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Your choice has never been so difficult

Roger Mosey | 10:27 UK time, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

A couple of years ago the build-up to Sports Personality Of The Year was underway accompanied by rather glum mood music. A lot of people were writing that nobody deserved to win the main award, and it had been a year of British sporting failure. Darren Clarke was installed as the pre-event favourite, but in the end Zara Phillips galloped home - to the pleasure of many and the irritation of others.

In 2007 there was another upset. Lewis Hamilton was thought to be in the lead entering the final straight, but the public chose Joe Calzaghe instead - which generally speaking pleased the people who hadn't been Zara fans.

Paula Radcliffe, Sports Personality Of The Year 2002

But this year I've already seen one plea in a newspaper letters column not to make the main award. That's not because there isn't a strong potential winner but because there are too many. The argument was it was unfair to single out one individual when so many major stars are in contention.

Well, to use one of the oldest cliches - sport is about winning and losing, so we'll press on with finding a winner. And this weekend we saw a fresh torrent of news items about this year's contenders in The Observer.

And in The Daily Express.

And The Telegraph.

We're just over a month away now, so I want to explain how this year's voting will work - because we always want it to be as fair and transparent as possible.

The main Sports Personality Of The Year award will be carried out in the same way as in the past two years. We're currently inviting nominations for a shortlist from newspaper sports editors across the UK - from national broadsheets and tabloids along with some selected regional titles and magazines. We'll collate a Top 10 in alphabetical order and that will be announced on Monday 1 December. The nominees will be interviewed on BBC television and radio as well as being profiled on our website, so there'll be a good chance to debate their pros and cons ahead of the live show on Sunday 14 December.

And that's the point when it's over to you: the winner is chosen by a public telephone vote that will open shortly after the start of the live transmission. The person with most votes wins, and the result is independently checked and verified before it's announced by Gary Lineker and Sue Barker.

For 2008 we're changing the method for selecting three other main awards. The panel of newspaper editors has worked well in previous years in drawing up the main shortlist, so we've asked them to vote this time round for Team Of The Year, Coach Of The Year and Overseas Sports Personality Of The Year. In the past these awards have been selected by a BBC Sport experts panel and this is an attempt to get a wider constituency involved - though I accept that some people would have liked us to go even further and have more public votes. The reason we haven't done that is logistical: running one major phone vote on the night is a challenge, and to have two or more running would risk confusion - though we'll keep under review whether we can increase participation in the future.

You can read more about the selection process for other awards here.

And here.

Others - notably the Lifetime Achievement Award - are within the gift of the BBC.

Sir Bobby Robson, Lifetime Achievement Award 2007

But we've spotted that many of our colleagues in newspapers do read this blog, so it's now open for your comments as they make their minds up about the main award nominations and their choices for the other categories. As ever, I'll drop by from time to time to respond to the main comments and any questions raised.


Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Roger - thanks for being so transparent.

    Question that I raise - in previous year's the main contenders have been profiled in detail at various points during the show - some towards the beginning, some towards the end only just before the lines closed. This inevitably causes much constination afterwards: how is this being tackled?

  • Comment number 2.

    The only fair way is for the vote to finish before the show goes out, but I know the BBC won't do this as they want to earn money from the phone calls during the show!

  • Comment number 3.

    im looking forward to spotty this year. there are so many candidates this year compared to some years when there hasnt been many contenders. i believe chris hoy should win for his efforts at the olympics in winning 3 golds. although i expect lewis will win. team of the year is between wales grand slam rugby and cycling, i think cycling will win that one. coach of the year should go to dave brailsford at gb cycling. nadal will win the foreigner award which is much deserved. all in all it should be a good show this year.

  • Comment number 4.

    With regards to the "Team of The Year" - please allow the Britsh Cycling Team to be voted for as the best team separately - rather than lumping them with the whole Britsh Olympic and Paralympic team.

    I believe that they deserve some special recognition for totally dominating their sport, rather than just being lost in with the enormous olympic team.

    They should have been team of the year last year, but for some reason were not, please dont let them miss out again.

  • Comment number 5.

    Lewis Hamilton will win, making the award is a contradiction in terms, given he's totally devoid of personality.

  • Comment number 6.

    I'd like to see:
    Calzaghe win back to back personality of the year
    Manchester United for the team of the year
    Sir Alex Ferguson for manager of the year
    Usain Bolt for overseas personality of the year

    but it ain't gonna happen...

    it'll probably look more like:
    Hamiltonor Hoy to win personality of the year
    Cycling for the team of the year (unless we can make all of Team GB the team)
    David Brailsford for manager of the year
    Michael Phelps for overseas personality of the year

  • Comment number 7.

    First of all thank you for your article it was very interesting.

    However, my view is slightly different from many.

    Fristly, there is little doubt who will win the SPOTY. Anyone who doesn't think Lewis Hamilton won't win the award is kidding themselves on. Whether he is deserving or not is open to much debate. Personally I do not.

    With their being a public vote and so many F1 Fans the votes will flood in for Lewis Hamilton

    Add the fact the BBC will want to honour F1 in some way for giving it TV rights for the coming years then it becomes blindingly obvious who will win this years SPOTY.

    Secondly, over the years I have wondered about the name of the award and believe it is high time that the SPOTY be changed to Sporting Achievement of the Year as recognition of the sport.

    Over the last twenty year the trophy has in the main been awarded to genuine achievers for example Paula Radcliffe, Kelly Holmes, Steve Redgrave, Joe Calzaghe, Johnny Wilkinson, Linford Christie.

    There is a thought here that the achievement is more important than the personality and would tend to agree.

    Thirdly, there is no doubt that the SPOTY will be glitzy and glamourous. I really hope however even if Lewis Hamiton wins the trophy that Chris Hoy is given a life time achievement award. To have won three olympic gold medals, in one games, is surely deserving of national plaudit of somekind.

    Finally, I really hope the show is slicker than it has been over recent years. I have been disappointed with the overall presentation and the sidelining of certain events and champions. For example this year British Football should be given minimal coverage whilst Cycling should be praised to high heaven.

  • Comment number 8.

    How about using a 'strictly come dancing' format? Have the main show (do you remember when it was actually called 'Sports Review of the Year'?), then allow people to vote AFTER the show for a specified period of time, and then have a results show for the main award later on that evening (preferably) or the next day.

  • Comment number 9.

    And, as per usual, no footballers deserve to be, on the shortlist. Rooney or Ferdinand for letting Ronaldo drag them to the double? I dont think so. The main contenders are Adlington, Hoy, Ohuruogu, Hamilton and Murray. Realistically however, despite the other 3 having wonderful seasons, its between Hoy and Adlington. Both setting new standards in their sport and beating the best at the highest levels weve ever seen as standards rise all the time. I wouldnt personally like to choose a winner but im fairly certain it will be Rebecca Adlington.

  • Comment number 10.

    Dear Auntie,

    Please, please, please, please please let the GB cycling team be nominated for the team of the year award. They clearly deserve the award, and are a cut above any othe british teamin any sport. Nominating the whole olympic team would be a crime of enormous proportions, given the underachievements of our athletics team.

    Cyclists for team of the year!


  • Comment number 11.

    My votes would be:

    Personality of the Year: Chris Hoy (can't argue with 3 Golds), although Hamilton will win.
    Team of the Year: Manchester United - how often does a team do the Premier League/Champions League double? (although the Cycling team also deserve the award)
    Overseas Personality: Padraig Harrington - consecutive Opens is a fantastic achievement, but Nadal will probably win

  • Comment number 12.

    I really hope its either Addlington or Hoy this year as both dominated there sports and did something that no other British Olymipians have done in the past.

    But I get the feeling it will go to Hamilton, even though I am a fan of F1 i cant say he should be even close to winning the award.
    Fair play to him he won the title.
    But in a sport where only 2 teams each year can produce the world champion it means he was really only competing against 3 other drivers, and one was his team mate who was very poor. So fair play to the lad, but until f1 becomes less about money and technology, and there is more competetion on the grid i don't think it should be him.

    Murray has had a great year too, but he wont win it till he lifts a major.

    My top 3

    1. Adlington
    2. Hoy
    3. Ohuruogu

  • Comment number 13.

    Hamilton doesn't deserve to win SPOTY. He will surely win F1 a few more times in his career, so he can't get the award every time he does so. Plus, I thought he was very fortunate to actually snatch 5th place in the end.
    Chris Hoy is a very good shout. Our best medalist at the Olympics and someone who has worked tremedously hard.
    But I think it should go to Rebecca Adlington. To be the first female Gold medalist since the 50s is remarkable and she did the double too. The award generally goes to a male, but I think she is the most worthy of the title.
    Certainly, as it's Olympics year, we should get an Olympian winning the award who isn't given much credit the other 3 years.

  • Comment number 14.

    Hi, thanks for the article. Can I ask what the BBC will do to address the problem of unequal coverage to the different candidates, which gives those who are profiled at the start of the show such an advantage in terms of exposure? In particular I'm remembering the amount of time given to Zara Phillips in the 2006 show compared to the "interview" given to Nicole Cooke (about the number of times she fell off her bike!).
    I've suggested a couple of times that the Beeb could do a separate programme prior to the event highlighting the achievements of all of those nominated, then opening a week of voting, culminating in the programme itself. And then the voting of course would stop before the show starts. Then we could concentrate on the actual sports review rather than interviews during the evening. This year especially, that would be such a treat, to see all those brilliant moments all over again.

  • Comment number 15.

    this year it has to be hoy

  • Comment number 16.

    Its has to be Hulk Hogan!

  • Comment number 17.

    If Chris Hoy doesn't win, it will be a travesty.

    Here's my shortlist:

    Rebecca Addlington
    Ben Ainslie
    Joe Calzaghe
    Lewis Hamilton
    Chris Hoy
    Andy Murray
    Kevin Pietersen
    Rebecca Romero
    Bradley Wiggins
    Shane Williams

    But you could also make a case for Nicole Cooke, Ryan Jones, Victoria Pendleton, Christine Ohurugu and several others.

    Coach of the year: Dave Brailsford
    Overseas sports personality: Rafael Nadal
    Team of the year: British Cycling

  • Comment number 18.

    Hmm difficult to choose this years awards.

    Personality of the year: Would have to go for Chris Hoy, Awesome to get 3 golds.

    Team of the Year: Has to be the cycling team. They have won so so many medals this year its unreal!

    Coach of the Year: Maybe the cycling coach. Dave Brailsford. Not sure who else it could be, certainly not Bolts dance coach!

    Overseas PERSONALITY: With personality being the key word has to go to Usain Bolt. Who else has the personality and the achievement (3 gold medals + 3 world records)??

  • Comment number 19.

    Can we just change it to 'Sports Celebrity of The Year'?
    Sadly too few of our Sportsmen and Women have what could be described in passing as a 'Personality', money has changed Sport into a production line for uniformity and conformity.
    At least 'Have I Got News for You' saw fit to replace a Politician with a Tub of Lard, I'm sure on SCOTY the nominees could be equally replaced by a lump of plaster.

  • Comment number 20.

    I shall be very interested who "the great and the good" decide should be in the Top 10. Some are obvious (Hoy, Adlington, Hamilton, Calzaghe, Wiggins?) but can we guess the remainder?

    Not sure why there need to be 10 really. If there are 3 or 4 cyclists in the list it'll just fragment the vote.

  • Comment number 21.

    I am a Lewis Hamilton fan, but I couldn't possibly bring myself vote for him ahead of Chris Hoy. But Hamilton will probably win...

    And I agree about the cycling team being separated from Team GB, what they did was phenomenal and deserves recognition on it's own...

  • Comment number 22.

    Why does this board need pre-modding? It's impossible to follow properly.

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    I won't be watching this year, as it is consistently poor television.

    I'd rather the BBC put some time and money into actually winning some broadcast rights to some sporting events
    as opposed to putting Gary Lineker and Jill Douglas on a stage with the sole intension of boring the UK rigid.

  • Comment number 25.

    Surely Cardiff City should be in contention for team of the year. It was a massive feat for them to make the FA Cup final, far more impressive than the Wales Grand Slam; winning a tournament of six teams? Hardly the achievement of the century is it?

  • Comment number 26.

    Its got to be the Calzaghes. Enzo for coach and Joe for personality, especially if Joe retires. They've done much more then last year.

  • Comment number 27.

    Felipe Massa for Overseas Sports Personality Of The Year, he really showed a lot of character this year!

  • Comment number 28.

    I think SPOTY should go to Chris Hoy - 3 Gold medals is a truely amazing achievement. And the Team of the Year to the GB cycling team. I say this because although Man Utd did the double, and Lewis Hamilton won the F1 Championship these events happen every year. I'm not trying to take away what brilliance they've achieved (British sport is on a real high at the minute) but these Olympians only get one chance every 4 years. So, for me, the cycling team should clean up. Plus, do we really want the WAGS and the pussy cat dolls upstaging Linekar and Barker?!

    Overseas should go to Nadal. He's overtaken arguable one of the best tennis players in Federer by sheer grit and determination on all surfaces now. Padraig would have a case if Tiger wasn't injured!

  • Comment number 29.

    A tough call this year but for all the right reasons and that is why I hope it becomes a celebration of a fantastic year for sport.

    Personal view (which is all one can offer in such a subjective debate) is that I would like to see Chris Hoy/Rebecca Adlington win.

    Lewis Hamilton has been fantastic for two years now and will be for many more to come but multiple Olympic gold is something very special - and don't forget Lewis isn't the only World Champion amongst those three...

    That said well done UK sport, great year...footballers notable by their absence from Euro 2008 but even they seem to have upped their game as a result!

  • Comment number 30.

    Perhaps the award should go to Hamilton's car or Hoy's bike as both have more personality than their driver/rider.
    Another backslapping yawnfest that goes on too long and emphasises that, apart from the Olympics, the BBC covers few sports that real people watch.

  • Comment number 31.

    Isn't it interesting how many people think Hamilton will win, rather than believing that he should win.

    Does this reflect a sense that Formula 1 is not so much a sport as an engineering competition?

  • Comment number 32.

    Ben Ainslie is a good candidate for sports personnality of the year. He won 1 silver and 3 golds at all his olympics. He is hailed to be one of the greatest sailors ever and he has always been at the front of londons 2012 olympic campain.

    He is one of the nations greatest sportsman and is a great inspiration to young and old in his particular sport. 5 live claimed he was one of the greatest olympians ever and is one of many who secured team GB's result at the top.

    Top Bloke; a real inspiration.


  • Comment number 33.


    Driving is NOT sport. Anything with an engine is NOT sport it is driving! He's won the F1 ch'ship that should be enough, and yes, he lacks personality.

    Overall winner: Joe Calzaghe or Chris Hoy

    Best team: ?????????

    Overseas: Padraig Harrington. Sorry, but back to back majors either side of the pond is awesome!

  • Comment number 34.

    Post 7.

    Whilst I agree the british cycling team deserve many plaudits for their achievements and probably deserve to win the team award for their unbelievable showing in the olympics, it is unfair to say that british football deserves minimal coverage.

    Man united won both the premier league title and the champions league - something which not many football clubs in any country achieve. Also 3 out of the 4 semi finalists in the champions league last season were british clubs.

    Rangers were unlucky to lose the final of the UEFA cup as well meaning that British football teams have had a very strong year all round.

  • Comment number 35.

    What I have never understood is why the smaller sports don't get a look in. The program hopefully will be dominated by the Olympics and Para Olympics, F1 and also football as usual.

    Your supposed experts especially in the overseas category are pitiful and show no knowledge at all. They need to look at all sports not just the popular ones.

    Hopefully the 1,2 3 will be Chris Hoy Rebecca Adlington and Lewis Hamilton. Manager should be the cycling manager and overseas should be Ole Einar Bjoerndalen in what he has achieved in Biathlon last year yet again and also as he will soon become the greatest skier of all time overtaking Ingemar Stenmark but I think they'll give it to Usain Bolt.

  • Comment number 36.

    I think this is the easiest BBC's Sports Personality Of The Year.
    It has to be Hamilton by at least 50%. He has been the most consistent over the year. To get 98 points in 18 races was magic. He was a treat to watch race. He really made it a wonderful end to the year of F1. Never seen a finish like that ever in F1 racing.

    Well done Hamilton you deserve everything you are going to get. 1st World champion since Damion Hill in 1996.

  • Comment number 37.

    If you trust the BBC enough to spend your hard-earned money on a premium-rate popularity contest phone-in, then knock yourselves out.

    The only truly historic landmarks in British sport this year happened in cycling, but I wouldn't vote for a cyclist, cos your vote will be split.

    Your money would be better spent phoning 0898 - hotties chatline, but don't let me put you off - get spending, hope it's fun! :)

  • Comment number 38.

    I just hope that the award goes to someone who actually practises a SPORT, i.e. not somebody paid for driving a car and not somebody paid for beating people up.

    There are plenty of obese people in England who do both, and they definitely aren't sports people.

    Yet they vote in droves. And so it probably will be Lewis Hamilton or Joe Calzaghe.

    Maybe they should have 2 awards: one for sports, and one for activities for the obese.

  • Comment number 39.

    Can't quite believe that Mark Cavendish hasn't been mentioned. In any other country he would walk(!) it. I'm just hoping that newspaper editors will appreciate his achievement.

    He shouldn't necessarily win, but should get some credit.

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    The Champions League did not have three British clubs in the semis, it had three English clubs.
    (Try doing the same with Ranger, Celtic and, er, someone else, and see what happens.)
    How can Nick say SPOTY doesn't cover minority sports when it devotes a chunk to the paralympics - very worthy and all that but who rushes home from the pub to watch it?
    And that bloke who criticised the suggestion of Man Utd for team of the year on the basis England was not a major world force but then had the cheek to suggest the Wales Rugby Union side. Hilarious.
    Team of the year? The Philies for winning the World Series.

  • Comment number 42.

    Great article and loads of very good comments. What I want to know is why has no one mentioned Mark Cavendish. He is, after all, one of our cyclists. He ahas also achieved something no other British person has ever done - win 4 stages of the Tour de France in one year. Surely that feat alone should earn him a place in the top 10.

    As for the SPORY itself, my vote goes to Chris Hoy. What an athlete.

  • Comment number 43.

    To Reply 33, clearly you have no knowledge of what actually is involved in F1.

    The person may well be powered by an engine but so many other sports use other implements to power themselves to victory. F1 should be inclucded because it requires physical fitness, mental fitness and a large amount of tactical knowledge. If you take F1 out of the equation you might as well take cycling out as it only involves "riding" or sailing as you are added by wind.

    Anyway back on topic.

    Lewis will win but sadly I disagree with it:
    - I think I would agree with it more if he had been at a smaller team prior to McLaren (as MS was with Jordan for example) and had worked his way up. To me he has just been given the best and told to get on with it.
    - The last race in Brazil won him the championship thanks to luck. Massa drove a much better race and did everything that was required of him. Hamilton struggled to maintain 5th and was lucky.
    - Massa won more races throughout the season and was hampered by technical problems. Sure Lewis was penalized more but then again he did break the rules.

    Sadly Ben Anisle will be overlooked. To me his achievement is fantastic. Even the President of the IOC claimed Ben's achievements were the most impressive. Whilst he hasn't done as well as Redgrave and Pinset, what he has done is, is win 3 gold medals, at back to back games, in 3 completely different events. His achievements would be like Bolt winning the 100 in Beijing, then winning the 10k in London and then capping it off by wining the Hammer in 2016.

    Having said all this- I would be happy with Hoy/Wiggins/Addlington. As long as no footballers are in the top 10.

  • Comment number 44.

    Lewis Hamilton should win, All those who say F1 ''is not a sport'' only say that due to their ignorance.
    There are alot of great candidates but Hamilton has been competing for much of the year and won the championship at the end of it, through hard work, and the fulfillment of a talent which has been in the making since he was a child, I agree driving isn't a sport but Motor racing or should that be ''motorsport' is a sport.

  • Comment number 45.

    Am I the only person that thinks that the 'personality' of the year has to be Ellie Simmons. She has to have been the most memorable personality.

    If it on achievment then I think Rebecca Adlington, Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggings, Joe Calzaghe, Christine Ohurugu (is that how you spell it?) and Lewis Hamilton are the pick of the bunch.

    Team of the year is the Olympic Cycling team (closely followed by the swimmers).

    Overseas must be between Usain Bolt and Padraig Harrington.

    Manager of the year on a personality show must be Harry Redknapp as he is the only one that I have come across who actually has a personality other than a miserable one...

    Sadly the show will be rubbish and the decision slanted by the program running order. Oh well

  • Comment number 46.

    Shortlist should be;


    Quite why Andy Murray is regularly mentioned is beyond me. How can his achievements for this season rank alongside the World Championship and Olympic golds of Hamilton, Hoy and Adlington?

    JohnnyGray, I can't believe you are disputing Boxing as a sport! It's probably the toughest sport in the world - technically complex, requires huge dedication, fitness and courage!

    And to Formula 1 critics - its not as simple as 'driving a car' - otherwise any taxi driver could be F1 world champion. Its the most technically advanced sport in the world, which will present its own challenges to the drivers. The same drivers that have to endure 2 hours of highly intense, competitive racing in extreme temperatures whilst maintaining maximum concentration.

    If you critisise F1 for being too much about technology, then you must also discount Hoy and the British cycling team because their sport also has extreme reliance on engineering, maths and science.

  • Comment number 47.

    And that's the point when it's over to you: the winner is chosen by a public telephone vote that will open shortly after the start of the live transmission. The person with most votes wins, and the result is independently checked and verified before it's announced by Gary Lineker and Sue Barker.


    And all effected by when they are profiled during the show, engaged lines, who is in that evening instead of going out, blah blah blah.

    Why the same pathetic voting system?

    Instead allow voting to take place online and via telephone lines before the show, that way you can concentrate on profiling the year instead of constantly hawking the phone number to people.

  • Comment number 48.

    colmac75 - You're right, in any other year, Cav would be guaranteed a nomination, and possibly even a top 3.

    Also, I would actually prefer to see Bradley Wiggins win SPOTY over Chris Hoy - his 3 World and 2 Olympic titles puts him up there with Hoy (2xWC and 3xOG), and contained within those rides were 3 world records (Team Pursuit -WC final, OG quali and final) and an Olympic record in IP qualifying. Mainly though, that win in the Madison worlds stands out as my favourite sporting moment of the year - just the manner in which he and Cav won it was electrifying. But of course, the Olympic titles stand out in the public's eyes as most significant (and I'm not necessarily disputing that), and fair play to them and to Hoy if he wins SPOTY.

    Finally, I'm nobody's English scholar, but I always took 'personality' in this context to simply mean something like 'celebrity' or just 'public figure'. Essentially, one can 'be' a personality as well as 'have' one. So the use of 'personality' in SPOTY seems correct in the sense that we don't have to vote for the most colourful character every year (if that was the case, Dean Macey would win it every time).

  • Comment number 49.

    What does Nicole Cooke have to do to be one of the favourites? She won Olympic gold and the World Championship in the same year and is the best female cyclist in the world.

    Yes, Rebecca Adlington won two gold medals but isn't the best female swimmer in the world. Her achivements also pale in comparison to Michael Phelps' seven gold medals.

    The team of the year should be between Man United and GB cycling.

    Overseas between Nadal, Usain Bolt and Phelps.

    All the other awards should be scrapped as they get in the way of a decent review of the year programme.
    I liked the previous idea of having the Sports Personality award given on the following day.
    However, would the BBC have enough action to show considering how many sports they've stopped showing oevr the years?

  • Comment number 50.

    Team of the year - GB Cycling. They can easily be counted separately, as not only did they dominate the Olympics, but also the Cycling World Cup too.

    Coach of the Year - Brailsford, for the same reason.

    Overseas - Phelps or Bolt.

    Hoy for the stellar performance?
    Adlington for the surprise package?
    Hamilton for being the youngest champion?
    Murray for the most improved sportsman?

    It will be Hoy, and quite right too!

  • Comment number 51.

    I dont think Lewis Hamilton is as nailed on to win as everyone thinks. He failed to win last year and this year has attracted even more negative press, although this was outweighed eventually by winning the title he still has many detractors in this country due his supposed arrogance.

    I would expect Andy Murray to be up there after reaching his first grand slam final and winning back to back masters titles.

    Calzaghe has had another excellent year as did many of our Olympians.

    One thing that is certain is that the winner of sports personality is rarely recieving the award for their personality rather what they have achieved.

  • Comment number 52.

    Nicole Cooke or Chris Hoy or Ben Ainslie. Without question. Just a shame two of them are cyclists and will therefore split the cycling devotees.

  • Comment number 53.

    How about moving it back to Birmingham. It is the perfect location for all the sports men and women around the UK to meet, in the MIDDLE!!!

  • Comment number 54.

    For all the great achievements of the Olympians, Hamilton deserves the award above Murray and Hoy/Ohoruogu, 2nd and 3rd. There are two many firsts in his achievement to ignore and these are on an international and historic scale. For foreign sporsperson of the year, I'm sorry but is there really a serious contender to challenge Usain Bolt? The true star of the Olympics and 24 carat personality to boot. Team of the year I guess will be cycling although my personal favourite would be Manchester United as Champions League and Premiership champions. Lifetime achievement Ferguson (apologies for the bias) and young SPOTY has to be the swimmer (what's her name again)

  • Comment number 55.

    Stop calling it a Personality award. I know they don't want to highlight one sporting achievement over another, like reaching a Tennis Grand Slam final is more or less of an accomplishment than winning 3 Olympic gold medals but it's no more about personality than it is salary.

  • Comment number 56.

    Colmac75 couldn't agree more. Cav has had a landmark season and firmly established himself as the number 1 sprinter in the world, more wins than any other pro this year, 4 TdF stages, wins in the Giro he is without a doubt a huge success story.
    However, as the British public barely acknowledge the existence of the Tour, unless there's a British GC winner no road cyclist will win it - So despite the fact that Sprinting is an art form in its own right I think Mark can hope for a short-list at best.
    As he won't win it I'd support a cycling movement behind Hoy or Nicole Cooke to ensure the vote doesn't get split allowing someone who doesn't deserve it as much to win.
    My predicted top 3:
    1. Hoy
    2. Hamilton
    3. Addlington.

    Team - British Cycling
    Overseas - Phelps and Bolts tie (impossible to split them)
    Manager - Sir Alex.

  • Comment number 57.

    Even Though Hamiliton did really well to win the F1 championship, he should not get sports personality of the year.

    Reasons are he was in a team expected to win the title and he was the no1 driver whereas in Ferrari both raiko and Massa had equal status with both challenging for the title. Hamiliton winning the Title with a team like Red Bull or Renault would of been more impressive.
    the Award should go to Hoy, Adlington or Calzaghe, what they achieved was more impressive than hamilton.

    Overseas is between Bolt and Phelps

  • Comment number 58.

    Despite his responsibility for the revolution in GB cycling, there probably isn't an appropriate SPOTY award for Chris Boardman. Is there somewhere I can nominate him for a knighthood?

  • Comment number 59.

    Lewis Hamilton had a tough introduction last year and just won through this year in the most exiting finale to a F1 season. But it's too early in his career.

    Joe Calzaghe is worth a vote because once again he has proved himself to be invincible and in boxing over the number of years he has been taking and giving punches is no mean feat.

    The rowers did magnificently well and so did the cyclists who are also worth a mention.

    However there is only one Brit for me who deserves the accolade this year, who every time he steps up to the mark you expect him to win and who delivers time after time, who stands out from a very large pack of talented sailors and it's Ben Ainslie. That man has something special that will never be repeated in sailing.

  • Comment number 60.

    I think Hoy, Addlington and Lewis have good shouts to win this year as well as Murray. I enjoy watching most sports including F1 and would be happy to see any of them win. But I have issue with the people who dont think Lewis Hamilton should win like johnnygray26. I think there are a couple of dozen F1 drivers who would take issue with his comment about practising their sport. F1 is a full time sport and Lewis has competed since March through to October not two and a half weeks so dont talk about merit.

  • Comment number 61.

    I suppose Hoy wasnt in a team expected to win.

  • Comment number 62.

    I believe Joe Calzaghe should win. The achievement of Hamilton although superb does not compare with a person who is now rightly classed the best Brittish boxer of all time.

    Furthermore given the current state of health of a true personality and golfing legend, it would be appropriate for the BBC to honour Severiano Ballesteros in some way - will anyone ever play the game and inspire so many like he has over the years?

  • Comment number 63.


    Lewis Hamilton all the way.

    1.Youngest ever WDC

    2. First WDC from a minority

    3. Highest points tally ever in the sport in his first two seasons beating eclipsing Senna Schumacher easily !

    4. all this in a car that was not class of the field and up against the previous 2 yaers WDC as his team mate in 2007

    Where will all these so called great olympic athletes be in 10 years time answer FORGOTTEN !

    Where will Hamilton a multiple WDC and beating Schumacer's record of most wins that is where :)

  • Comment number 64.

    Actually given the number of negative posts on this forum about Hamilton I would suggest that he wasn't favourite to win SPOTY despite the number of posts asserting he is. I personally think he deserves it not just for what he did this year but what he did in the last 10 years getting to where he is. Youngest winner, first black winner (I'll give it 10 posts before someone comments on that), first British champion for 12 years. I also think his father should be manager of the year as the true inspiration he is to any father bringing up children.

  • Comment number 65.

    I love watching F1 but Lewis can win that championship every year Rebecca Adlington , Chris Hoy and Ben Ainslie can't for me Rebecca's swimming achievement in winning that first gold then smashing the field in the second and obliterating the world record in the process which was as old as she was just AMAZING i've never in my lifetime seen a British woman swim like that and she was also really good value for her interviews too (though her use of amazing was a litle overdone lol).i have to agree that the cycling team should be treated as a separate team and include the world championship team too what was it 14 out of 17 golds in Manchester following up the Olympic sucess.

  • Comment number 66.

    Reason for not thinking driving competitions are "sport": how unfit the top drivers are. I remember in the 1970s when The Superstars made sportsmen from all fields compete against each other at a dozen different sporting tests. Last every single time would be the engine driver (James Hunt, Barry Sheene etc). They have next to no "sporting" ability.

    Reason for not thinking boxing is a "sport": do the people who take part in it really look as if they are PLAYING? Yes it's incredibly hard and gruelling but so is working down a coal mine.

    It's a mercy there's no one being slated from pub games (darts, snooker etc).

    We have world-class sports people from football, tennis, cycling, swimming, etc etc. Give the award to a SPORTS person. That's all I ask!

  • Comment number 67.

    This has certainly been a year when British Sportsmen and women have proven themselves in so many varied sports at home and around the World. I believe there is a case this year for having a series of 'special recognition' awards for Rebecca Adlington, Chris Hoy and Ellie Simmonds as stand out individuals and Team GB and Team Paralympics GB for their overall successes in Beijing, especially ahead of London 2012.

    The process you describe could then proceed as normal for the individual annual award (which may well be one of the above) but at a personal level I would like to see that go to Christine Ohurugu for her achievement in returning to take Gold after all of her past difficulties.

    There are lots of other deserving individuals but Lewis Hamilton and Andy Murray should perhaps be recognised after more 'prolonged' success.

    It would be nice to recognise Padraig Harrington in the Overseas category but Usain Bolt is probably another standout sportsman and 'personality'.

    I just hope the evening is enjoyed by everyone and showcases all of the sports where success has been achieved by members of 'Team GB', whatever their individual sports.

    It would also be nice for the telephone revenue to be WHOLLY directed into a basket of diverse charities selected by the BBC and for the telecomms companies to waive their fees.

  • Comment number 68.

    The probem with the minority sports - like sailing and cycling, and the chances of their athletes to win SPOTY is that 98% of the population will never do cycling and similarly have no idea about sailing nor will we ever care to know.

    Sailing for example is such a small, specialist and privileged sport, that the pool of talent is FAR smaller than with football, rugby, cricket, F1 etc, which all have MASSIVE world appeal. It can only be expected that people will have less respect for a sportsman (kingslie/hoy) who has dominated in a sport that has such low participation world wide. As was commented in beijing, GB was basically the only team to have a fully developed and operational track cycling academy/programme, and while there success was excellent, it is far less of an achievement than winning a world cup, Ashes, an F1 season, beating Hopkins and RJJ in one year.... etc

    If the 10 year reigning tiddlywink champion was british, by the logic of some people here, he should win it.

    We cant get away from the fact that millions and millions of people play the more mainstream sports in SPOTY and to be at the pinnacle of these sports is a much greater achievement, or at least the public will recognise it more.

    To the people being so dismissive of hamiltons merit....the guy is TWENTY TWO for christ sake and he has won an F1 season, beating some legends in the process (alonso, raikonnen etc). How can anyone thing that someone fannying around in a sail boat for a gold medal compare?!?!

  • Comment number 69.

    In this year there should be some flexibility.

    It has been a year of fantastic sporting achievements, probably unsurpassed since the 1960s.

    Lewis Hamilton, despite the jealousy and tripe spouted by most commenters on the Beeb website deserves to win it, it's not just that he has won the world title, it's that only two other drivers have won it with less top flight experience and they were Farina and Fangio in the first two years. To win it with only two years at the top is thus unsurpassed. Even with great equipment he still had to actually do it.

    Chris Hoy also deserves it for totally dominating his sport all year long. Three golds is massively impressive btu it's as much the dominance pre olympics as well, everyone knew Chris would win and he delivered, lots of athletes crack under that expectancy.

    In any other year the exploits of Beccy Adlington would have won it but her direct comparison (Hoy) was even better. Joe Calzaghe has done every bit as much this year as he did last time. and others like Murray, Ohurugu and Ainslie have again excelled.

    However for me the award should be shared between Hamilton and Hoy and I don't think it is fair that one should miss out over the other.

  • Comment number 70.

    Ooohh, the agony of choice.

    Seriously though, this has been a great year for british sport. I like the idea of a show the week before which highlights the contenders with a short interview and feature. In fact, It would be great if the Beeb could run this as 5 half hour shows during the week before (maybe in the 7pm slot on BBC1 or 2?) with two contenders per show, allowing ample time to put achievements like Mark Cavendish into proper perspective for those who are unfamiliar with that sport.

    My shortlist (in no particular order)?
    Mark Cavendish
    Chris Hoy
    Lewis Hamilton
    Rebecca Adlington
    Nicole Cooke
    Shane Williams
    Andy Murray
    Ben Ainslie
    Joe Calzaghe
    Ronnie O'Sullivan

    Team: GB Cycling just ahead of ManU.

    Overseas: M Phelps. Hard to see it not being with his unique achievement, although tough on Nadal and Bolt and Harrington.

    Coach: David Brailsford or Warren Gatland

  • Comment number 71.

    Does Lewis Hamilton have a personality? I would initially strongly agree, but then again....
    He has the determination, drive and focus to win a world title in a sport which seems to penalise him for sneezing in the wrong place (or similar), where his competitors openly dislike him, and where senior influential figures (Bernie Ecclestone) dismiss racial abuse against him as just 'a joke'.
    Pains me to say it, but he is a role model for a younger generation. (Though I'd still rather have Calzaghe win).

  • Comment number 72.

    The cyclists had NO competition, yes thats partly because of their ability and training....but there programme is 5 years ahead of anyone else, they might as well have been the only ones there, its like any premiership team playing in league 2 and dominating it... I personally think it is worth much less than the achievements of Hamilton, Calzaghe or even Adlington.

  • Comment number 73.

    it has to be Ashley Cole

  • Comment number 74.

    Apparently Lewis Hamilton is odds on favourite to win the SPOTY award! I don't want to be harsh but is Formula 1 really a sport anyway?

    Plus he has won one World Championship! That's it. Chris Hoy and others have won countless Olympic medals and countless World Championships!

    It's a farce if Lewis Hamilton wins and not good for British sport if you achieve so much but do not get the recognition for it. Whereas, if you make multi millions from an elitist "sport" you are put on the pedestal! Crazy world we live in.

    Mind you, he is more of a celebrity than the others and as we know that's all that appears to matter these days in Britain.

  • Comment number 75.

    Mark Cavendish simply must be nominated. At the age of 23 he is simply the fastest sprinter in cycling, winning 4 stages of the Tour de France, 2 of the Giro d'Italia (Tour of Italy) and many other races. What is dissappointing is that road cycling is not respected as in practicly all other European countries. As has been mentioned, Cavendish would stand a huge chance of winning this award in another European country. If he was French, Belgian, Austrian etc. there would be absolutely no contest.
    He may not have won a medal in his specialist event at the Olympics, but this was not his fault at all, because his partner in the event, Wiggins, was exhausted from winning his two other gold medals.

    As for who should win it, I have really no idea, which just shows what a great sporting year its been for British Athletes. I'll go for Hoy. Just.

  • Comment number 76.

    Actually, thinking about it, the whole thing needs to be renamed "Sports Person of the Year". It isn't about personality at all; it's about sporting achievement.

  • Comment number 77.

    At Dinghy level sailing could not be further away from the word priveleged.

    A basic dinghy costs less than the average mountain bike and costs nothing to open its sails to the wind.

    It's biggest problem is it is not spectator friendly and that's why Ben Ainslie is unlikely to be a real contender despite his worthiness.

    In my last blog I overlooked to mention the swimmers and in particular Rebecca Adlington. Very well done and definitely a contender Rebecca but still not consistently over many years and Olympics in the league of Ben Ainslie.

  • Comment number 78.

    And another thing

    I would have more inclination to vote for any of the "Olympians" if they had made the slightest attempt at being less self serving and distanced themselves from the most disgraceful regime in the world today. That cynically exploited them as tame propaganda poodles.

  • Comment number 79.

    gsm, my I just say that Hamilton is only 23. Do you expect him to have won 5 world championships all ready? I take some of your points, but really...

  • Comment number 80.

    Hamilton? Lol - lets see him win in a Williams-Toyota.

  • Comment number 81.

    I think Adlington's Olympic performance in the pool far outweighs the other acheivements this year including Hamiltons lucky last lap championship win but hamilton will win, it's obvious.

    As for the others, I just hope that the team gong doesn't go to Manchester Utd and the Coach gong doesn't go to Alex Ferguson. They were only successful due to the play of Cristiano Ronaldo. Without him they would have ended up with nothing. But I do have a bad feeling that Ferguson will get his .... what an amazing coach, who else would pick the best player in the world every week.

    Phelps has to win the overseas gong. Yes, there was a lot of hype but what an acheivement.

  • Comment number 82.

    I also think Lewis Hamilton will win it.

    For me

    Individual Hoy

    Team Not sure, Cycling or Wales

    Coach Warren Gatland , taking a team that lost in the group stages of the WC to the Grand Slam is pretty amazing

  • Comment number 83.

    er um Motorsport Elitist

    Compared with ?


    LOL and again HEEEELLLOO

  • Comment number 84.

    Heh someone made a comment about sailing and it is an interesting one. Surely the measure of an achievement is who they beat in achieving it.

    So who did Hoy beat winning his golds (creditable though they are) who did Addlington beat for that matter? They are, like it or not, minority sports which detracts from their achievement (through no fault of their own). You could argue in winning four stages in the tour de France, Cavendish's achievement is a greater one due to its prominence in the sport.

    However, we all know who Murray and Hamilton beat. For that matter Calzaghe. Hamilton for me should be SPOTY. Unlike many posters I don't think he is favourite but I think he should be.

  • Comment number 85.

    lewis hamilton should not win it. its a travesty if he does, fair play he won the world title but what did it for him? the car and the fact that as someone above said only mclaren or ferrari usually produce the world champion unless its such a talent like alonso a couple of yrs ago who did it in none of those 2. hamilton is basically racing 3 maybe 4 including alonso for the world title, the rest havent got a chance in hell so i wouldnt count it as much of an achievement as hoy or even adlington who won 2 swimming golds and broke a world record when she wasnt expected to. her wins all came from her using the strength of her own body rather than having a machine doing it for them

    adlington or hoy to win. even murray deserves it more than hamilton cus he won back to back masters titles with far more fierce competition not to mention get to the us open final

  • Comment number 86.

    'Actually, thinking about it, the whole thing needs to be renamed "Sports Person of the Year". It isn't about personality at all; it's about sporting achievement.'

    Rubbish - It's a popularity contest.

    0898-who's your favourite?

  • Comment number 87.

    I personally hope one of our Olympians win the Spotty this year - Chris Hoy would be my choice. However, I think Hamilton is a shoo-in which is a shame seeing as he should only be valid for the Overseas award (due to his tax exile status and not paying his dues to the country).

  • Comment number 88.

    reply johhnygray26.
    In the 1970s even footballers were unfit compered to racing drivers now. And yes we do have world class footballers but they are all foreigners.

  • Comment number 89.

    A seriously difficult year to make a selection. Most years, with their performances through the season either Hamilton or Murray would have been certainties for the award. When was the last time a British F1 champion didn't win?, and Rusedski won the award easily in 97 despite having a less good year than Murray.

    However, I wouldn't give it to either of them because I expect them both to have better years in the future, and because of the Olympics.

    Most deserving of this for their career achievements are either:
    Ben Ainslie or Nicole Cooke.

    For performances this year alone, it could be any one of about half a dozen cyclists (Hoy, Wiggins, Cavendish, Pendleton, Cooke or Romero) or it could be Rebecca Adlington.

    Really a lot now depends on how the BBC promote the award and the show, so who they bring back into the public memory.

    Team of the year? The Olympic team overall or the GB cycling team if they are considered eligible. Otherwise it's between the Wales RU team and Manchester United.

  • Comment number 90.

    tonytorra - Re- My post where i mentioned Rooney or Ferdinand, re-read what i originally wrote. I said neither deserve to be on the shortlist but one probably will for the sake of having a footballer. Cheers :)

  • Comment number 91.

    aka bluepeter

    adlington yeh true hasnt done it for many years but the award is for whats done over the past year, NOT for say over 5 or so years

  • Comment number 92.

    has everyone forgotten the paralympic team and their achievements, they were only second to China.

    Sports personailty, Eleanor Simmonds, Sarah Storey, Chris Hoy, Rebecca Adlington, any one of these is well deserved.

  • Comment number 93.

    In response to Arsenal

    Cheryl Cole would stand a better chance

  • Comment number 94.

    There definitely needs to be a seperate awards system for the Olympics team and the likes of Chris Hoy and Adlington to recognise their achievments.

    But for Sports Personality of the YEAR, and for consistancy throughout the year in their sports, regularly competing week in week out, not just in one competition that happens every four years, the award must go to either Hamilton or Andy Murray.

    They both have their detractors, but for excelling in their fields consistantly, there cant be many better Brits out their at the moment.

    Andy Murray is the best Brit tennis player by far since Fred Perry, and has won several Masters titles, which may not mean much to casual Wimbledon watchers only, but it is a big deal in the tennis world. Reaching the final of the US open was a remarkable achievement giving the fierce competition the mens game has. Given that he has beaten all the top players at some point this season including Nadal and Federer he has to be at least in the top 3.

    Personally for me I have not enjoyed watching a tennis player play as much as Andy Murray this season, he has been involved in some brilliant matches, and this bitterness of some of the English towards him needs to stop. Recognise his talent and get behind him. So what if he didnt support England in the World Cup, I don't think many Scots wold, and I don't believe many English would support Scotland if they actually managed to qualify for a major tournament without England.

    As for team of the year, aside from the cycling team, must be Man United, although I am just slightly biased! Was a brilliant season, which other football teams will do well to match.

  • Comment number 95.

    Its justy good to have so many actual winners to pick from rather than the usual 1 or 2 with a few plucky losers.

    I agree the Team GB Cycling team should get the team award rarher than the whole Olympics squad.

    Hoy and Hamilton have made the best use of their bike/F1 car whilst Becky Adlington proved British swimmers can win medals at their 1st Olympics rather than all this "I'm looking to 2012 stuff"

    Andy Murray has had an excellent year but won't get into the top 3 and Nicole Cooke has been very consistent for a long time...not just this year.

  • Comment number 96.

    Not wishing to upset anybody but what constitutes a team? In my opinion, despite their heroics, Team GB Cycling is a collection of individuals competing as individuals except for team sprints and madison etc. I don't really see how they can be considered for the Team award. Similarly for the olympic "team".

    Don't know who I'd pick instead though.

  • Comment number 97.

    It has to be Hamilton. Fair play to Chris Hoy and the Olympians, but since when has the British public paid any attention to indoor racetrack cycling? Since we all of a sudden got good at it, and not a moment before. Are there going to be packed houses next time there's a cycling event in Britain? Perhaps while the current Olympians are competing, but ten years from now, when the rest of the world has cottoned on to how to do well in ths sport, as will inevitably happen? Doubtful.

    Motor racing, specifically Formula 1, has been front and center for British sports fans for at least 50 years. The British Grand Prix is a major event on the sports calendar. Nine different British drivers have won the title, but none since 1996. Lewis is the youngest driver ever to win the title, and the first non-white person to do so. He won in an incredible finish, by a single point, over the home town favourite, in one the most incredible endings to a grand prix race, and season, ever.

    And he dates a Pussycat Doll. How can he possibly not win?

  • Comment number 98.

    I am all for the public vote, however, I think that to be a representative of the country's view I think that there should be updates of the state of the vote throughout the programme. We can see from online votes, that they start off with some action group getting the members to vote in a certain way, and then when the public see this they start voting to ensure that the result is more representative of the public as a whole. I therefore strongly believe that there should be at least 3 updates on the progress of the vote throughout the show. With modern technology this should not be a problem, it would also give more confidence to us that the vote was being conducted in a transparent way.

  • Comment number 99.

    I must be honest and say i dont understand all this fasination with the Olympics. They are all excellent sportmens and have scarificed alot for there acheivements. But it has been 4 weeks out of the year which they performed on the highest stage in their sport. Now i do recognise that they dont not get the media coverage of other 'mainstream' sports but there is a reason for this.

    I do feel the Olympics in Britain is fuelled by the BBCs inability to compete with the likes of SKY and ITV for more mainstream sports coverage. Yes F1 is returning next year but that just seems like them jumping on the bandwagon of Hamiltons success.

    Hamilton had a 9 month battle for the world title and Murray has been fighting all year also.

    I do agree that there should be a seperate ceromeny for the Olympians but this has already been heald in London with the victory parade.

  • Comment number 100.

    No mention of Victoria Pendleton..... hasn't she now won olympic gold in 2 different sports. Rowing and Cycling. Now that is a huge achievement. Some may have won more golds but in terms of true athletic achievement I think winning olympic gold in 2 different sports is pretty much up there with the best.


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