SPOTY heads north to BBC Sport's new home
It is fantastic that one of the first major events to come out of the new site will be one of the BBC's longest running and best-loved flagship shows.
We've also launched the Unsung Hero Award, which is always my favourite moment of the night, when someone most deserving gets a chance to share the spotlight with the biggest names in sport.
I've always lived in the North West and can honestly say there is a great sense of pride in the area about the BBC moving in and I'm sure Sports Personality of the Year will add to that with what promises to be a spectacular show attended by some of the biggest stars from the world of sport.
The studios in Salford are great and having seen the new set design for this year's show I know SPOTY will once again be one of the most exciting live productions on television.
I'm delighted to say that Gary Lineker, Sue Barker and Jake Humphrey - who have loved presenting the show - will be back again.
In recent years we've broadcast the event from arenas around the UK, in cities like Sheffield, Liverpool and Birmingham and we're thrilled to once again be moving to an area that boasts such a great sporting heritage, with some of the world's most successful teams and best facilities.
City and United are just part of the story, but what a part they play! There's also Lancashire County Cricket Club, top class Rugby League and Rugby Union teams, the British Cycling team, Aintree and so much more.
The area is simply mad about sport, but as well as that, in these challenging economic times, it works better for us to present the show from our new home than opting for the more costly arena options.
Of course the drawback with moving back to the studio is a smaller audience, but while there will be no public sale of tickets for Sports Personality, we're really happy that thousands of people will be able to get involved in the build up to the big night as we launch 'Celebrate Sport', a 14-day event which runs through to SPOTY on Thursday, 22 December.
BBC Celebrate Sport will take place in the two weeks prior to Sports Personality of the Year 2011
Once design plans are finalised we will also make some free tickets available to the public for the main Sports Personality TV show. These will be distributed fairly through a public ticket ballot. More information will follow on that soon.
One of the key missions of BBC Sport moving North is to involve more people in what we do and we hope a huge number of people, including many local schools and groups, will be able to experience some of our best-loved shows and meet our most well-known faces during that two week period and beyond.
For the first time there'll be a chance to be in the audience for 5 live's 606 Football phone-in, Monday Night Club and 5 live's Sports Personality of the Year backstage show.
To complete the 5 live line-up, Fighting Talk will also be recorded in Salford with a studio audience, while we'll also be holding a special evening with Question of Sport presenter Sue Barker and captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell.
We'll be planning some special events with the Match of the Day and Football Focus teams, while there will be a chance for youngsters to meet some of their CBEEBIES favourites, who are also new Salford residents.
The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra will be involved, hosting a special concert for Christmas with an appearance from the Manchester United choir, while the National Football Museum will have an exhibition on site here at the BBC Studios in Salford leading up to the festive period and through to their opening in Manchester next year.
More details about how to get involved in the celebration will follow on the BBC Sports Personality web site over the next few weeks and you can register your interest in attending events now at http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/shows/shows/celebrate_sport.
The Celebrate Sport finale will be Sports Personality of the Year and this year's programme promises to be packed with drama following an amazing year of sport.
Talking about ruling the world, that's exactly what England's cricketers are doing and we hope to have many of the team with us for SPOTY.
Elsewhere, Mark Cavendish became the first Briton to win cycling's coveted green jersey at the Tour de France, while Dai Greene and Mo Farah took gold at the World Athletics and there's so much more to come with the Rugby World Cup, for example.
When I was growing up, SPOTY was always the first sign Christmas was coming and it certainly will be this year.
Once again the top 10 contenders will be nominated by 30 sports editors from across the country and we'll be announcing the top ten during The One Show.
The show itself is on the move from its traditional Sunday evening slot to a Thursday night.
Why? You might ask. Well we've worked really hard this year to avoid the show clashing with other big events in the busy Christmas schedule and are pleased to have secured a great prime-time slot, right in the heart of the Christmas build up.
It's a great opportunity for the family to get together and be part of the celebrations. It will also enable the One Show to get involved with the SPOTY red carpet, bringing you the excitement, glamour and nerves as the stars arrive, which is fantastic.
Hopefully SPOTY will once again represent a chance to settle down with a mince pie and wrap the last of your presents as you watch the best of sport from 2011.