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Sports Personality heads to Liverpool

Carl Doran | 10:05 UK time, Friday, 22 February 2008

You may have seen the very exciting news that BBC Sports Personality of the Year will be staged in Liverpool this year.

After 53 years in London, we moved the event outside of the capital for the first time ever two years ago. Our time at the NEC Birmingham was a huge success and last year nearly 8,000 people were able to view the show live, creating an incredible atmosphere.

It will be really hard to leave Birmingham after making so many friends, but it was always our intention to take the event around the country and allow as many people as possible to get to see their sporting heroes.

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A number of other cities were very interested in attracting the event, but after a very thorough bidding process we decided it had to be Liverpool for 2008 especially in its year as Capital of Culture. The city is staging some amazing events over the next few months and this will be a fitting end to it all.

I spent most of my childhood growing up in Liverpool. I went to the University there and still have a season ticket at Everton. I know from first-hand experience how passionate about sport people in the city are.

During my early years growing up my dad never allowed my sister and I to have anything red in the house - even tomato ketchup - such was his devotion to Everton.

It never stopped my sister getting engaged to a Liverpool fan. That's what you get in Liverpool. Passion for sport is not just confined to football. Aintree is home to of one of the world's great sporting occasions, The Grand National.

I also know how much this will mean to the city. The event attracts the world's biggest sporting names and visitors from far-a-field. The people will be warm and friendly and I have no doubt Liverpool will lay out a huge welcome mat to all.

Liverpool also has something else to offer now for the first time - a state of the art Arena seating over 10,000 people meaning even more members of the public will be able to attend this year. I was hugely impressed when I visited the site - even before it was finished - in December.

As I've said, it's really sad to be leaving Birmingham and we'd love to go back there again in the future, but I'm hugely excited by the thought of Sports Personality live from Liverpool in December. It's not only great for my city of Liverpool, but for the North West as a region.

I live in Manchester now myself and since the news was announced I've already had many of my Manchester friends asking when tickets to the event go on sale. The answer to that question is that I don't know yet, but details will be announced later in the year.

We'll keep you in touch with preparations over the coming months and most importantly the date of the show is Sunday 14 December.

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