move away from reviewing the year's sport and is increasingly vapid with flashy editing and inane interviews.

I take it this is now the BBCs policy on SPOTY and we are never likely to get a return to a sports review of the year?

How about having a seperate review show, if you want SPOTY to be a pure awards ceremony?

  • 10.
  • At 02:10 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Brian wrote:

I'm nice, so I'll start with the positives!

The live audience had a very positive impact on proceedings - there was a much better atmosphere than in previous years.

I enjoyed the Adrian Chiles 'funnies' - they were well presented throughout the show.


YET AGAIN, where on earth is the sporting action?? That is where the drama is generated, NOT ridiculously over-produced, supposedly clever packages.

The nadir of this was the pointless Brian O'Driscoll magician package - totally obliterating what scant action there was.

Tennis, World Cup, domestic football, major championship golf, I could go on and on - all useless packages rather than the real drama of sport. I have said it before - you have given up on sports fans. You seem disinterested in anything other than the Hello-magazine reader, with all this 'human interest' nonsense.

I feel sorry for you that the quality of nominees was genuinely lacking this year, but you should still be able to put on an entertaining exciting show.

Instead of celebrating your 5.x million viewers, ask yourself where the other 13 million have gone over the years.

  • 11.
  • At 02:20 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • jon d wrote:

Well done BBC Birmingham! A glitterring and polished show, so much improved on the past few years. A very good idea to have some of the many past winners on the stage at the beginning of the show, which really did set the scene for an enjoyable two hours. The display of major prized silverware from various sporting competitions on the stage ,(including the Wimbledon men's challenge cup) IMO, was a sterling idea, particular when Ian Woosnam arrived with the Ryder Cup as well. The presence too of live music provided by the BBC concert orchestra also added distinction to the event, and was a meritorious success. I was particularly touched by the award to Paul Hunter, particularly with the link-up to the players in York. I was also so very pleased to see the almost reclusive Bjorn Borg tempted away from his native Sweden for the Lifetime achievment/Hall of fame award; a major coup!!! Also the section of the show which involved the arrival of the boxers into the NEC gave an additional sense of occasion to the proceedings. The Tiger Woods/Zidadene Zidanne sections were a tad too long, if indeed relevant? Though I must say in my view, the clips of sporting howlers were a good inclusion. The addition of the audience really did add a dimension to this years show, and I hope the BBC will continue with this idea, and perhaps next year allow even more ordinary sports fans to apply for tickets to attend @ the NEC. Finally, Adrian Chiles - an inspired choice for co-host to messrs linekar and Barker!

  • 12.
  • At 02:26 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • rhyd lewis wrote:

An astonishing result, that was clearly swayed because of 'royal connections'.

Nicole Cooke and Joe Calzaghe should have both been in the top three. But unfortunately they never stood a chance because very few people outside of Wales will vote for them. This shows a blatant flaw in the voting system.

British Sports Personallity should be scrapped and left to the individual nations of the UK.

  • 13.
  • At 02:32 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • mike dewar wrote:

will never watch programme again as just an opportunity for people to display ego. Lets have more sports reviewing

  • 14.
  • At 02:47 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • sportsviewer wrote:

Whatever the merits of the various contenders for the top award, the show itself was very poor TV.

Didn't the show actually used to be called the "Sports Review of the Year" (rather than "Personality", and it used to do just that - ie review the sports. At least the video tape pieces used to tell you who had won what in various sports and point out the good performances.

Next year, you should introduce the contenders and profile them all with equal time BEFORE they open the voting lines. At least they let them all sing on the X Factor before opening the voting!

  • 15.
  • At 02:53 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Stephen Davies wrote:

It would have been much better if the BBC had been even handed in their treatment of all ten shortlisted candidates.

Wouldn't it have been fairer to show a two/three minute video presentation on each and then an interview on stage or tape for those unable to attend?

Instead certain candidates got this and others such as Nicole Cooke had to make-do with no video and a short interview squeezed in near the end of the show with a presenter who'd clearly done no research on Cooke or her sport.

Phillips the winner also had her promotional film shown on Sunday Grandstand in the lead up to the show as well as during the broadcast from Birmingham - perceived bias?

It was a dissapointing event. I thought at numerous times there was a lot of time filling e.g Earl Woods segment.

It was a dissapointing year for british sport the traditioanl sports did not perform and a number of the sports stars selected are never seen or rarely seen on BBC TV ( cooke, taylor, the boxers, Beth Tweddle and Darren Clarke)

One of the rower's from the coxless 4 could have been put up for it as they are unbeaten for 2 years.

I think Britain really needs tog et things moving in time for the olympics otherwise itis going to be too late.

Gavin Allinson

  • 17.
  • At 03:02 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • aa wrote:

I can only echo the criticisms around the uneven treatment given to certain nominees. Its not that I particularly dislike these folk, but for example, Steven Gerrard scores two Cup Final goals and gets 3 minutes; Jenson Button wins one race and has an interview.

Meanwhile some of Britains true world champions (boxing, darts, cycling) have their achievements glossed over.

For me, the two biggest anger-inducing bits were:

The sequence of Zidane's headbutt culminating in some sort of global explosion seen from outer space (oh really)
The failure to show any decent footage (like THE tiebreak) of Borg playing great tennis.

  • 18.
  • At 03:06 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Michelle Slater wrote:

Is there a list who came where in the top 10?

I'd really like to know where the other contenders came.............

  • 19.
  • At 03:07 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • David Prosser wrote:

Roger, I just wanted to add my voice to the complaints about Adrian Chiles's interview with Nicole Cooke. This is a woman who won cycling's toughest race this year and has become world number one, a feat never achieved before by a British sportswoman. I think she should have won the overall award, but leaving that issue aside, what on earth was Adrian thinking with his astonishingly patronising interview? It was demeaning to cycling, which, whether you enjoy it or not, is clearly one of the world's most physically demanding sports. And the whole have you got scabby legs thing was just good old fashioned sexism. Would he have asked Lance Armstrong whether he falls off a lot?

  • 20.
  • At 03:22 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Michelle Slater wrote:

What a farce.

We are given 2 hours to vote for our favourite SPOTY and by the time Motor Racing and Cricket were featured it was almost time to announce the winner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And will someone please tell me how HRH won??!!!!! It has been the talk of the staffroom today and not one single person could believe Zara Phillips won. I don't want to detract from her award but I'm absolutely flummoxed.

On an even sadder note, the BBC failed to acknowledge Micheal Schumacher, giving the award to Roger Federer........a man with the personality of a flea. So he wins everything, great, but the best overseas candidate for the award? I think not. St Helens for TOTY? Ok, sure, I can see why, but surely the Ryder Cup team should have won???? I am not a happy bunny today.

I was really disappointed with last nights results. Lets hope we have a much improved show next year........

  • 21.
  • At 03:26 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • nick hughes wrote:

The only reason Philips won the award was because she recieved support from the legion of sad people who supprt anything remotely 'royal'.

Typical BBC Guardian nonsense

  • 22.
  • At 03:37 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • annoyed scot wrote:

I find it very disappointing that such an achievement as winning the Curling World Championship was neglected to be mentioned, let alone Team Murdoch nominated. One brief mention of the disabled curlers but nothing else. Such an achievement deserves great commendation, but only Andy Murray was forward for Scotland. Such a poor entry for a country with many sporting heroes including curlers, cyclists, athletes and many more. If the likes of Team Murdoch remain to be neglected then I have no further intention of watching the show again.

  • 23.
  • At 03:43 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • miniman wrote:

Interesting you have given us the number of votes recieved by the top three winners from last nights debacle. Could you also supply the totals for the remaining seven contestants. It will be amusing to see whether the number of votes recieved by all the contestants, relates directly to the amount of time the BBC deemed should be given to each finalist. Considering, you gave some of the finalists minimal amounts of time (or none at all in the case of Ricky Hatton). Lets hope that if SPOTY takes place next year, dear auntie BEEB plays fair and affords all the finalists equal amounts of time, for all members of the voting public an opportunity for a fair vote, one that is not biased or influenced by the programme makers.

  • 24.
  • At 03:48 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Phil H wrote:

And how is it that every year that Tony McCoy is completely overlooked?

  • 25.
  • At 03:58 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Phil wrote:

I think you should ditch text voting and re-introduce a panel of judges.

Text voting relies on the knowledge of those sending their texts. In many cases the voter may be relying wholly on the evidence presented in the programme or the build-up itself.
Many people believe the BBC failed to deliver a balanced programme last night, something which could easily sway a text voter.
Reverting to a panel of experts would take this pressure off the programme makers.

Inviting the public to vote has turned what was once a highly-regarded award into a popularity contest. While viewing figures may be up, it appears from your message boards that credibility is down.

It may not stop arguments as to who should win, but at least a panel of experts from within sport would lend weight to the decisions.

The BBC is in a unique position to distinguish its annual sports awards from the many other popularity contests that exist on TV. Why not use that position? Ditch the text vote - use a judging panel.

  • 26.
  • At 03:59 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Simon Flinn wrote:

Not to pour water onto her achievement but Zara Phillips may well have won the royal vote. Pippa Funnel has achieved many feats in cross country in the past and never won. The BBC spent a sycophantic ten minutes promoting her cause and gave little attention to non-royals. It is time to take the vote away from the public as most coach potatos put celebrity before achievement.

  • 27.
  • At 04:08 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • A R Dee wrote:

I am an active follower of several sports and knowledgeable on many others yet I have not watched SPOTY for several years.
The results from last night's show tells you why. What a farce. The rest of the sporting world will be laughing at us once again.

  • 28.
  • At 04:15 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Nothorsey1 wrote:

Many years plus thousands of hours of practice followed by international recognition. Well done, Zara: you deserve it for all your real effort.

  • 29.
  • At 04:21 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Michaelcd wrote:

Any chance of knowing how many votes Calzaghe got?

I'm amazed at the lack of recognition for his achievements.

  • 30.
  • At 04:29 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Rhodri Williams wrote:

If you give the vote to the masses- stupid decisons will arise! Yes it was big achievement but it wasn't exaclly an olympic triumph.

Calzaghe is now one of the ebst fighters in the world, if not maybe Britains best ever. Surely this should of been highlighted a little better and maybe earlier on in the show

Big hand to Tweddle. Thats a huge achievement compared to the state of British Gymnastics atm. She competes against huge numbers of girls from countries such as Russia and China.

P.S 9 darter your havin a laugh!

  • 31.
  • At 04:37 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

we all thought the coverage you gave to each of the 10 contestants in last night's Sports Personality Award show was unbalanced and clearly showed which personalities the BBC was favouring. What a pity given your charter.

  • 32.
  • At 04:45 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Rob W wrote:

What a complete and utter sham. People who have been at the top for years and years being shunned. The two hour vote being a joke, when you consider that half the nominee's didnt even get a fair showing.
Next year atleast allocate an equal amount of time to each nominee or dont nominate them.

  • 33.
  • At 05:04 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Chris Heley wrote:

I think that although zara has done a great deal and in a way a deserved winner.But I personally think it is an insult to Sport that Phil Taylor doesnt even get recognised in the top three when he has dominated his sport for 13 !!! years
Now i know darts isnt the most phsycally demanding sport but if it is called a sport then someone who is a true legend in that sport should be more recognised!!

  • 34.
  • At 05:10 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Butch Clown wrote:

I'm not a big fan of the show as a rule, but I must agree with those who have commented on the outrageous disparity in the promotion of certain candidates above others. The only way is surely to give all the candidates two minutes apiece relatively early in the show and give them equal coverage.

In the 'open and honesty' era of SPOTY that you keep going on about, can you tell us (and me) how Young SPOTY was worked out? I can't understand how Theo won, and I'm an Arsenal fan. It makes a mockery of it, when you have the winner being selected for the World Cup Squad and not playing, and people like Matt Thomson (double World Junior Champion in Rifle Shooting) apparently overlooked.

I appreciate the response that will no doubt be forthcoming.

  • 36.
  • At 05:34 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • TheManFromWirral wrote:

I wondered why Ricky Hatton was made to stand in the background while they did a big piece about Calzaghe - and seemed to only mention that Hatton was also nominated as an after-thought.

I wonder as well why on British sports personality of the year there was so much coverage given to a European golf side and an American golfer. A little more coverage to British sporting achievements, and failures, would have been nicer.

The athletics coverage was awful - we might not have had a great summer but only the Men's 4x100m time where featured as a success which ignored the future prospects of the likes of Becky Lyne, and there was no mention that we won 2 European Cross Country titles that very day.

Surely the Commonwealth Games deserved much more coverage than it was given as well - a very short clip of a few of our winners don't really do justice to the games, or how well our sportspeople performed in them.

  • 37.
  • At 06:02 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • JugHead wrote:

I'd echo the sentiments above. Overall the format of the live audience based show and the atmosphere were vastly improved on previous years.

Obviously it being on BBC ONE prime time means you have to appeal to the 'family' audience, but come on - putting Darren Clarke's profile up first, shortly followed by Zara Phillips and then leaving some of the other contenders like Calzaghe right until 15 minutes before the vote ended wasn't fair play.

And come on - Nicole Cook has achieved so much this year. Was she not even entitled to step onto the stage??

  • 38.
  • At 06:11 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Graham wrote:

First of all I would like to say a big congratulations to the St Helens Team and Daniel Anderson for their well earned and deserved awards. How fitting it was that both presentation parties contained players from the "other code" - I'm sure the BBC did not plan on that....

Personally, I would voted for Beth Tweddle (as Britain's greatest ever gymnast) to win but admit that the BBC's format of the event was severely lacking. How any non-cricket fan could be expected to vote for Monty Panesar when his "presentation" was right at the end of the programme is beyond me. If the BBC are sticking with this text style voting then they should dedicate the first hour of the show to the nominees and then open the voting - it's grossly unfair of those sportspeople who are presented late on in the show.

Anyway, congrats to Zara, she might not compete in the most popular sports, but she's a world champion and we haven't got many of them!!

  • 39.
  • At 06:34 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Michael Davies wrote:

What a very slanted "Sports Personality of the Year" that was!
Zara Phillips - had a long film clip dedicated to her in prime voting time + an interview + extensive trails on BBC in the days before - even on the news!!
In contrast Nicole Cooke had no film clip - only a patronizing interview late in the show. Even worse no one actually said what her achievements were this year. Perhaps this was because that would have taken so much longer than Zara Phillips acievements! For the BBCs information - medals in the Commenwealth Games and the World Road Race Championships, winner of the womans Tour de France and winner of the cyclist World Cup. Just ask Hugh Porter for the others.
Instead of asking her about her grazed knees why couldn't the interviewer have asked her about her stirring victory up Mount Ventoux - a mountain which has so much meaning to British sport since Tommy Simpsons tragedy there.

  • 40.
  • At 06:48 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • richard poole wrote:

Darren Clarkes exploits have mainly been on sky. Phil Taylor is on Sky. Don't remember even knowing that Zara Phillips was a sports person. Monty panesar was performing for England on Sky. The 2 boxers were certainly not fighting on the BBC. Where were all the highly paid footballers in this list ? Nowhere. There are so many sports events on tv now that you don't remember classic matches or epic achievements. Theo Walcott winning young personality for keeping Englands substitute bench warm was a joke. Shame because he will probably go on to be a great player but we'll never know anything about his personality because he will be so overprotected by his agents that we won't get the chance to know him. Maybe the future for this show will be " Minority sportsperson of the year " . Maybe an award can be created for "best sportsperson to be seen on a BBC sports highlights programme ".

  • 41.
  • At 07:18 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • geoffrey makin wrote:

Has the BBC never heard of David Knight,enduro 3 motorcycling world champion.Who has won every round of the championship by literally a country mile.David is arguably the best offroad biker in the world today. Iam not expecting him to be "sports personaliy" but a mention of his achievments in the other world champion section was expected.

  • 42.
  • At 07:38 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Roger Mosey - Director of BBC Sport wrote:

OK - let me try to address the point about the running order.

First, coverage of the nominees wasn't confined to the show itself. Most of them were interviewed live on Five Live Breakfast last week; and people like Joe Calzaghe took part in films on BBC Breakfast television. All the contenders were profiled on interactive TV and this website - and most national newspapers did big pieces on the runners and riders.

Second, films later in the show got bigger audiences than ones at the start. So around 5 million people saw the Ryder Cup piece or the Zara Phillips item, whereas 7 million were watching when the Joe Calzaghe film was shown. There was still time to vote, and we gave frequent updates on the contenders and how to support them throughout the programme.

Third, don't underestimate the audience's ability to make up its own mind. Over the years some SPOTY contenders have had big prominent films but have still missed out. In the end, it's the mass BBC One audience who vote for reasons which vary according to individuals - but we've no reason to believe they're any less sophisticated than the people taking part in this blog.

And I think a fair assessment is that Zara Phillips was so far ahead that she'd have won irrespective of any running orders. A gap of more than 75,000 votes is a big winning margin.

Finally, thanks as ever for the feedback. Much of it by email and from our early audience research has been positive, but we'll bear all of it in mind when we start planning next year's programme.

  • 43.
  • At 07:54 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • jabba wrote:

Another disappointing couple of hours .. I know I don't have to watch it. I have very fond memories of watching the programme in the days when the bbc had the rights to show most of the sport .. then it was a proper, and gripping, review of the sporting year. Now we are limited to a relatively shallow overview of events during the year, there is obviously a lack of balance with time being focused on those moments the bbc has footage for eg the luge.
The treatment of the finalists was awful, agree totally with some of the comments above ... profiles left too late and in some cases were so shallow they were gringing. I've no axe to gring but the treatment of Nicole Cooke was unacceptable ..
I wouldn't sit on your laurels with this .. the show needs some drastic overall if it isn't going to die a slow painful death .. one feels that it is living on borrowed time.

  • 44.
  • At 08:06 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • jeff wrote:

our sports personality of the year is someone who rides a horse. What does that say about the level of sport in this country ?

  • 45.
  • At 08:09 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Graham P wrote:

This programme used to actually be a review of the sports year didnt it? I used to look forward to seeing the bits on the various sports and remembering the great sporting moments of the year. This year there was just none of that. In Tennis you just showed a 15 second clip of Federer at Wimbledon and that was it. And as for Zara Phillips winning the award well thats a total joke. Clarke fully deserved to win in an admittedly bad year. Why dont you return to the previous voting method where voting opened a week or two before the show and people could email or mail their vote in. If the current voting system is kept in place there will be more ridiculous winners like Zara Phillips and the award will lose all credibility.

Calzaghe 9 year world champion; Taylor 13 times world champion; Zara
once world champion in a sport that is the preserve of the privileged.
We are still a nation with a horrendous serf mentality. Did you notice they gave Zara a fifteen minute slot and Calzaghe and Taylor about 30 seconds each? The interviews with Phil Taylor and Nicole Cooke were frankly insulting to their respective talents.

How many of these awards have Pippa Funnell and Nick Skelton won? Big
fat zero I believe.

  • 47.
  • At 08:30 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • mdozzer wrote:

I see a lot about getting the Judges back but the BBC will always keep the voting in i'm sure.

This will never happen but what about the voting they have in some of these reality shows where the judges contribute 50% of the vote and the public the other 50%. I'm pretty sure if it was like that you would have seen a different result having read the Sunday Papers and who they wanted to win.

  • 48.
  • At 08:36 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • David Catlow wrote:

The BBC owes Nicole Cooke a full and public apology for the shameful way she was treated on the programme. May I remind the sports editors that cycling is currently one of our most successful sports on the international stage and should be treated as such. Some of the so-called "major" sports would be overjoyed to have a fraction of cycling's success. Instead, we get lack-lustre and very sub-standard performances lauded as being the best. Farcical!
What really is your problem with cycling? Could it be that the BBC remembers the Tom Simpson story from the 60's and is determined to ensure that it never happens to them again?

  • 49.
  • At 08:44 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Medwyn Hughes wrote:

If I was Nicole Cooke I would'nt dream of setting foot in the place again. What a charade; it's a disgrace that such a distinguished sportswoman was treated so shoddilly. Do you fall off? ha ha ha. No proper mention of her wins this year, no video, farcical interview. A token effort and an utter, utter shambles.

  • 50.
  • At 08:49 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Michael Arnott wrote:

Zara Phillips should not have won Sports personality of the year, she wouldn't have had a chance if she was not royalty.Darren Clarke has had to endure an awful lot and still played very good golf, Monty Panesar has become a cult hero with the Barmy Army(pick him please Duncan). Don't forget the title PERSONALITY. I'm sure Zara has got an amazing one of those! Her mother should not have won it either. Oh, as for the boxers, there are so many different weights that there are not many people to beat

  • 51.
  • At 08:53 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Richard - Scotland wrote:

Does anyone actually believe that the great sporting public watching the programme, voted for Zara Phillips.

I would not belittle her achievments one bit or fall into the horrible reverse snobbery of saying she got it all handed on a plate to her.

I just simply do not believe that the viewing public voted for her as Sports Personality of the Year, when most would not even consider her a sportswoman in the first place. In the public's eye she is HMQ's Grand-daughter.

Most people would struggle to tell you what she won, where she won it and whom she defeated in winning it.

  • 52.
  • At 09:06 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Dan wrote:

@ Roger

Care to address the nicole cooke situation itself?

You have people all over the internet saying how much much respect they've lost for not just the award (she may have won but it seems not many people know anyone who's voted for her) but for the show itself due to the coverage of all the nominees.

Because they might been on breakfast (which isnt on a sunday?) is no justification whatsoever for treating a world class performer like cooke like that.

  • 53.
  • At 10:05 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Medwyn Hughes wrote:

I second that Dan, what about Nicole Cooke Roger(you know Roger, that cyclist person).

  • 54.
  • At 10:30 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Gary wrote:

thanks for your latest comments which completely disregard all the criticism regarding the treatment of Nicole Cooke.
It's great that all the feedback you've recieved elsewhere is favourable (isn't it always!) but would you care to address the main issue that has been brought up on this thread; the utter disregard in which Nicole Cooke was held.

I could point you to several message boards on the internet which are also disgusted with the treatment of Cooke, but seeing as it is the main complaint on this thread it seems hardly necessary

  • 55.
  • At 10:34 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Helen Whitehead wrote:

My niece was one of the final three in the running (Elisabeth Clegg) Young Sports Personality of the Year 2006. She is a blind runner, she has achieved so much in her short life. Theo wins it when he has done nothing but sit on the bench !! Can I also point out that Theo knew he had won prior to Sunday as it was on Teletext Sunday morning. Elisabth and her parents' went to Birmingham not even knowing that the overall winner had been chosen and was already in the news. If you knew Elisabeth's personality she would be, without doubt the winner !! Oh and they couldn't even spell her name right !! It is ELISABETH not ELIZABETH !! Helen Whitehead - Macclesfield

  • 56.
  • At 10:37 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Alice Taplin wrote:

The show had a lot to commend it but surrendering the selection process to pressmen (who struggle to remember what happened the previous week never mind 8 months ago) was a massive mistake - all that parlava achieved was to strike two genuine high calibre candidates off the BBC's own list

  • 57.
  • At 10:51 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Helen Whitehead wrote:

My niece was one of the final three in the running (Elisabeth Clegg) Young Sports Personality of the Year 2006. She is a blind runner, she has achieved so much in her short life. Theo wins it when he has done nothing but sit on the bench !! Can I also point out that Theo knew he had won prior to Sunday as it was on Teletext Sunday morning. Elisabth and her parents' went to Birmingham not even knowing that the overall winner had been chosen and was already in the news. If you knew Elisabeth's personality she would be, without doubt the winner !!

Oh and it is ELISABETH not ELIZABETH !!

  • 58.
  • At 10:52 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Jon McCauley wrote:

I wasn't sure about the awards show this year. I felt the show was going to lose its intimacy by moving to the NEC, and I think that was proved to be the case. I think the awards themselves went to the right people , and as a St.Helens fan, I was delighted with the two awards they picked up on the night. I do hope that the BBC move it back to the studio in London next year. Make it three hours long, review the sporting year a bit more rather than natter to the same old faces, oh, and bring back the funnies.

  • 59.
  • At 11:09 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Charlotte Clifford wrote:

I was really looking forward to this year's SPOTY awards show. A new venue with members of the public allowed attend the event for the first time and you would think the the ceremony would have been more exciting than in recent years. Thank goodness for the public in the arena. They gave the atmosphere a real boost. But as for the results! What a farce! The TOTY was awarded to St. Helens. What, so the Ryder Cup team didn't deserve it did they? For Pete's sake they have won the Ryder Cup three times in a row now! And how did Tiger Woods not get the Overseas Player award. Don't get me wrong, I think Roger Federer is the best tennis player in the world right now, but Tiger Woods carried on playing his golf not long after his father passed away. His bravery should have been awarded. His father taught hime everything he knows he's the reason why Tiger is the best golfer. As soon as the Ryder Cup team didn't get the TOTY and tiger didn't get the Oversea PLayer award, it was obvious that Darren Clarke wasn't going to win the SPOTY award. After going through a traumatic year, you wouldn't have expected to be seeing Darren walk out onto the first hole of the K-Club on that Friday morning in September. His bravery and sheer commitment should have made him SPOTY. NOT ZARA PHILLIPS!!!!!! Big wow, she's the Queen's granddaughter, her mother won the award years ago. She's only 11th in line to the throne for goodness sake! NOT NEXT! I didn't even know she had won anything this year until I saw ten shortlisted personalites for the SPOTY. I am starting to wonder whether the award is for personality anymore!

  • 60.
  • At 11:11 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Jackie wrote:

I don't think there is anything left to say that has not been said already regarding the treatment of Nicole, but I thought I would add my note, in case the BBC are paying any attention to the volume of complaints on this topic!

  • 61.
  • At 11:30 PM on 11 Dec 2006,
  • Alex wrote:

A side note to the other comments, I appreciated the 7pm start. It finished at a sensible time. Whilst I don't have any children, I can imagine quite a few families appreciated being able to send their children to bed at a sensible time (especially as it was a school day on Monday).

  • 62.
  • At 12:46 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • daniel shapiro wrote:

I heard the winner interviewed this morning on the Today programme on Radio 4. She had no personality, was unable coherently or interestingly to answer even the simplest questions.
It might have made more sense to give the award to her horse.

  • 63.
  • At 08:29 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Jason wrote:

I would also appreciate it if Roger could comment on the Nicole Cooke interview. Does he feel that it was appropriate for Nicole's coverage to be limited to a short interview in her seat being asked irrelevant and, frankly, quite patronising questions, which left the audience none the wiser of her considerable achievements this year. Why were her achievements not mentioned? Why did we not see video clips, when these were shown for the other condenders. I am not saying that she should have won, though she dominates female cycling to a greater extent than Lance Armstrong did in the men's version of the sport, but I do feel that it is the BBC's duty to treat all the shortlisted canditates fairly and equally and not to pre-judge who the favourites were and give them disproportionate coverage. This may or may not have influenced the final outcome - I don't wish to get involved in that argument - but I do feel that the BBC should have treated all of the shortlisted candidates with respect. Roger, please could you respond to this; it is the major issue raised on this board. As licence fee payers, we would really like to hear on views on this.

  • 64.
  • At 08:40 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Ste_S wrote:

I'd just like to echo the comments about the unfair treatment of the nominees, in particular Nicole Cooke and Phil Taylor. You really didn't want either of those two to win did you ?

Roger - you've covered a number of points in your response (post #42), which I appreciate, and make a lot of sense: I do really hope you take on the comments given here and elsewhere and really input that into the show in 12 months time. Still, would you like to respond to the questions I posed in Post #35?

  • 66.
  • At 08:56 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Charlie wrote:


has the BBC given up on the Sports Review aspect of the show?

I'm uncertain as to whether it is a deliberate policy to ditch the review aspects or just a result of poor execution.

If the SPOTY is to become a pure awards ceremony is it possible to produce a seperate review show as it was always one of the highlights of the christmas season (for this sports fan anyway) to get to see the best of the years sporting action.

  • 67.
  • At 09:03 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • nick baggott wrote:

I totally agree with all of the comments above. The BBC were not even handed with the candidates and treatment of some of them was a disgrace (Cooke, Hatton and Calzaghe in particular).

I applaud you for having a blog and replying to the posts. I just hope that you take our views into account. All it needed was a 15 second summary of the achievements of each candidate each time the numbers were given and a 10 minute round up of all of them upfront.

Also the O'Driscoll style features are embarrassing, particularly when the BBC actually has some rugby footage to show!

  • 68.
  • At 09:08 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • KentishBarry wrote:

In reply to message 20 on Team of the year.
Why do you think the Ryder Cup lot should have won?
How many teams did they beat to get to the final? Are they a 'team'?!!
A group of individuals play a couple of rounds of golf and add their scores together. No thanks.

Saints by a country mile.

  • 69.
  • At 09:25 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Michelle Slater wrote:

In reply to Roger's post..........

Ok, sure, more poeple were watching towards the end of the programme than at the beginning, but surely Miss Phillips would have accumulated more votes during the show than the others, regardless of viewing figures as she was on at the beginning???

I don't want to keep dragging this on and on, but as a sports fan I'm very disappointed. I should've known better really, it hasn't been the best year for sport!!!!

And please please can we have the results for all 10 nominees???!!!!!
I'm desperate to know who came where...........

  • 70.
  • At 09:47 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Roger Mosey - Director of BBC Sport wrote:

On Michelle's first point: the voting lines for all the contenders were open throughout the programme with frequent reminders - and thousands of people phoned in before any films had been shown. In reply to David in post 46: steady on! Both Zara Phillips and Joe Calzaghe had (a) a film about them - as it happened with Zara's mother and Joe's father respectively; and (b) they both had live interviews, though Joe's was seen by more people - and was followed immediately by a further invitation to vote.

On the wider issue of whether Zara deserved to win: views clearly differ. Have a look this morning (Tuesday) at The Guardian, where there's a big feature on how odd it was; versus The Telegraph (Sue Mott and Lucinda Green in the Sport section) who think it was a great outcome.

On the Nicole Cooke points... Yes,
reviewing the show, we agree that the questioning of Nicole Cooke should have included something more about her considerable achievements this year. But we did cover those extensively in our sports news output at the time on radio, tv and online; and there were updated profiles of Nicole on our website and on interactive television. We were delighted Nicole was on the programme, and we're looking forward to covering her activities between now and the Beijing Olympics. Our aim is to continue to increase the profile of cycling as an Olympic sport in the run-up to London 2012.

It seems to me that ten nominees is probably too many, but one way or another equal time has to be apportioned to each of the candidates, ideally in the first hour of the show. Mix that element with the "review" of the year, and then in the second part of the show, open the voting *after* the nominees have been presented (I believe even something like X Factor works this way), and then start the other awards with more actual "review".

The packages for each of the candidates do need to be the same, and perhaps that just means pre-taping interviews with them mixed with footage. Otherwise, yes, there is bias towards people featured earlier in the show.

Roger mentions that more people were watching towards the end of the show than the beginning, but I think we all know that 100 mins x 5 million viewers is a greater opportunity for winning votes than 10 mins x 7 million viewers.

I suspect that one way or another Zara Phillips would have won this year irrespective of her coverage, but perhaps the voting would have been closer, and the viewing public might be a little more aware of what some of the shortlisted candidates actually achieved. Yes, I am talking about Nicole Cooke.

I think that overall, the viewing public is never going to be *that* knowledgable, and this is a primetime entertainment show on a Sunday evening. Perhaps the problem is that we don't have a serious alternative sports award in the UK - something conducted like some of those European or World Footballer of the Year awards which are voted for by sports journalists. I would like to see a similarly high profile UK award from a judging panel. That's probably not the job for SPOTY since it has always been a public vote.

  • 72.
  • At 10:43 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Tomos Watkins wrote:

I have a small point to make - if you want someone in particular to win VOTE FOR THEM!!!

It's all well and good harping on that so and so didn't come early enough in the programme or didn't get a long enough interview. In case you hadn't noticed someone will ALWAYS have to be last - both in the running order AND the voting.

Personally, I was also suprised at the winner, but I think it had more to do with 'voting apathy' than anything else.

I think most people would agree with Mr Linekar's opening lines about how bad a year it has been in general for British sport. When there is a clear Bookie's favourite (as was overwhelmingly the case with Darren Clarke), I believe people are LESS likely to vote because they think "there's no point - the favourite will romp home".

If Darren had won there would have been uproar that it had been a sympathy vote.

If Beth Tweddle had won - further outcry because she got to perform on the night, early in the show.

Hatton or Calzaghe (who got my vote - repeatedly) would have upset the P.C. anti-boxing brigade.

Phil Taylor - Now that would have opened a whole Sport vs Pastime can of worms

Monty Panesar winning by not playing... hmm make your own mind up about what that would have happened there.

Jenson Button - Aah, a true World Champion - oops sorry, European Champion.... no... well err he won one race. Right. Ok.

Andy Murray - No doubt that Andy WILL win - in the future when he has acheived some of his undoubted potential. Lets just wait until he's won more than one tour event though?

And so to Nicole Cooke... in my mind a possible worthy winner, with her fantastic achievments. But I'm sure the fans of messrs. Clarke, Phillips, Tweddle, Calzaghe, Hatton, Button, Murray, Taylor and Panesar would have been furious and vented their anger here had she taken the prize.
Let's also not forget that on the Welsh Sports Personality of the Year voting was open for a week, and she had a great film and interview (not even a mention of 'falling off'). On that occassion the award went to Joe Calzaghe.

It seems nobody wants to be last in the running order, a look at the Match of the Day blogs tells you that, but someone has to be. I thought it used to be called 'Topping The Bill'.

There also has to be a winner and 9 losers. Having a public vote is, I believe, the fairest and most democratic way of finding out which is which.

'We' get the winner 'we' deserve, because 'we' voted for them.

  • 73.
  • At 10:51 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Paul Hartford wrote:

Dear Mr Mosey,
I am afraid I must echo many of the previous comments.I am an avid sports fan aged 48 whose highlight of the SPORTING year (after the FA cup final)in my childhood was SPOTY.Then it was a true reflection of the sports and the great drama they had given us,from football to boxing Athletics to Golf.Now we are restricted to those (few) sports the BBC can cover and lots of rather embarrassing ''interviews''.As a result I now struggle to stay with the show and agree you should make it an awards ceremony only.
The format was better than last year. However Adrian Chiles interviews with Phil Taylor were absoluteley awful. Whether Darts is a sport or not is another argument but Phil Taylor's achievements far surpass Zara Philips in both drama and entartainment, even if they have not been on the BBC.
Overall you must try harder more substance than show please and get more clips even if it costs.

  • 74.
  • At 11:02 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Charlie wrote:

"On the wider issue of whether Zara deserved to win: views clearly differ. Have a look this morning (Tuesday) at The Guardian, where there's a big feature on how odd it was;"

Wasn't she on the Guardian's shortlist in the first place?

A bit late for them to decide that it was 'odd' for her to win.

  • 75.
  • At 11:14 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Knowsley1972 wrote:

St Helens win two awards, and deservedly so!

In a viewer vote,whether you like it or not, Rugby League supporters paid their money, unlike the so called Ryder Cup supporters. Additionally, there were many viewers from outside the Rugby League heartland who also voted.

However, the BBC now needs to go one step further.
Rugby League wins two awards and what do we see on the show- a few snatched seconds of one of the most exciting teams ever to play the game!

A programme showing the highlights, say a 30 minute slot, of Saints season, would give an indication to the un-initiated, of the physical power and skill of this great game.
After all this was a programme broadcast nationally. Rugby League deserves a bigger audience.

Come on BBC do the honourable thing, after all you have the broadcasting rights from Sky!

  • 76.
  • At 11:21 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • sportsviewer wrote:


A few comments.

Firstly, I applaud you for taking time to regularly write this blog, and to actively review and comment on the posts.

I hope the comments of all the posters will be taken very seriously, as we have all made the time and effort to say something about the show.

My main comment is about your belief that the contenders were treated fairly because they were profiled on other BBC Sport output (online, Breakfast etc etc). I know BBC Sport views itself as a multi-media provider, but most of the viewers (am I allowed to still use that word or are we all "consumers" of your content now?) just wouldn't have seen all that content. [Readers can check out a recent speech of Roger's in the press office section of this website which covers the BBC Sport multi-media strategy.]

I believe many sports fans search out coverage of their own sports from a variety of sources (BBC and non-BBC), and those who are "digitally-aware" will find much from the BBC, but many will not.

However much the contenders are covered elsewhere, I strongly believe the BBC has a duty to look at the Sports Review show as a standalone item and treat the contenders fairly within that show, so that viewers who have seem some or none of the other coverage are presented with fair coverage of the contenders. (How many viewers do you expect to have seen all of the supporting coverage?)

If you look at the show on tape in isolation of all other BBC output then it did not treat the contenders fairly, and this will always tarnish this year's result.

The voting lines really shouldn't be opened until all the contender profiles have been shown.

Keep blogging and posting!

  • 77.
  • At 11:25 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • matthew wrote:

Like some of the other writers here, it appeared that the review aspect of the show was greatly reduced. Perhaps extending the programme by half an hour next year would help. The lack of coverage of the sussex cricket team was disgraceful. While county cricket is far less popular than international cricket or club football, it is more popular than a number of sports which were featured, although there was little on international cricket also.

  • 78.
  • At 11:34 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • miniman wrote:


In reponse to your reply #65, it is a bit late to start "back pedalling" now, because you will definately FALL OFF!!!

To say that the questioning of Nicole Cooke should have included her considerable achievements is a bit late. You did not make the same error in not announcing Miss Phillips' achievements.

Also, to say that there was extensive coverage of profiles on interactive tv and online, is a poor excuse, not everyone has access to these mediums, surely to be fair to all the finalists an equal amount of time for each is the only way to carry out a transparent voting process.

I am glad the BBC is going to increase the profile of cycling as an Olympic sport, in the run up to 2012, it is just as well, because by the time the event takes place we will be grateful for all the medals our cyclists will win, because I cant see us winning many from our "mainstream" Olympic disciplines if they carry on as they are at the present.

I would aslo, like to point out there is the small matter of a little cycle race starting in London next year, perhaps we might get a little coverage of that as well.

ps. As previously asked for, can we have the full list of total number of votes for all the finalists -please.

  • 79.
  • At 11:55 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Thomas Anderson wrote:

I agree with the many comments above regarding the lack of focus on the review aspect of the show which is something I, and I'm sure many others, really looked forward to in the past.

This year's show was pathetic if you judge it as a review. I understand the BBC have lost a lot of rights to sports such as cricket but not mentioning how England got on in their Test matches this year or that they even played Sri Lanka was poor. There was not even much footage of the sports that are still on the BBC, the Open and Wimbledon just got a fleeting mention in very poor pieces on Woods and Federer. Perhaps worst of all was not showing a single shot of a woman playing tennis even though the BBC has extensive coverage of Wimbledon and interactive coverage of the Australian and French Opens.

Furthermore, had you not known that Amelie Mauresmo won the ladies' singles at Wimbledon you would not have found out by watching SPOTY which is absoloutely disgraceful. I would also echo the sentiments about the embarassing Nicole Cooke interview but cannot say I was surprised as it was entirely in keeping with this year's appalling attempt at what used to be a thoroughly enjoyable look back on the sporting year.

  • 80.
  • At 12:07 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • JugHead wrote:

I'd agree with the above. The excuse that many of the profiles were shown on other BBC output and all had equal website biographies is not on. The BBC has a duty to be impartial - the show should have begun giving each of the contenders an equal sized slot and interview.

  • 81.
  • At 12:17 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Gavin F wrote:


I attended the event at the NEC and myself and my guests were very impressed by the effort put into the show by the BBC. We were also fortunate to meet alot of the sports stars afterwards and found them very respectful and pleasant.

I hope you bring it back to the NEC next year as the set up was brilliant. The crowd was just the right size too.

In relation to the voting - It seemed that when the announcment was made about the overseas personality being voted by the studio audience, there were alot of puzzled people around us. We were given voting forms for the main prize but this passed us by. Just how many people voted on this from the audience?

I think you cant argue with the public if thats thier choice, although i think Calzaghe would of been a worthy winner. I do agree that a panel of judges should make the overall choice as alot of the public do not have the knowledge of all disiplines.

I also can't see how Walcott has achieved more than the other two candidates? I suppose you had to give something to football to keep the FA happy.

Overall great experience being there and look forward to the next one.

  • 82.
  • At 12:55 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Ian T wrote:

A few comments on the experience of being there on Sunday night:

1. Please don't ask Andrew Castle to do the "warm up" again. Comments such as "It's easy to get people here when there's free booze and food" (maybe for the VIPs but not the majority of your audience Andrew) and "What's the view like from the five pound seats" (they were twenty seven pounds + seven pounds for the parking) just made it all a bit "us and them" really. We weren't even allowed to go out and get a drink of water (it was VERY hot in there).

2. After the programme had finished we were told to stay in our seats whilst photos were taken and then it was "Thanks a lot, thanks for coming" and that was it. Sue, Gary and, the Nicole Cooke interview aside, the superb Adrian Chiles just went and we were left to it really. A bit of appreciation for being there would have been nice.

3. Don't feel you have to invite more of the public next year. Everyone had a good view, the usual nightmare of getting out of the NEC car parks wasn't too bad at all and I think the atmosphere was good without being too over the top.

About the show itself:

1. Hardly any clips of any meaning. Ok, there aren't many clips you have the rights for but even those you do were hardly used and instead it was all arty stuff.

2. No explanation of what the Helen Rollason award is actually for and why Paul Hunter should receive it. The guy did deserve a tribute but this was also at the expense of not showing what happened during the rest of the year in his sport.

3. Whilst on the subject of Paul Hunter, no roll call of the sports men and women that we've lost this year. Always a poignant part of the programme.

4. Nice plug for Little Britain but there was already a programme about Williams' superb effort, unless your going to show a charity sporting achievement every year???

5. The young sports personality should be a "one to look out for". We know about Theo, give someone else a chance.

Next year? Why not two programmes, one going over the 10 finalists before the vote starts (maybe on the Friday before the show) and then an actual review of the year with the presentations made at the end.

  • 83.
  • At 01:01 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • AliceTaplin wrote:

Roger, two questions yet to be answered:

1. Why was the process of drawing up the ten nominations for YOUR BBC award completely surrendered to the newspapers by giving them 340 votes out of 370? (your Sports Panel had already filtered out the "online campaigns" so don't use that red herring argument)

2. As a BBC West viewer I was among those who voted for Shelley Rudman as she won Regional SPOTY - ahead of Zara Phillips! - was that taken into account when ZP and Jenson Button (Frome) were included in the ten and Shelley wasn't?

  • 84.
  • At 01:19 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Amy wrote:

Sunday's show was not as bad as in recent years as having the list of 10 nominees did, at least ensure that a few more sports than normal got a look in. As other bloggers have said, though, please can we get back to a review of the sporting year, rather than concentrating on "personalities"?

Also, why go on about 2006 not being a good year for British Sport? OK Rugby, Cricket and Football haven't exactly had glorious years, but plenty other British sportsmen and women have been giving everything and have been winning all over the world. For instance, why did rowing and sailing get about 2 seconds of coverage each when the GB teams are recognised as among the best in world? In rowing, apart from the coxless four going unbeaten for 2 seasons and several other crews reaching the world championships finals, Britain hosted the world champs and, by all accounts did a really good job.
In sailing, would Dee Caffari's achievement of sailing the "wrong" way aroung the world not have been worth a mention, along with the 8 gold medals won by the dinghy team in the Olympic test event in China (out of 11 events in total)?

Finally for all those people trying to knock Zara Phillps' achievements - it is not possible to buy your way to the top of any equestrian sport. Yes, you can get so far, but not to the World and European titles. That takes real talent and mental strength. The field she beat at the worlds included all the big names in the sport and no-one handed the title to her on a plate.

So come on everybody, let's focus on the positve - 2006 has not been a bad year for all sport in Britain and you don't have to look too far for the good news, if you want to find it!

  • 85.
  • At 01:19 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Neil wrote:

I have to support postings by others that the treatment of Phil Taylor was very poor. Top of his sport for over a decade, world champion 13 times. Nobody else compares. I'm not saying he should necessarily have won it but he certainly didn't get the respect he deserves. I heard an interview with him on BBC radio recently where he said he hadn't even been invited in previous years. Yet the likes of Anton Ferdinand and Mick McCarthy, far less deserving of an invite get almost the same amount of coverage as the cameras scanned the audience. Yr on year i feel underwhelmed by the coverage, simply scanning over each event - another poor example i recall being the treatment of Alec Stewart. England stalwart, played for years, over 100 tests and literally a couple of moments to a wonderful servant to his country.

  • 86.
  • At 01:19 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Dave wrote:

I attended the event at the NEC and found it very enjoyable. I did start to feel part way through the show that all 10 contenders were not given equal time. I felt sure Calzaghe would finish in the top three but thats just my opinion. We were totally confused over the audience voting. We were given a form to vote for the main event but no explanation as to when or how to do this. A little too much time perhaps devoted to Beth, albeit entertaining. Could this have given her a few thousand more votes? All in all though a very enjoyable night and very well put together. A slick operation one might say. Next time though PLEASE give all contenders equal time.

  • 87.
  • At 01:31 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Chris Goodall wrote:

Why no mention for Andy Priaulx? World Touring Car champion.

  • 88.
  • At 02:32 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Thomas Fletcher wrote:

I agree with Post 83 it hasn't been a bad year for british sport only for the English football, Rugby, Cricket and GB athletics team.

Some notable achievements:
The Scottish rugby team only lost one game at Murrayfield which included beating France (one of the RWC favourites), which, compared to results from previous years. is a huge achievement. The Scottish football team also had a much improved year along with Northen Ireland.

Swimming, Cycling, Rowing, Sailing, Gymanstics, Boxing, Disabled Athletics, Badminton and Bowls are all sports where we have reigning world champions.

Please get back to the Sports Review with consistent coverage given to all the contenders.

  • 89.
  • At 02:38 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • sally wrote:

The reason why viewing figures rose for this years Sports P of the year award may have been that many were interested in seeing Darren Clarke the only PERSONALITY in the line up.

  • 90.
  • At 02:39 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • dreynolds wrote:

SP of Y 650,000 votes
X Factor 3,500,000 votes

Enough Said!!

  • 91.
  • At 02:43 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

Anyone who wants to argue the legitimacy of the uncontrolled public vote is talking rubbish. Unless it's restricted to one vote per phone number/i.p. address etc.. it's no use. As seen with the people voting for those oh so enjoyable reality tv shows "oooh, I've voted for Pete at least a 100 times" and so on...

If she won fair asnd square then we can't argue, however, I'm one of the sceptical millions. The top 3 have the largest portions of the show dedicated to them, hmmmmmm?

  • 92.
  • At 02:51 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Medwyn Hughes wrote:

Roger, if nothing else of benefit comes of this blog, I hope the message about equal treatment of all nominees during the programme has been fully appreciated, otherwise what's the point of the whole thing?

  • 93.
  • At 03:11 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • henry pritchard wrote:

Glitzy show but too much banal interview stuff, not enough recall.

Why only seconds (which I missed) on rowing and sailing?

The latter our best Olympic sport twice, in both of which we have had huge successes at world level.

Who decides the prog content, I would like him to know - I do not like my licence money wasted on failures.

  • 94.
  • At 03:25 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Maria wrote:

Mr Mosey

I don't mean to have a go and will be as diplomatic as I can...

With all respect, even though I thank you for taking the time to clarify a few things, can you please clarify why a disabled athlete, Darren Kenny, that was on the top 10 on public post votes, was overlooked?

OK, he did get a little mention on the show, which I thank you for, however, had the BBC followed disabled cycling throughout the year, you would have had more to show on the night. It was not for lack of success or major events in 2006!

Why was disabled sport overlooked? Specially when the public voted and succeeded at getting them in the top 10? Why when disabled sport does get mentioned it usualy involves a wheelchair? It the BBC aware that being disabled does not always mean that you are in a wheelchair?

Should it not be an idea that in future, rather than relying on what newspaper and magazine editors want, let the public choose from the outset? Surely you would get less complaints that way.

You would have to admit that for him to get that many votes without the media's help (including the BBC) is quite impressive?

I am aware that you cannot please everyone however, a bit more consideration on this matter and some other matters would have made things better for everyone to understand.

  • 95.
  • At 03:33 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

I was at the show on Sunday and i thouroughly enjoyed it. I think to bring this type of thing outside of London can only be a good thing.

Why not rotate it around some of our provincial cities like the England football team have done?

I would say however that 10 final nominees was far too big a number and was obviously going to favour some more than others.

Nicole Cook and Ricky Hatton were probably not expecting to win but their playing field wasnt very level was it?

Also the audience participation in the Foreign award was not well managed, I didnt even realise until i was in the studio at which point it was too late!!

But full marks for the BBC for trying something different, the atmosphere in the NEC was terrific, and I for one would definately go again.

  • 96.
  • At 03:44 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Toytown Passenger wrote:


It's great you read and respond to the messages and there have been a few good points raised here. For all the comments on Nicole Cookes interview - just face it, even a brilliant interview wouldn't have got her into the top 3....

one question for you, one for the message board

1) How does the BBC regulate the voting system? I was allowed to vote twice for Joe C. Surely it should be a one person, one phone vote? Did ZP get a lot of votes from the SW1 area by any chance?

2) Is darts a sport or a game? I like Phil Taylor, i like darts - I just don't think it's a sport.

  • 97.
  • At 03:49 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Steve wrote:


To start on a positive note I did think the show was generally quite well put together and enjoyable.

However reading through the comments a common theme appears to be the lack of actual sports action shown. I would certainly agree. I think the show actually reflected what the BBC's attitude towards sport has become - too much talk and arty graphics and not enough actual sports action. Please take note.

  • 98.
  • At 04:09 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

In response to 'Is Darts a sport or a game', they're all games in one way or another but played for sport.

SPORT (noun)
a. Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.

b. A particular form of this activity.

2. An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.

3. An active pastime; recreation.

  • 99.
  • At 04:49 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Gary wrote:

To Toytown Passenger message 95:

What exactly are you trying to say about Cooke?

  • 100.
  • At 05:24 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Dan Smith wrote:

Can we have the vote percentages for the entire top 10 please.

Darts is recognised as a sport and, for me, is a much of a sport as golf, snooker, shooting or archery.

  • 102.
  • At 05:39 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Toytown Passenger wrote:

To Gary

Re: Cooke

I meant nothing malicious towards the athelete, her endevour and commitment outshone many others up for the award

What I'm saying is the sport is poorly represented on TV, the press or the radio. And more importantly, she's not Royal. The award was always in the royal nosebag, only a sympathy vote for Darren Clarke stood anychance. I would put Cooke and Calzaghe in place of Clarke and HRH ZP. And Jensen Button last.

  • 103.
  • At 05:44 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Chris Broome wrote:

Reading through the majoity of comments that have been posted on the site I feel I am in aggreement.
I would first like to point out that i am a HUGE fan of sports REVIEW of the year (as it should still be entitled) and i am usually the last person in the world to criticise it. but this year I thought things went really wrong.

To pick up on everyone elses point about Nicole Cooke, I think her treatment was disgraceful and the BBC should be ashamed. As far as i can see Roger mosely has not yet put a satisfactory explaination of why she got such a short amount of airtime as compared to Zara Philips. An explaination that she had air /radio /interactive coverage befoer the show is ridiculous beacuse you were not able to vote before the show. if you were able to vote a couple of weeks beforehand for example, coverage such as you have metioned may have made a difference.

Finally to give Jenson Button more air time (and even a nomination) after he had won just ONE race and finished SIXTH in the FIA world champs is just a joke.

  • 104.
  • At 05:44 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Big Phil wrote:

I agree with many of the comments above about the treatment given to the nominees being unequal.

Taylor is a 13 time world champ, albeit in a less popular sport, and gets a rubbish, short interview.

Calzaghe is an unbeaten world champ for years, and Ricky Hatton is a hugely popular champion, so they are lumped together with other Bristish boxers? They were the NOMINEES. Give them the space and time that was given to some of the others.

Cooke was also unfairly treated by Chiles, (how many miles do you cycle?? Ask Button how many laps he drives) and why bother with the demo given by Tweedle??? Just show the footage of her winning. Please don't cut corners for the sake of cost.

Perhaps the days of the show being a celebration of UK sport during the year are gone. If it is now about the 'personalities', be fair about their allotted time allocation.

I used to love watching it as a sporting review with genuine excitement as to who might win. This year I turned it over before the end, and next year I will watch something else instead. Perhaps Sky, where they actually show some sporting action.

Sorry Roger.

ps Darts is now a recognised sport - officially.

  • 105.
  • At 05:59 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Roger Mosey - Director of BBC Sport wrote:

OK - quick response to Dan and others. Here's the full list.

1. Zara Phillips 32.5%
2. Darren Clarke 21.2%
3. Beth Tweddle 13.0%
4. Joe Calzaghe 10.4%
5. Nicole Cooke 6.1%
6. Phil Taylor 4.5%
7. Monty Panesar 3.8%
8. Jensen Button 3.4%
9. Andy Murray 3.2%
10. Ricky Hatton 1.9%

On the more general points about the process, we tried to do it as fairly as possible. Carl Doran and others have posted here a number of times about what we were planning.

A: The shortlist was drawn up largely by expert panels because we wanted it to be as authoritative as possible without the opportunity for hijacking by organised campaigns.

B: The reason for having 10 nominees was then to give the voters on the night as much choice as possible with some safeguards in place to make the vote as fair as we could.

However C: We're making a television programme for a very large audience - close, I'd say, to now being the biggest awards show in the UK. To give all ten exactly the same treatment on the night is impossible (the audience is close to twice as high at some points of the programme as others) but would also be a real clash with picking out the key stories of the sporting year - which we're also trying to do. That's why we supplemented the programme with online, interactive, radio and TV news coverage to give every contestant the greatest possible exposure.

A number of people have raised the question of "straighter" narrative and less "gimmicks". I should say first of all that rights isn't an issue: the BBC has a strong set of rights on the key sports, and if Sky had done this programme they'd have had no World Cup, no Wimbledon, no Open Golf, no Winter Olympics without using BBC material - and they're kind enough to let us use some of their clips anyway.

But for all the complaints here about lack of that traditional storytelling, I've come across a lot of people who loved the Steve Gerrard piece or the emotion of Tiger Woods or the funny treatment of the Zidane headbutt - which certainly got a big laugh in the hall on the night. It just proves you can't please everyone, but the bigger point is that this has to be an engaging programme for regular viewers to BBC One as well as to dedicated fans of particular sports.

Finally for now - I'm particularly interested to read the comments from the people who were there. Thanks for coming along on the night and for posting your observations here. Ian T, I do agree with you: I thought we should have managed the end of the evening better for people in the NEC.

But one thought to bear in mind. It was a big creative risk after 53 years mainly in a London studio to go to Birmingham with a crowd of 5000, a live orchestra and all the rest. I'm delighted we did it and we believe it was a big factor in the sharp increase in viewing figures --- and the main thing is to build on the experience for next year.

  • 106.
  • At 06:00 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Dawson's Left Shoe wrote:

I totally agree with post 71.

The person with the most votes won.

What's wrong with that? If you don't like it... make sure you vote next time.

  • 107.
  • At 06:04 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Dan wrote:

I have always watch SPOTY, but I am may never watch again!! I'm sorry but this show, nay institution, has lost all meaning. There was very little review. There was very little balance. There was very little entertainment.

Where are the ditties like 'Frank 'n 'arry'of yesteryear? How can we possibly say that the presentation of the candidates was even - why not reduce it to five for the show itself (I believe this has been done before)? Where are the silly little games like long jump in the studio etc...?

Yes this was a bad year for sporting achievement in the UK's main sports, but why include the show in that. Go back to the roots - entertain, review and reward - stop patronising and stop giving awards for non-achievement (Theo Walcott - best young person to watch a World Cup).

Sorry but to my mind the show was limp and uninspiring, a real non-event.

  • 108.
  • At 06:06 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Paul Sheffield wrote:


It's simple really.

If you review the sporting year as it was so excellently done in the past, it will cover all the sports represented by the nominees, stating what they have won etc.

Therefore, you don't need to worry about the personal interviews with the nominees and when they should be aired etc, as they won't be needed due to the review being comprehensive enough to provide the public with the information required.

Let the public see the review of the sporting year as it should be and then they can decide from themselves from the candidates on offer.

Please, please, please Roger understand that we want the review back and not what was shown this year. If you do that then you will never have any questions like the one regarding Nicole Cooke as it will be a fair playing field.

  • 109.
  • At 06:37 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Charlie wrote:

"We're making a television programme for a very large audience - close, I'd say, to now being the biggest awards show in the UK."

If you are definitely going down the route of an awards ceremony rather than a review for this show, is it possible to do a seperate show that does properly review the sporting year?

There are plenty of people (judging by the commenst so far) who enjoyed the "festive review of great sport" that SROTY was, and as you point out you have the rights for most of it already. It would also give you a free rein to chase the Heat generation or whatever you are now doing with SPOTY without having to worry about the review aspects.

  • 110.
  • At 06:47 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Ric wrote:


You are not listening to the majority of people ! You are cherry-picking the back-slapping comments you want, to support your view that this was a decent programme.

People are upset because this used to be a thoroughly enjoyable, sports-based review, and has been transformed into a bland, biased awards ceremony.

  • 111.
  • At 07:19 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Becky wrote:

Now where was the real drama of the sporting year?

What about Leics winning the 20/20? Anybody who saw that will tell you it was nerve racking!

And also with cricket, there is more to this year than just Monty, a review of the year would have been nice.

The crowd was good however and i am a fan of having the public in to watch.

Adrian Chiles did a good job as well, apart from that interview with Nicole Cooke.

Though really what was with Zara Phillips winning? who would vote for her?

Did anyone else notice Darren Clarkes suit..though it was hard not to notice!

  • 112.
  • At 07:36 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Bubble wrote:

Several things,

Darts is a sport, Phil Taylor is tremendous at what he does! Conspiracy theorists would say that bearing in mind he plays for the rival dart organisation to that the BBC show, why should they give him a long segment that he deserves!!!

The most successful, consistent athlete of the year was David Weir.

He won the London Marathon, collected 3 Gold medals at the Paralympic World Cup and World Championships, and broke 2 world records!!! That is SPOTY

  • 113.
  • At 08:28 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Arthur Curry wrote:


Thanks firstly for what I thought was a very entertaining show. Secondly thank you for making the process very much more open, and contributing to the debate on this blog. It's rare for us 'members of the public' to get the chance to quiz the 'ones with the power'.

Can your boffins with the figures tell us how much of a difference your films and interiews made to the voting? For example, was there a large surge for Darren Clarke after the very moving Ryder Cup item was shown? Did the percentage of votes for Beth Tweddle increase after her performance etc.?

If this is the case, then there would be a case for two shows, one early evening 'guide to contenders' after which the lines would open, and then a later Review/Award show with the big announcement as the climax.

If, however the votes remained consistant throughout the evening then all the complaints about placement in the running order, due prominence or cheap shots in interviews mean nothing, because people have obviously decided who they want to vote for in advance.

  • 114.
  • At 09:18 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Tim Costello wrote:

I think that Roger Mosey (director of BBC Sport) has got the idea that we were less than happy about the unequal treatment of the contestants and in particular the insulting interview of Nicole Cooke.

Roger has the power, of course, to make amends by actually showing some "Nicole Cooke" action on TV.

Instead of endless reality TV, lets have some real TV. Why not go behind the scenes with some of the less well known sports and competitors in sports where we have achieved success against the odds.

What is really remarkable about Nicole is not that she has won, but that she comes from a country (UK) that has no real record of success in road racing at the international level. I am sure that must be true of other sports men and women in less well known sports. How did they do it? What sacrifices did they make? Has it been worth it? Would they do it again? What is it about them that enabled them to succeed?

How about commissioning such a series Roger?

  • 115.
  • At 09:32 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Carol Jeffs wrote:

I agree with comment no. 86. Why was there no mention of Andy Priaulx double World Touring Car Champion (2005 & 2006).

Does the BBC think Formula 1 is the only form of Motorsport?

  • 116.
  • At 10:06 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • leo wrote:

I would just like to add how appalled I was by the treatment of Nicole Cooke, does the BBC do no research on the nominees?

How can such an inept interviewer keep his job? She was clearly embarrassed and upset by the line of questioning.

  • 117.
  • At 10:59 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Claire Hamilton wrote:

I was very disapointed that Theo Walcott got the young sports personality for sitting on a bench.

You also didn't show enough coverage of the three of them, Blue Peter did a very good 5 min slot showing their achievements - the panel must not have seen this because they wouldn't have voted Theo!!!!

I thought the blind girl Elizabeth deserved the award through her courage and humility - she wasn't blowing her own trumpet.

Please suggest they watch footage before they decide next time

  • 118.
  • At 11:23 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Colin wrote:


You're being fairly thorough in your responses, and well done for that. However, I don't care whether other people liked the art house production of "Gerrard - The Movie" or the frankly stupid, and even slightly tasteless, Zidane sequence. WHERE WAS THE ACTUAL SPORT (ie as it was originally shown, without gimmicks like film effect, slow motion, jerky editing, but with commentary and from the original camera which showed it)?

As for the awards, maybe the show has become too overloaded with them in an effort to reward as wide a variety of sports as possible. Specifically, Theo Walcott should NOT have been given the junior award. This looks like a sop to football, I'm afraid.

The international award rightly went to Federer, though the process was rather silly. I do wonder why someone should be more deserving because of playing on after a bereavement (sorry if that seems harsh).

You also held yourselves out as hostages of fortune by making the team vote open to the public, resulting in a concerted campaign by rugby league fans for St Helens. As an RL fan was so sneering about the Ryder Cup, I have to compare a sport which still has a Northern Hemisphere power base solely in the North of England (despite efforts to spread it elsewhere), and where the international side got dumped out of the big event of the year, and regularly fails to deliver at the highest level. Rewarding domestic success for a team most of the country won't even name hardly cuts the mustard, compared to the thousands, possibly millions, gripped by the drama and tension of the Ryder Cup (and most of them can name some of the golfers and non-playing captain). No, the team award must go back to an internal choice.

As for the main award, the BBC must have been expecting Darren Clarke to win, or you'd have given the Helen Rollason award to him. I have no problem either with Darren Clarke not winning (for the reasons I gave above). I also don't mind the award going to Zara Phillips either (although I voted for Beth Tweddle). Frankly, those behind some of the ignorant sneers in the Press, MBs and blogs should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves and learn a bit about equestrianism. Equally, unlike Zara Phillips, Nicole Cooke and Beth Tweddle, Joe Calzaghe is NOT a true world champion. How can he be? He doesn't even hold the version of the title which is most officially recognised in the UK (WBC). There are actually two so-called world supermiddleweight champions, who are both unbeaten. Until they fight and there is one winner, neither deserves to be called world champion. I do however have to agree that all 10 nominees should have been given equal treatment.

There's always a lot of nonsense spoken about this award just before and just after the show, although in fairness, some of the messages on here have been quite well put. However, the regular contender for daftest message of the lot is the rubbish about the word "personality". Any sensible person knows that the award is intended to recognise ACHIEVEMENT, not personality, otherwise Eddie the Eagle would have won. Please think of a different name for the trophy, if possible, and as others have said, change the name of the show back to Sports REVIEW of the Year, especially if you really are going to show some sport, which is what the show should be about.

  • 119.
  • At 12:27 AM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • George Watson wrote:

To be honest I really struggled with this year's show.

It’s a well known fact that if you spend a significant amount of time on one subjects it will gain more votes then if you spend less time on another subject.

What Zara has done this year is amazing, but you have to ask the question that if the time had equally been shared out to each nominee, would she have won, I doubt it?

Please, next year it make it fairer and give each nominee the same amount of time. And stop those terrible questions asked because some of them were really poor like many other people have said.

  • 120.
  • At 03:35 AM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • bannersscc wrote:

Peter Nicol MBE - Squash

5 Yrs Number One in his sport (Henman ????)
Double Gold Commonwealth Games 2006.
Retired 2006 and BBC describes him as arguably the greatest British athelete in past 25yrs on par with Steve Redgrave.

What mention did he get ?


  • 121.
  • At 08:57 AM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Rob Broadhurst wrote:

What a load of waffle about a tv show. From my experience, the show is watched, mostly, by sports fans so, if someone like Zara Phillpis wins the award it is because more people voted for her than anyone else. I say well done to Zara for achieving something no other Brit has done (European & World Champion at the same time). Surely it was this fact (in a bad year of British sport) that makes her worthy of the award not some conspiracy theory about who may have voted for her.

THe show itself. Disappointing but that is not the point. I will certainly watch again next year.

  • 122.
  • At 09:48 AM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • genekaye wrote:

In response to the reply by, Roger Mosey - Director of BBC Sport - you say that Zara Phillips would have won whatever the running order but...

as many people have pointed out Sports Personality of the Year USED to be a full sports review of the year (Used to be 3 hours?!?!?!) an in depth look at the sporting year aimed at SPORT FANS!!!

Now the format has changed so much it resembles X-Factor and like that programme SPOTY is now aimed at as wider audience as possible. If X-Factor was a credible music programme it would be aimed at music fans...

just like Sports Personality of the Year should (As it always was) aimed at sports fans!!!

If it was just sports fans that had voted Calzaghe and Cooke would have got the awards they had deserved!

  • 123.
  • At 10:03 AM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

The problem about not giving equal prominence to the nominees was caused entirely by having so many nominees in the first place.

If there had just been the usual 6 nominees (instead of 10) then each nominee could have had a proper feature and interview in the first half of the show leaving plenty of time for voting afterwards. There could be a case for only opening voting lines AFTER all 6 nominees had been featured.

There would still then have been more than enough to fill the second half of the show - ie the sections on Football, Rugby Union, Rugby League, Winter Olympics, Schumacher and of course all of the other awards.

This would be a far fairer and more sensible way of doing things.

  • 124.
  • At 10:24 AM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Andrew Jackson wrote:


I note with interest the posts made regarding the unequal and, frankly, biased coverage of the 10 contenders, particularly the apalling treatment of Nicole Cooke. I cannot imagine any respected reporter quizzing a world champion of any other sport with the banality demonstrated by Adrian Chiles.
I had the privilege to meet Nicole yesterday evening, and she was clearly dissapointed not to have been asked about her remarkable achievements on the show. However, Nicole Cooke is a true professional, dedicated and driven to succeed. The best is yet to come from Nicole Cooke, and so you WILL have the opportunity to correct your travesty - I sincerely hope you get it right on that occasion!

  • 125.
  • At 10:29 AM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Carol wrote:

Hello is anyone really reading this!
What a farce ro give the Lifetime Achievement to Bjorn Borg! Yes I agree he achieved much in the world of Tennis....but that was 25 years ago!!!! Wake up BBC this was the year that Michael Schumacher should have received it. His achievements will never be repeated in our lifetime !!!! He retirement IS the end of an era. So please re-think this for next year. The programme was not as well prepared as in previous years and was much better in the studio......and for need to get rid of at one male presenter!

  • 126.
  • At 10:39 AM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Donald wrote:


It seems clear from all the comments from the people who did not entirely enjoy the show that what we would like to see is a review show and what you are aiming for is an awards show. Surely there is room in the BBCs schedules for one of each and then at least you will be keeping more of the people happy. During the year there has been a lot of good sport on the BBC (the winter Olympics, Commonwealth Games, 6 nations, World cup etc) surely you could get a good couple of hours of highlights from all of that and I for one would be delighted to watch it.

  • 127.
  • At 10:40 AM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Thomas Anderson wrote:

This is a quote from Roger Mosey's last post:

"A number of people have raised the question of "straighter" narrative and less "gimmicks". I should say first of all that rights isn't an issue: the BBC has a strong set of rights on the key sports, and if Sky had done this programme they'd have had no World Cup, no Wimbledon, no Open Golf, no Winter Olympics without using BBC material - and they're kind enough to let us use some of their clips anyway."

The issue is not whether the BBC has rights to all these events it is why they choose to show virtually no footage from them. I would be surprised if the length of footage shown from Wimbledon and the Open put together was even 30 seconds which is entirely unacceptable when the main focus of the show should be sporting action. As for people laughing at the Zidane clip, is this a sports show or a comedy show? If it is the latter maybe you could do a terrible piece on Larry David instead of Tiger Woods next year.

Getting a few cheap laughs in no way justifies the completely inadequate coverage given to all of the years major sporting events. Where was the coverage of both Wimbeldon finals? Why did we not see proper clips of action from either the Masters or the Open aside from Mickelson holing out on the last hole at Augusta? Why was the 6 Nations skipped past in an awful gimmicky piece?

Please, please, please get back to putting more focus on the Review. It may sound harsh but in years to come people will remember 2006 as the year Tiger Woods won 2 majors not the year his father died and the Sports REVIEW of the year should reflect this. Properly shot quality sporting action should always take priority over poorly produced and insignificant 'human interest' nonsense.

  • 128.
  • At 11:34 AM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Thomas Anderson wrote:

This is a quote from Roger Mosey's last post:

"A number of people have raised the question of "straighter" narrative and less "gimmicks". I should say first of all that rights isn't an issue: the BBC has a strong set of rights on the key sports, and if Sky had done this programme they'd have had no World Cup, no Wimbledon, no Open Golf, no Winter Olympics without using BBC material - and they're kind enough to let us use some of their clips anyway."

The issue is not whether the BBC has rights to all these events it is why they choose to show virtually no footage from them. I would be surprised if the length of footage shown from Wimbledon and the Open put together was even 30 seconds which is entirely unacceptable when the main focus of the show should be sporting action. As for people laughing at the Zidane clip, is this a sports show or a comedy show? If it is the latter maybe you could do a terrible piece on Larry David instead of Tiger Woods next year.

Getting a few cheap laughs in no way justifies the completely inadequate coverage given to all of the years major sporting events. Where was the coverage of both Wimbeldon finals? Why did we not see proper clips of action from either the Masters or the Open aside from Mickelson holing out on the last hole at Augusta? Why was the 6 Nations skipped past in an awful gimmicky piece?

Please, please, please get back to putting more focus on the Review. It may sound harsh but in years to come people will remember 2006 as the year Tiger Woods won 2 majors not the year his father died and the Sports REVIEW of the year should reflect this. Properly shot quality sporting action should always take priority over poorly produced and insignificant 'human interest' nonsense.

  • 129.
  • At 11:42 AM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Karen Marshall wrote:

Short and sharp points

Walcott was a dreadful decision - was that the paper editors panel? An insult to youngsters who are genuine champions - Walcott may be one for the future but others are achieving now.

St Helens - not sure at first but they did very well and play together all year whereas the Ryder Cup come together once every two years and let's face it =- it can't be that hard as the captain is a sort of long service award for someone with mates. Even if someone is really good they don't get to do it again.

Zara - chosen by the public helped by top promotion from the BBC. She is a world champion.

Borg - what lifetime achievement??? -he walked away from tennis in his mid 20's and has done nothing for the sport since. This stank of a "big name" requirement to boost interest like Queen's Honours lists. Schumacher or Martin Pipe should have had this award as they were relevent to this year not 25 years ago.

Roger Mosey lists the events Sky would have required BBC footage to have done a similar programme. True but we only saw 3" of the Grand National and next to nothing of many of the others - England went out of the World Cup yet all we got were shots of an empty stadium - it was as if the BBC had no rights.

The packages are too arty and staged.

  • 130.
  • At 01:46 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Graham wrote:


So, you think that St Helens should not get TOTY award because you laughably claim that "nobody has heard of them"? Tell me, had the YSPOTY not gone to Theo Walcott, would you have been equally as destructive to the winner claiming that "nobody has heard of them"? No, thought not.

The TOTY award should go to team which has achieved sporting excellence. Like it or not, St Helens RLFC achieved this over an eight month period, sweeping the board both collectively and individually in their chosen sport. The Ryder Cup "Team" by comparison beat a very poor American over a three day period - that, by any stretch of the imagination, is hardly "sporting excellence" regardless of the circumstances involved.

  • 131.
  • At 01:54 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • chris Shepherd wrote:

Dear Roger Mosey,
Concerning your defence of the unfair amount of time given to the nominees: ‘we’ve no reason to believe [the voters are] any less sophisticated than the people taking part in this blog’

Well the authorities long ago realised the power of mass media to influence the masses. That’s why we have strict rules governing party political broadcasts during elections etc.

Nicole should have answered the first question of her notorious interview by saying:

‘Thanks for asking what it’s like cycling on the road in the UK. Luckily for me I live and train in Switzerland. But I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to, Zak Carr, Simon Doughty & the Rhyl Cycling Club 4 all of whom have been killed or seriously injured on our roads over the past few months.’

  • 132.
  • At 02:07 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Richard wrote:

I'm disappointed to see so many sour comments about Zara Phillips winning SPOTY. To be top in any sporting discipline requires extraordinary skill and equestrianism is no exception to this. Actually, I'd go as far to say that its probably one of the most difficult sports to master. Equestrian sports are usually overlooked in this contest in favour of more glamorous sports which are of more interest to the majority, so its refreshing to see that a large section of the public recognised excellence in a sport which enjoys a much lower profile. For those who winge that she got some votes because she's famous in her own right, I don't disagree, but don't tell me that people like Beckham won purely for their ball skills? Football, motor racing and boxing have long been over-represented in the SPOTY hall of fame, so for me, this years result is a breath of fresh air.

  • 133.
  • At 02:23 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Maria wrote:

About time someone said it!!!!

  • 134.
  • At 03:07 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Pete Brewer wrote:

At one point during the show the camera panned round some famous sporting champions and spookily, Bradley Dredge was sitting next to Nick Faldo. Bradley Dredge was on the fairways with Stehen Dodd in Barbados at the WOrld Cup of Golf.

Pse explain that one????

  • 135.
  • At 03:10 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Pete Kenny wrote:

How on earth can the Young personality be awarded to somebody who very rarely ventures far from the substitutes bench and was only given a place in the World cup squad purely for possible affect and never once used. Poor Beth Tweddle has dragged ladies gymnastics in Britain to a higher level and should have been the rightful recipient.
Don't get me wrong, in years to come Theo Walcott could well become a sporting superstar, but bestowing the kid with accolades before he's achieved anything is way OTT.

  • 136.
  • At 03:43 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Knowsley1972 wrote:

116 Colin

Are you a Rugby Union fan by any chance?
Thought so - and a bitter one at that!

  • 137.
  • At 04:05 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • David Martin wrote:

To my mind the most compelling (and short) TV event of the sporting year was teh commonwealth games showdown between the English and Scottish cycling teams in the Olympic Sprint. One and a half minutes and it is on a knife edge all the way. No one can predict the winner, but the winner doesn't come by chance. Absolutely riveting action.

There was so much trash in the show - I'm sure the Zidane piece was fine but it was hardly British sport, was it.

If the BBC is as pro sport as it claims, try actually picking up some of the minority sports where people have really performed at world class level. And in case the BBC hadn't noticed, cycling isn't a minority sport any longer.. except on teh BBC who can't be bothered to even televise the days stage in the Tour of Britain.

(and as a cycling fan, I don't begrudge Zara the title. She is a worthy winner. Not, perhaps, the most worthy, but no disgrace to the trophy.)

  • 138.
  • At 04:57 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Fiona wrote:

Why wont people acknowledge equestrian sports? It may have been a bad year for sport in some peeople's eyes but in others it was good. Why shouldn't minority sports do well for a change, they get little enough recognition as it is. I know for sure that Zara Philipps could hit a golf ball, kick a football, throw a dart all with reasonable ease but ask your average footballer, golfer, rugby player to get on a horse and ride it to even a fraction of the standard that Zara does then you would asking for mission impossible.

I have to ask why horse racing was so comprehensively ignored. It got about a 40 second slot before 10 minutes on equestrianism (a far less popular sport). There was NO MENTION at all of the Cheltenham Festival (OK it is on Channel 4 but it is still one of the UK's biggest sporting events)and other big stories were completely glossed over. Another sign, after the binning of Glorious Goodwood, of the BBC's disregard for the sport?

  • 140.
  • At 05:15 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Philip wrote:

So Roger,buisnes as usual,or have you realy taken into account the above comments about the presentation of the show?
More than next years show ,i'm more intrested & looking forward to seeing the debate that will follow on!
As reading your replys to the above debate, leave me to believe that every thing went as you had wished,in which case,things won't be any differn't next year ever. Or am i mistaken?

  • 141.
  • At 05:53 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • James Walker wrote:

Well after the, as it happened, overhyped build-up, the show was, as i always knew it would be, a total embarassment. It was so cheesy and so over the top. Very dissapointing. Especially because i felt for the first time in years it actually had people nominated that deserved to be! The young sports personality!! Theo Walcott? for what sitting on the bence for Arsenal and England? ludicrous! And as for the big result, well it has all been said before, a joke, and the awkwardness of the final close up of her was so american.

  • 142.
  • At 06:25 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Al wrote:

Does anyone know the name of that amazing tune played during the overseas personality bit presented by Gary Linker & Sue Barker? It sounds like Hans Zimmer to me. Please help if you can - this is doing my head in!

  • 143.
  • At 06:51 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Deanne Naylor wrote:

I might be seen to biased as I am a horsewoman but I believe Zara Phillips deserved to win. So what its not a rags to riches tale because she's in the royal family-what does that matter? Being royal does not affect her ability to ride a horse in the sport of eventing better than anyone else in the world! We horsewomen are not all made of money as some seem to think. I am temping in a job I hate, I muck out 3 horses every weekend and its all to pay for the horse.
And for those of you who think that its a lazy sport and the horse does all the work, I know at least 20 ppl who will lend you their horse and put up 5ft jumps for you to have a jolly around!!

  • 144.
  • At 09:01 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Kevin Roche wrote:

The show was entertaining and very good televison but the complaints of bias towards certain sports and certain sportstars are well founded. I'm a huge golf fan amongst other sports and would have loved Darren Clarke to win but the show was a little too generous to him, whereas others were less fortunate.
This problem could be addressed by changing the format of the show to reviewing the year as it happened... starting with events of note in January and of course ending with December. The ten nominees then appear in whatever order they achieved their sporting feats throughout the year, removing the problem of deciding running order.
People want to see the sport and not hear cliches for the evening and I would be very disappointed with the BBC if cost was a factor in the limited showing of some sports. Pay to be the best!
I read reviews criticising the time devoted to David Williams but this was a very newsworthy sporting achievement in the summer which added an interesting and comic element to the show which definitely added to the overall entertainment. It kept me watching. Also, those who criticise the time devoted to Tiger Woods do so without considering the global appeal of the man and are maybe not aware of the fact that when Tiger is not on the TV golf viewing figures tumble. People want to see the biggest stars. Fact!
Overall the show was good entertainment, backed up by the viewing figures, but complaints that the show did bias towards certain favourites and sports are valid and need to be addressed.

  • 145.
  • At 10:34 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • JM wrote:

Deanne, its not the eventing or the royalty, its a vote for a sports personality ( the lack of the national sport gives you a clue ) - should eventing have one...yes, should a horsewoman have won ...yes, is Zara the sports personality of the year....erm ( in her words)'h its amazing!!! too right

  • 146.
  • At 11:03 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • L Duncan wrote:

I for one have watched SPOTY for many years and I love sport of all kind. Over the past 30 years, Equestrian sports have been consistently high achievers winning multiple European, World and Olympic medals and titles. However, recognition for their achievements has been miniscule. So if Zara Phillips gets the award for achieving world gold and european gold then so be it, even though her royal connections may have swayed the result in her favour. Undoubtedly the sport deserves the recognition.

As for equestrian sport being a minority sport, well it is in fact one of the largest participation sports in this country. Despite some protesting it is elitist it is no more so than tennis or formula 1. And when you think of the money involved in football not just on the pitch but in the ever increasing greed of the clubs demanding in the region of £50 for a club shirt and changing them yearly - well lets not argue about money.

Why can't the British people just be proud that for once, we actually have a world and European champion who has talent and has worked hard to achieve this in a highly competitive and dangerous sport. Lets just say well done Zara and then next year everyone will no doubt be happy when a footballer wins for achieving far less.

  • 147.
  • At 11:55 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Pete wrote:

I hadn't seen the show for a few years, but since its move to an arena the show has lost its intimacy and become self-indulgant.

Let's not forget that top-class sportsmen and women are already compensated twice over: first of all financially, and secondly with medals and trophies. I think its time we accept that handing out awards to sports stars is uneccesary and concentrate on a (now listen carefully here, beeb) balanced and representitive review of the year. Perhaps a few sporting clips here or there might be nice.

If you had to choose on merit, Nicole Cooke (twice a world beater at the very young cycling age of 23), or Joe Calzaghe (longest reigning world champion) should have prevailed. We shouldn't blame the British public for shooting themsleves so enthusiastically in the foot, though. After all, the beeb spent the evening plugging overpaid polluters like Button, and overpriviledged royalty like Zara Phillips, both of whom are hardly role models when you consider how inaccessible their sports are to the majority.

  • 148.
  • At 03:54 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • brendan wrote:

Disappointed that Joe Calzaghe did not win, anybody who saw the fight live at 4am in the morning would agree. He is boxing's longest-reigning world champion and was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
Three day eventing is basically an exclusive pastime of the wealthy in my opinion. Not many horses on my local council estate!! But maybe I am jealous because her horse probably has a better standard of living than me!!? Yes I am bitter and twisted :O)

  • 149.
  • At 11:31 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Simon wrote:

Agree with all the above re Cooke
Well done to the Sunday Telegraph TV Listings for correctly forecasting the Top 3 in advance.
Given the amount of pre publicity, the top two were easy to forecast (Clarkes appearance in the days papers didn't help him)
The Telegraph must have seen the shows running order to get third spot correct!

  • 150.
  • At 11:35 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Richard Bristow wrote:

Post 129 - Totally in agreement, except I think you've missed a few names off the long toll of British club and elite cyclists killed or injured on the roads this year (but then, that would have used up way more than Nicoles alloted 30 seconds), plus I would have specifically pointed out 'by poorly driven motor vehicles' just to make it clear these people didnt just 'fall off'.

  • 151.
  • At 12:07 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Keith wrote:

Nicole Cooke - a Welsh woman who rides 400 miles a week through rain, heat, wind, in constant danger of crashes, sacrifices a social life, has a strict diet, rests when she's not training or racing, or travelling to an event. One of Britain's champions - in every sense of the word, and a woman that should be held up as an example to children (girls especially) of determination and courage. Gets 30secs with a patronising and clearly unresearched Adrian Chiles, with not even the courtesy of an invitation to the stage ?

Zara Philips - privileged horse rider, 11th in line to the throne (or whatever it is), gets 5 mins of soft-focus face-time and a fawning interview.

Didn't vote as I'm in Ireland, but I think its time for the Beeb and the viewing/voting British public) to get some perspective.

  • 152.
  • At 12:13 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Francis Barton wrote:

No complaint about the shortlist of 10. You can't really complain about the public vote - that's democracy for you, although I think if we're voting for _personality_ then Phillips showed that she has very little of that and on p[ersonality grounds Monty or Darren Clarke should clearly have won. (Monty robbed by the farce in Adelaide I feel).

Anyway, the main point I wanted to make has already been made several times: I have a lot of respect for Adrian Chiles, but I have to say his interview with Nicole Cooke was a shocker in so many ways.

I remember when this show was the Sports Review of the Year and it went on all evening and was truly great value. Reducing it to an awards ceremony has been a disaster - get rid of all the awards except Team of the Year and the main one: SPOTY. And let's have some proper footage and some proper analysis next year.

  • 153.
  • At 12:40 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • rowing fan wrote:

I was really disappointed with the program.
This year we staged the World Rowing Championships at Dorney Lake , one of the venues for 2012. Our mens coxless four won gold, which meant they continued their unbeaten run of 25 races. Why were they not up for the team event?
20 year old Zac Purchase won gold in the lightweight singles.
We won 2 gold in the adaptive events.
We won silver womens quad.
Why was none of this shown
Do we not have a World Champion in Triathlon as well, no mention
Nicole Cooke was treated appallingly.
Zara Phillips acceptance speach was the worst I have heard.
GB perform well at cycling, sailing and rowing - why aren't the BBC showing more of these?

  • 154.
  • At 12:56 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Chris Stockdale wrote:

Please can we have some more sport hightlights - a review of the year's best moments.

If you have to concentrate on the top ten personalities - then a five minute slot for each individual to include this sports hightlights. We may get to learn more about cycling / darts and other less profiled sports in the future.

I would agree with many of your other contributors that a seperate review programme could be justified and well received by everyone who want's to be reminded of how events were won or lost during the year. Indeed with lives so busy we miss many sport events during the year and a review would be welcomed - thanks

  • 155.
  • At 01:03 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Matt Genner wrote:

The following describes the experiences of myself and those around me at the event. For those wondering if it was a good idea to have a live audience I hope this is of interest.

The walk from the train station to the N.E.C. seemed to take forever, I didn’t know what to expect but that was all part of the excitement. This was the first time members of the public were able to witness the annual Sports Personality of the Year awards and I felt privileged to be going.

Outside the arena there was a buzz of anticipation, who was going to win and who do you want to win were the questions on everyone’s lips. We were handed a voting card for the individual and team awards and I made my selection.

After what had seemed a lifetime we finally got to our seats. The view was much better than I had expected, even though the public were sat in a ring behind the V.I.P’s and sports stars. The stage itself was glowing and the camera crews were making last minute preparations. Behind them sat the BBC concert orchestra who were tuning up ready to entertain the crowd before the event. Surrounding the stage were four giant television screens playing clips of the sporting events which had defined the past twelve months.

Having practiced when to applaud, how long for and having listened to the orchestra belt out some classic sporting anthems it was time for the live show to begin. Garry Lineker, Sue Barker and Adrian Chiles appeared on stage to guide us through the next two hours of celebration and reflection.

At times the atmosphere was electric with huge applause for the heroes we had watched on our television screens. They had provided us with so much joy and excitement over the past year and this was a small way in which we could thank them. On other occasions it was a hard to hold back the tears, some couldn’t as we witnessed stories and tributes about Heather Clarke, Paul Hunter and Earl Woods.

There were sections reviewing each sport and the various awards were handed out. As it got nearer to the end and the announcement of the individual winner the atmosphere began to build. David Walliams received a special award in recognition of swimming the channel for sport relief, in the warm up before going live he had joked that his was the fastest time ever, despite his humour you could see that the sport relief charity was something that meant a grate deal to him.

After nearly two hours it was time to announce the winner, the crowd waited with baited breath. There was no clear favourite and no one knew who the winner would be. As Zara Phillips was announced the audience stood to applaud, she may not of been the choice of everyone there but even those whose vote was for someone else could appreciate what she had achieved.

The feelings of those sat around me were ones of very mixed emotions. Perhaps the best way to sum up the year in sport would be to say that it was one of triumph in adversity. We had laughed and cheered but had also shed a tear. We had witnessed a great show and I’m sure many will be back next year if given the opportunity.

  • 156.
  • At 01:38 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Knowsley1972 wrote:

If you were given cards to vote, were questions asked if you had already voted by text?

  • 157.
  • At 02:02 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Alan Ewens wrote:

Over 150 comments and no-one has mentioned a man who could walk down his local High Street totally untroubled yet who has won eight - yes, eight - World Championship titles in three different decades.

Step forward Steve Curtis, Class One World Offshore Powerboat Champion. A man who can race a four tonne race boat at 140mph by the seat of his pants, win world titles for Britain and have a great personality to boot.

Now if only he was average at tennis, cricket or and some other mainstream sport he might be a hero...

Never mind Steve son, you're my Sports Personality of the Year by a mile!

  • 158.
  • At 02:21 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Cyclist and horsey girl wrote:

As my name suggests, I have experience of competing in (much lower levels) of eventing and cycling so I can say with great confidence that Nicole Cookes acheivments far outweigh those of Zaras. In my mind, riding a bike on Britains roads is more scary than jumping x-xountry and training for cycling is much more all-consuming, physically and mentally (horse-riding is more fun!)
I am totally disgusted with the uneven coverage given to the nominees.
Also the arty clips of eg commonwealth games were rubbish as you couldn't actually see the action, we want to see actual montages of SPORT!!!

  • 159.
  • At 03:01 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • angie goff wrote:

I did not like the new style show- why change a winning formula? I agree with the comments regarding different coverage to nominees. I was particularly surprised that one nominee was given a platform to perform on.
Why give a lifetime achievement award to someone, although good, after several years who quit at age 26 - not through injury? (I could even now be cynical having noted he launched his own clothing range this week) Why not acknowledge Shumaker,(who shortlisted the international nominees?), or even George Best?
In a year when there was little football to shout about, no nominees, you featured Steven Gerrard - the captain of the winning F A cup team. A talented,modest,mild mannered, true ambassador, BUT why did your, not necessary, third presenter choose to make insulting remarks referring to him grabbing the glory!
One good point was that the programme started earlier

  • 160.
  • At 03:20 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • bethan jones wrote:

To the gentleman who commented on why someone won for Just riding a horse ??

I have to say this demonstrates a total lack of ignorance .... Great Britain has produced some of the top riders in equestrian sport for decades.. Zara Phillips won the world title 12 months after winning the European title ....Can someone remind me how well the other 'more popular' sports have fared???

Equestrian events have some of the largest spectator attendances in the UK & worldwide also perhaps a slight indicator there in its popularity??

Also horse riding is in the top three of the most dangerous sports in the world so perhaps there is a tiny bit more to it to 'just riding a horse'
There were sadly human fatalities at three day events this year again suggesting this sport not quite a doddle?

If anyone considers it easy to compete on a horse and jump a course of fences then they are welcome to come and have a go on one of mine and I will invite the BBC to record the occasion when everyone is shown how easy it is .

By the way Im not a toff born with a silver spoon in my mouth - very few people are in the horse world.
Im 32 years old and work full time in sales, I have 9 horses at home who I look after and ride before and after work. My day starts at 5am and I normally get to have my evening meal at 10pm during the week after I have fed and ridden my horses.
I dont have holidays, new clothes and I last went out for a social drink November '05. I drive a 8yr old car . My fiancee works a 40hr week and then during the winter works weekends driving HGVs for extra cash to fund our sport flash sponsors for us. We along with many others in the equestrian world have sacrificed a lot to compete and work a lot harder than the average joe in the street and to see the lack support of the general public when Great Britain actually win a major world title is disgusting.

  • 161.
  • At 04:24 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • turbanator2 wrote:

How come Monty Panasar only got about 10 seconds of time highlighting him and then as soon as that was over we were told the lines had now closed, so how can somebody fully appreciate what he has done and then vote for him in 0.05 seconds, impossible. I'm sure they gave Freddie Flintoff more than enough time for viewers to cast there votes last year.

  • 162.
  • At 05:01 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Phil wrote:

If you are going to have a phone vote then the order is always going to be a problem unless you only open the lines after all contenders get their (equal?) spot - and then the last one would probably have some advantage. Personally I would prefer a named committee of experts voting for the winner.

I felt sorry for David Walliams being given his award by his comedy partner (yet again). It would have been nice if you could have found a sportsman somewhere in the arena (maybe even a swimmer!) as recognition of his sporting achievement.

Finally, please cut down on the weak jokes and give us a bit more sporting action.

  • 163.
  • At 05:05 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • SJL wrote:

I was extremely disappointed with the result, don't get me wrong Zara has done very well and holding two titles is commendable. However statistics state clearly show her acheivements are not half as good as those of Hatton, Calzaghe or Taylor. Further if the award was based on personality alone then I think Monty would have been a better choice.

I think the low number of votes shows that this award is not even seen as key as the big brother final. It is a real shame and I think Zara winning will only lower its importantance further. We need more winners like Redgrave and less like Beckham, we need to award champions not try-hards or people who appear in OK! magazine. The fact that David Walliams received an award and Zara won the main thing highlights that celebrity status means more than sporting prowess.

  • 164.
  • At 05:08 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • tom stevens wrote:

Bradley Smith Motogp Rookie of the year 15 years old and not even a mention . . . . nuff said

  • 165.
  • At 10:07 AM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • anthony osborne wrote:

In the light of the obvious English bias - both in the content of the programme and the pattern of voting - my recommendation would be that Welsh anbd Scots sports stars decline to be considered for the award in future. English bias I hear you cry? Why isn't Darren Clarke Irish? Yes, that explains, of course, why he didn't actually win it. Had he been English he would have walked it (not that he would have deserved it, since we all know that Nicole Cook's and Joe Calzaghe's exploits were much more worthy of the award). As for Zara Phillips, hooray for heaping praise on an individual and sport that the average licence payer can only dream of emulating. The whole programme is a farce and the title about as meaningless as a UEFA Cup winners medal.

  • 166.
  • At 01:27 PM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • David wrote:

Ever since 'Sports Review' became 'Sports Personality' this show has increasingly become just another awards ceremony. The continual reminders of the contenders and all the phone numbers was more like X Factor than a sports review show, although the relatively small number of people who actually bothered to vote is quite telling.
To judge by both the falling ratings and also the many comments above, this is not the sort of programme people really want to watch!

I would suggest scrapping ALL the awards - yes even the SPOTY which now totally overshadows the rest of the event, and returning to a simple but more indepth review of the sporting year with the likes of Hanson, McEnroe, Brundle and other eloquent commentators reviewing and assessing their own (and perhaps even each other's) sports in a thought-provoking and amusing way.

  • 167.
  • At 01:48 PM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • Fred Graham wrote:

I would be very interested to know what would have happened if either Andy Murray or Monty Panesar had been voted as Sports Personality. They were the two shortlisted candidates who were not present in Birmingham. So what would have happened if they had won? Were there satellite links prepared? Were there duplicate trophies in Australia and Florida? I presume there weren't. So the presumption - given that neither received much exposure on the programme - is that the BBC was not keen on either winning. I would love a bit of insight...

  • 168.
  • At 04:01 PM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • Darren wrote:

I thought SPOTY was pretty poor. I agree with the comments about balance of features for the nominees and would like to add how disgusted I was at the lack of a feature on the World Rowing Championships which were this year held at Dorney Lake in Berkshire. Indeed, the Great Britain team won a massive haul of medals and only one was mentioned - the coxless four - which was disappointing. It's not often a world championships in any sport is held in this country so to miss it out of such a programme completely was pretty dire. Especially as it was one of the few events the BBC had broadcast rights for!

  • 169.
  • At 06:28 PM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • Faisal Ahmed wrote:

OMG i was there i cannot believe i was there, it was great evening allround, the team behind the scenes were fantastic and so were the presenters, gary linekar whos my hero had everyone in stitches thats how funny the man is, i still cannot believe i was there live when normally i watch it every year since i was nine on the telly and im only 17, all i can say is i wish it does come back to bham next year because we all did a great job as the figures have shown and next year it will be bigger and better than this year, im working on hopefully doing something with the bbc in the future whatever that maybe but what more can anyone say another bbc extravaganza!!!!

well done to everyone who participated CONGRATULATIONS!!!


  • 170.
  • At 06:38 PM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • J.E. Kent wrote:

Now a horse rider has convincingly won the Personality of the Year award without most of the competions being screened on land TV may be it is time for the BBC to up its screening of horse riding events - as in the 1960 -70's. Events like Olympia, Horse of the Year Show should be screened in the evenings not just the afternoons when any self respecting horse owner is probably out either riding or looking after their horse/pony. Horse riding events, apart from racing are not even listed. You frequently show (and comment on in the news) foreign people at foreign events (golf, football etc) and yet a sport that the British are good at you do not mention.

  • 171.
  • At 09:53 AM on 16 Dec 2006,
  • Lucy Radmore wrote:

What Zara Phillips achieved made her a deserving winner.
If the public are going to vote on who wins then of course the winner will come from a more popular sport.

Perhaps people have been taken by surprise as to how popular equestrian sport is. So many people ride and people who ride tend to be mad keen on the sport and proactive and ring in an support Zara.

As comment 170 says, equestrian events need to be shown on the tv much more often as it is a very popular sport and it is something that we can do well at in this country.

To those who don't believe me when I say how popular riding is in this country, next time you are in the supermarket look at the magazine section and see how many publications there are about horses.

Ever thought about who is reading those?

  • 172.
  • At 10:48 PM on 16 Dec 2006,
  • BikingBec wrote:

Really disappointed that Nicole Cooke did not get much coverage - no film, not even asked to go up on the stage and a terrible interview given by the host..not even a mention of what she had achieved this year...yep really disappointing.

Surely, after all Nicole has acheived this year the show could have done much, much better than this!

  • 173.
  • At 12:35 PM on 17 Dec 2006,
  • Jess wrote:

Why is everyone so hard on Jenson Button? It's not his fault he doesnt have the car to perform in most races. I can obviously see that he works extremely hard and i'm disappointed because he deserved recognition of it and didn't get a lot of time either like many of the nominations. He puts F1 on the map and he is a legend!!!!!!

  • 174.
  • At 01:44 PM on 17 Dec 2006,
  • Richard wrote:

I found this post from Anthony Osborne (Dec 15) hilarious:-

"As for Zara Phillips, hooray for heaping praise on an individual and sport that the average licence payer can only dream of emulating".

The whole point of SPOTY is that we are celebrating skill, ability and acheivement that are extraordinary and, by definition, we (the average licence payer) probably won't be emulating them!! Mr Osborne must be heartened that Jensen Button didn't win - surely none of us have the remotest chance of ever getting inside a Formula 1 car, let alone becoming World Champion.

  • 175.
  • At 11:47 PM on 17 Dec 2006,
  • Michael Davies wrote:

You say that your aim is to increase the profile of cycling as we go towards the next olympics and the 2012 olympics, which is understandable as cycling has been the backbone of our medal haul in the last olympic and the last Commonwealth games.
It is no longer a minority sport but a large and growing sport. It is also a sport which has a high level of participation from men, women and children.
However - are we going to see an increase in your coverage of road racing as well as track racing. And within road racing why doesn't the BBC take the lead and cover some of the womens races. Within the sport womens racing is less well paid and not ever covered even on channels such as Eurosport.
What about some coverage of the womens version of the Tour de France this year with a special profile of Nicole? This would be great for the sport and great for the BBC....

  • 176.
  • At 07:06 AM on 18 Dec 2006,
  • Colin wrote:

For the record, my first love is football, but I admire both codes of rugby. If I'm annoyed about anything, it's the appalling ignorance about equestrian sports on here.

The RL crowd were perfectly entitled to harness their efforts to get the award for St Helens. I happen to believe that domestic achievement in sport doesn't really amount to much, and I'd feel even more irritated if the award ever went to Chelsea. At least in 1999, Man U won the Champions' League. Nevertheless, pop into your local anywhere in the UK outside the RL heartland, and ask about the golf and RL. You'll get a lot more who know about the Ryder Cup, I would suggest. When I say that, I'm mindful that a similar case can be put for Zara Phillips (royalists oganising themselves), compared to Joe Calzaghe), but Zara is not one of two (There are two unbeaten "world" middleweight champions).

  • 177.
  • At 09:51 AM on 18 Dec 2006,
  • Barbara Downs wrote:

There aren't many sports where Britain holds the World and European titles but thanks to Craig Fallon and Sarah Clarke, Britain is top of the Judo world. The point is that hardly anybody knows about it. Judo is a sport done by thousands of school children and yet we can't get any media recognition for our World Champion.

  • 178.
  • At 03:26 PM on 18 Dec 2006,
  • Ed Baker wrote:

I was delighted to have been lucky enough to be one of the 3,000 ish sports fans to log in in October and buy a ticket. (Well 4)

The good bits stop there really!

There were no choices of where to sit when booking, there were no cheaper seats either.

I was lucky enough to be sat 3 rows behind the minor celebrities 9as opposed tot he floor show major celebrities)

Unfortunately that was two rows behind a 6ft Seikh in resplendant turban and one row behind the rudest most ignorant woman (you know who you are madam) who sat not only on her chair (she was also 6tf tall) but on her cardigan , her bag, her coat and her husbands coat. This completely obliterated my 12 yr olds view. When asked to sit just on the chair her response was I dont care - i cant see over the turban in front.

Now all this would have been of great import, had we not been sat directly behind one of only two pillars in the whole building - 6ft wide concrete base as well - so NONE of the stage was visible - it was like watching a 6ft talking pillar all night, or would have been if mr turban and mrs rude hadnt been in the way!

A great show a great idea and wonderful fun or everyone - EXCEPT those behind pillars - application for refund is on its way! £110 badly spent i am afraid!


Right result though so it wasnt all bad.

  • 179.
  • At 07:47 PM on 18 Dec 2006,
  • David Dutton wrote:

Same as last year - every sporting clip ruined by flashy, gimmicky editing. And what was the point of showing Zinedine Zidane's dazzling footwork and then speeding it up to make it unwatchable? Ask yourelves the question: Are people watching the show to marvel at the clever-dick editing skills of young trendy directors, or the sporting achievements (or failures) of the past year?

  • 180.
  • At 09:39 PM on 18 Dec 2006,
  • irfon higgins wrote:

I was so glad to see on the news this week film of prince william passing out and also him and his mates carrying a log so enthusiastically, I'm hoping to get good odds at the local bookies on him being next years s.p.o.t.y.(get in early as he will no doubt be odds on favourite by next year).

I may even put a couple of quid on him and his mates winning team of the year and perhaps a special award for his remarkable sporting achievements.

Due to being out of the country, I missed this year's debacle, sorry, event, but as many others I chose the winner in advance.

Reading the above it seems many people were not very happy about the presentation.

I believe the sports writers got it right at their presentation but cannot recall seeing anything on the BBC about it.

  • 181.
  • At 12:36 PM on 19 Dec 2006,
  • stuart wells wrote:

Zara Phillips getting Sports Personality of the Year reflects the basic failure of all the UK teams/players in all the major sports this year.

What I can't understand is Theo Walcott getting the Young award.

His only achievement was getting signed by Arsenal and not playing one minute for them in the league and ludicrously getting picked for the 2006 World Cup squad - and not getting a minute there either!

  • 182.
  • At 01:08 PM on 19 Dec 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

The debate about whether the winner deserved it and the running order etc has all been made, but I wanted to make another point.

Voter apathy has far more to say about who won or didn't than the achievements.

250,000 votes won, out of an AVERAGE viewing of 5.8million. It may have been 34% of the vote but it was only 4.3% of the viewing, and the other nominees were all less than that so it hardly reflects opinion at all, just that of those who can be bothered to vote. Which comes down to the demographic of the audience and the time of day.

I suspect had David Walliams been short listed - he would have won, by virtue of people knowing him, and his achievement was undoubtedly remarkable.

BBC should seriously re-consider going back to a judging panel as after a whole years action the ward is decided by a very small % of the viewers.

Many are lamenting one of the other nominees not winning but the truth of it is, is that anyone could have won quite easily - 75,000 votes is not a big margin at all for what is supposed to be one of the Beebs flagship programmes with a big audience. Many people vote more than once as well, so the number of ACTUAL votes for the contestants could most likely be halved.

I wanted to add my voice to the complaints about Nicole Cooke's treatment on Sports Personality of the Year - a few seconds footage followed by a few patronising questions showed the bbc to be both ignorant and disrespectful of Cooke's achievements, not just in the past year, but overall. It shows that the BBC are out of touch with the sporting world. I have heard countless remarks from many other sports men and women who also expressed surprise and dissapointment at the way the evening was presented, giving David Walliams much more exposure for his charity swim (without taking anything away from his achievement) than athletes who have dedicated entire lives to their sport. I hope Adrian Chiles in particular or the researcher who prepared his questions feel at least the same regret at a missed opportunity. Really, asking Nicole Cooke whether she falls off alot is like asking a boxer whether they mind getting hit, or a premiership footballer about getting muddy when they play.

  • 184.
  • At 09:22 PM on 21 Dec 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

I am one of those contributors who finds it difficult to hold back on issues concerning the BBC and Cycling. I shall attempt to be as polite as possible with this post.
I have carefully read through the majority of this page, and your detailed response at 70. I am not satisfied that you have fully absorbed our legitimate complaint about the disgraceful treatment of Nicole Cooke on the SPOTY programme. This controversy should not be underestimated - it is an incident which has created a tremendous amount of comment on all the online Cycling forums, and in the Cycling press, AND here on the BBC's own boards. The blatant bias of this interview was even noticed by fans of OTHER sports.
I believe this issue cuts right to the heart of the BBC's problem with this major sport. In truth, I love the BBC - it is one of those institutions which those of us in the UK can be really proud. But it is precisely because of my basic admiration of the BBC that I am so irked by your treatment of Cycling. Much of what the BBC perceives as sport is in fact nothing of the kind, and it is biased and inaccurate to perpetuate this lop-sided version of world sport. It's akin to Radio 3 broadcasting Brahms all day but never playing Mozart - and then when it does play Mozart it finds some way of being insulting and patronising about it.
Nicole Cooke really is one of the most remarkable athletes this country has produced for decades - PLEASE give her the respect and coverage she deserves. This does not mean waiting until the 2008 Olympics - it means following Nicole's achievements right through next season in the same way you would with Paula Radcliffe (except Nicole wins a lot more!). It means letting the viewing public see her on the evening TV news, it means that when she wins the Women's Tour de France you don't ignore it and wish it would go away - you give it the same evenhanded treatment you would any other UK sporting achievement - ie: it's on the TV news, it's in the Radio Times and it's given it's fair share of respect on a programme like SPOTY. Above all it means that she never again has to endure being insulted and patronised by somebody.... well, I'll say no more - I said I'd try to be polite!

  • 185.
  • At 11:27 AM on 23 Dec 2006,
  • Wendy Mansbridge wrote:

I think it should be remembered that Zara Philips is a World Champion so this reward is fitting. Whether or not she is a Royal should be seperate. Well done Zara, an amazing achievment.

  • 186.
  • At 02:30 PM on 23 Dec 2006,
  • jimmy wrote:

I was'nt there and I did'nt see the show. I'm out of the country and from reading all these reports, glad that I won't worry about missing the show in future.

Clearly, when the BBC makes a mistake it does'nt want to admit it. From reading the above people's comments, the Production team has clearly made mistakes, so why not apologise for them and move on.

From the traditionalists point of view, it is sad to read that there was no Review of Sport, but more of a Magazine Show of Sporting Personalities. Since the title is SPOTY then one can't argue with that, but is that the sort of programme people NOW want.

From my neutral position I think not. maybe it's time for TV to move back away from personalities and return back to looking at real and actual sporting acheivements as a better indication for honours.

Don't ask the audience to change, change to what the audience wants BBC, 'READ' their comments.

  • 187.
  • At 05:59 PM on 27 Dec 2006,
  • Laurence Owen wrote:

Im 40 years of age now and a huge fan of sport .This has been one of the Tv highlights of the sporting year for me for many years , but not any more in fact never again , its a joke !

Zara Phillips ? are you having a total laugh ?? Joe Calzaghe is probably in the top 5 british fighters of all time and produces maybe the best individual performance ever by a Brit against Lacey this year and cannot even get in the top three , the whole thing is a farce . If Phillips wasnt a so called "royal" she would have failed to make the top ten , did the queeen order this total joke ?

Calzaghe , Gerrard , Cooke , Taylor and Hatton dont bother going next year stay home and polish all your medals and trophies .

  • 188.
  • At 05:13 PM on 28 Dec 2006,
  • Peter Quinney wrote:

As a sports unsung hero who was at the show, and having now read some of the comments above and spoken to my friends, I would agree that the time given to some of the awards,such as the Unsung Heroes was a bit dismal.

Some of these people have given up YEARS of their time, usualy with no financial rewrds, to promote sports activities. Surely,at least a mention of the regional nominees for the National Award would have been appropriate. Without their commitment, grass level sport would be in dire straits.

  • 189.
  • At 10:17 AM on 29 Dec 2006,
  • Gavin Hamer wrote:

The programme is currently jack of 3 trades and master of none. It is part awards show, part light entertainment, part a review of the sporting year.

It clearly fails badly on all three counts. There should be 2 or 3 separate shows. Rather than leaving the majority of the audience underwhelmed, have 2 or 3 more specialised shows instead. SPOTY is trying to do too much, even if it does make a decent stab at it.

- In terms of the awards, the nominees are treated incredibly unfairly and being the winner, or placed, now has very little value. If you want it to be a reality game show, then do it properly and make it the core of the show. At the moment you simply can't be even-handed, because you are juggling the other two elements.

- In terms of being light entertainment, it does raise a chuckle every 10 minutes or so, and it is interesting to see sporting celebrities interviewed. This seems to be the main focus of the show at the moment, but it would be better as a separate comedy show about the sporting year, perhaps borrowing elements from I Think It's All Over.

- In terms of reviewing the year of sport, the current show is very poor. There is a real need and a real audience for a sports-fan's sports review of the year. Showing long clips of key moments and interviewing the players in a more serious tone. This is very clearly a new programme that needs to be made.

I did used to love SPOTY in the 80s and 90s, but I was tuning in for the sports review part, which is now (let's be honest) gone. Although I watched the whole of this one, I was left disappointed and will certainly not be watching again unless the format changes.

  • 190.
  • At 03:30 PM on 30 Dec 2006,
  • Roger Mosey - Director of BBC Sport wrote:

My final comments in this string, so let me try to address some of the main points.

I'm grateful for all the comments and we'll discuss them at our planning meetings early in January. However, if you read them all (as I've obviously done) then in fairness some are asking for diametrically opposite things - and what our production team has to do is factor in the widest possible audience reaction and then make the right editorial judgements.

For instance, against Jimmy in post 186 who didn't see the show (but thinks we should apologise for it anyway) there is the simple fact that the audience figures were significantly up this year compared with last. Every other awards show is well down year-on-year.

We also do qualitative research, and that showed levels of approval within the normal range for a mass audience TV programme. On any programme of this prominence - and 11.9 million people saw at least some of it - there is a mixed verdict. But I can give you the headline figures: 23% said they really enjoyed the show against 9% who didn't like it all. 36% said it was much better than they expected. Only 7% said they wouldn't watch it again, compared with 46% who thought the move to a bigger venue made it better.

For the main award, the number of people voting was up by 200,000 - and there was very little multiple voting. As Francis Barton says in post 152 the result shows "that's democracy for you"!

It was also a huge logistical challenge taking the show away from Television Centre and staging it in front of nearly 5,000 people. I was therefore delighted to see that even one of our persistent newspaper critics described it as "slick and professional". That gives us a very solid base to build on for next year.

To come back to Nicole Cooke: as I said in post 70, we think the interview should have been handled differently. Not everything goes right in a live 2 hour TV show. I'm not sure we'll be able to meet the scale of requests made here by some cycling fans, but the commitment to follow cycling to Beijing and then to London is absolute: it's an important Olympic sport and will therefore be on the BBC.

Finally, contrasting audience experiences from Ed Baker in #178 and Faisal Ahmed in #169. (Ed, I so agree with you about those people who build up their seats at events like this or in the theatre...) But I'm pleased that most people who were there seem to have enjoyed it, and again we'll take on board the feedback.

I should add that we haven't made any commitment about returning to Birmingham next year: it's certainly possible, but the choice of venue won't be made until a little way into 2007.

  • 191.
  • At 09:24 PM on 01 Jan 2007,
  • Kiran wrote:

I agree with a lot of the views on here concerning the lack of actual highlights shown. The example of the attempted fancy rugby piece is one that immediately springs to mind.

Regarding the young personality award, as a player of table-tennis myself, I couldn't believe that a 16/17 year-old Commonwealth(?) medal-winner, who competes at the very top of his sport wasn't given the award. However, what further compounded this was that Walcott won the award, a person who, in my mind, was at best the third best 'young sports personality' of the year in 2006. However this award was decided needs improved upon so that outstanding achievement way beyond the level of a youngster is rewarded.

Finally, on the issue of the overall award, I 'm not too keen on Zara Phillips winning it. Winning a world championships is obviously a large success, but Calzaghe's performance this year was outstanding and I believe that the fact that she is a 'royal' has had a huge bearing on much of the voters' opinion. Whilst people don't always on agree on who the winner should be and it was a lean year for English/British sport, I feel a better decision could have been made.

  • 192.
  • At 03:55 PM on 02 Jan 2007,
  • George Troughton wrote:

I totally agree with the people saying they much preferred the old days when it was a sports review of the year.

The problem is the BBC is not a force anymore in televised sport. It has it's odd moments but does not deliver quality sport week in week out.

As they do not have the footage to show (without paying for it) they might as well just have an awards do at a hotel and have 10-15 mins highlights on the next Grandstand (or what ever it's going to be rebranded as).

All the show does now is highlight how the BBC have fallen by the wayside in televised sport.

  • 193.
  • At 01:34 AM on 03 Jan 2007,
  • Fenland T wrote:

Good evening,

I enjoyed the SPOTY awards live from Birmingham very much. I thought the BBC put on a magnificent spectacle, and the large audience format at Birmingham, I think was a big improvement.

Obviously the award has caused a fair bit of controversy among some sports fans, since there were some great sportspeople, who, if sporting achievement were the sole criteria for winning, would surely have prevailed on the night. I know a man who lives and breathes cricket stats, and he was absolutely livid with the result, not because a cricketer had not won, but because the award went to someone when he felt there were other more significant sporting candidates.

Perhaps there is something in one of the other comments I read here that maybe there should also be an award, or programme where the criteria is strictly sporting achievement, and less to do with other factors that have a strong influence on the SPOTY award.

However, SPOTY is what it is, and I think people should let it be. It is, perhaps, the one time in the year when a lot of people who aren't usually interested in sport focus on it for a while. And in my view, that is a good thing. I have certainly enjoyed it over the years.

This year I particularly enjoyed Murray Walkers segment on Michael Schumacher's career. An honest and humble assessment from a man whose opinions on F1 are second to none. I also thought the boxing extravaganza segment with our current world champs was highly entertaining, and assuaged the potential criticism that boxing would not be touched because it was on ITV. Ricky Hatton, is a natural media star. A pity that Adrian Chiles, whose delivery is usually so assured, could not pronounce J. Calzaghe's name correctly, and seemed to imply well "who in the hell is that" to the watching public.

I agree with some of those who have mentioned the disparity in air time, or in the "lavishness of production" accorded to the respective short-listed nominees, and in particular, can understand why the cycling fraternity is not happy with an interview with Nicole Cooke in which the main focus seemed to be falling off of the bike. However, this was live TV, and it is difficult to get everything spot on.

Finally... for those who like to bet on these sorts of events, I would suggest a SPOTY "law", namely...

"if there is a member of the Royal family who has been nominated for the overall SPOTY award, on no account underestimate their chance of winning, especially, if their nomination arises through a winning equestrian performance."

Personally, I enjoyed the show very much, in fact as a sports fan, I think it was in itself one of the highlights of the sporting calendar.

regards, and Happy New Year,

Fenland T

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