BBC to review Sports Personality shortlisting process

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2011

  • Venue: Media City UK, Salford Quays
  • Date: Thursday, 22 December
  • Time: 2000 GMT

Coverage: BBC One, BBC Radio 5 Live & BBC Sport website

Rebecca Adlington won gold and silver at this year's World Championships

The BBC will review the nomination process for next year's Sports Personality of the Year award after no women made it on to the 10-person shortlist for this year's event.

The all-male 2011 shortlist drew criticism from some of Britain's leading sports stars .

A BBC statement said: "We stand by the current process but have committed to take on board what happened this year.

"We will review the shortlisting process for next year's show."

The statement continued: "It is too early to say what, if any, changes will be made to the process but please rest assured that we will seek the opinions of people both within and outside of the BBC before deciding on the appropriate methodology for 2012."

The list of 10 SPOTY contenders was put together by a panel of 27 sport editors from national and regional newspapers and magazines.

They chose Mark Cavendish (cycling), Darren Clarke (golf), Alastair Cook (cricket), Luke Donald (golf), Mo Farah (athletics), Dai Greene (athletics), Amir Khan (boxing), Rory McIlroy (golf), Andy Murray (tennis) and Andrew Strauss (cricket).

It is the first time since voting for Sports Personality of the Year changed in 2006 that a woman has not been on the shortlist.

A public phone vote will decide the winner during the Sports Personality of the Year show on BBC One, which will be broadcast live from 2000 GMT on Thursday, 22 December.

The BBC statement added: "The current system was introduced in 2006 and at least two women have always previously been shortlisted for the main award.

"Having considered a wide range of alternative mechanisms, we remain convinced that the current system is fair, independent and robust."

The lack of women was criticised by high-profile sportsmen and women including Greene, Baroness Grey-Thompson and former Olympic badminton medallist Gail Emms.

But swimmer Rebecca Adlington, who missed out on the shortlist by one vote despite winning a world championship gold medal in July, said she believed all 10 men in contention deserve their place on the shortlist.

Women on the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist

  • 2010: Jessica Ennis (third), Amy Williams
  • 2009: Jessica Ennis (third), Beth Tweddle
  • 2008: Rebecca Adlington (third), Nicole Cooke, Christine Ohuruogu, Rebecca Romero
  • 2007: Paula Radcliffe, Christine Ohuruogu
  • 2006: Zara Phillips (winner), Beth Tweddle (third), Nicole Cooke

"I think they're rightly deserved - the guys that are in there," she told BBC Sport. "Hopefully some girls can be in there next year and we can have a good, successful year."

Adlington said it was "a shame" no women had been included but accepted the shortlist was packed with "incredible" talent.

The 2008 double Olympic gold medallist added: "At the end of the day, I think that looking at the top 10, there are some brilliant people in there.

"Even when I looked at the predictions I thought they're so incredible - there's so many people to pick from.

"It must be hard to decide who goes in that top 10 and I think the guys in there are absolutely fantastic and it's been a great year for sport in general."

Adlington did lament the exclusion of fellow swimmer Keri-Anne Payne, who won gold in the 10k open water event at the World Championships and was named as the first member of the 2012 British Olympic team.

"I was really shocked that she wasn't on that list going into next year as that would have been a great support for her and acknowledgement that people recognise what she's achieved, but at the end of the day I hope that we can do well next year," said Adlington, who was third in the 2008 competition.

"I think we've done fantastically this year but I think the women will excel next year with the Olympics."

The last female winner of the annual award was equestrian star Zara Phillips, who won the award in 2006 after claiming individual gold and team silver at the World Equestrian Games.