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Who will be the 58th BBC Sports Personality of the Year?

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Carl Doran | 14:34 UK time, Monday, 28 November 2011

I'm terrible at keeping secrets, so I can breathe a sigh of relief today because, after a week of keeping it to ourselves, we are finally able to announce the top 10 contenders for this year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year - as nominated by 27 sports editors from a range of magazines, daily and Sunday newspapers.

The 2011 show is going to be broadcast live from BBC Sport's new home at MediaCityUK, Salford, on Thursday 22 December and I'm really excited by what we have in store.

But waiting to get the top 10 from the sports editors is always an apprehensive time, as it's not until we get the line-up confirmed that we can really put together the show's running order and lots of the films for the night.

This year's top 10 is a phenomenal collection of some of the best sports stars in the world - and we are really excited by the films we can put together to reflect what has been an incredible year for British sport.

The top 10 contenders for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2011

The top 10 contenders for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2011

Throughout the show, it will be fascinating to relive how Mark Cavendish achieved his dreams by winning the Tour de France green jersey and World Road Race, and how cricketers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook destroyed the Australians in the Ashes and then ruled the world as the number one Test side.

There's Dai Greene's journey to become a world champion hurdler and at the same championship Mo Farah's comeback from 10,000m disappointment to prove he's the best in the world over 5,000m.

The UK continues to be the centre of the golfing universe, with Rory McIlroy taking the US Open, Darren Clarke the Open and Luke Donald the world number one spot.

Local boy Amir Khan's star continues to rise and is duly recognised, while Andy Murray has once again come agonisingly close to securing that elusive first Grand Slam triumph.

It's also a slightly odd time. As editor, I have control over most things that happen in the show, but the top 10 is one area where I relinquish this and hand it over to the professionals from a wide variety of publications, who work in British sport day in, day out.

This year's nominations have thrown up something that I've not seen in the six years I've been editor of the show - and that's an all-male shortlist.

It's a shame not to see Keri-Anne Payne, Chrissie Wellington or Rebecca Adlington get in the top 10, as they've all had great years and are wonderful role models - and all three came close to being in the 10. However, the vote is carried out independently of the BBC and by very knowledgeable individuals.

Giving publications that are read by such a wide breadth of the public the opportunity to shape the UK's biggest and most prestigious sports awards show still feels the right way to reflect the UK's favourite sports stars and the best sporting moments of the year.

I also think what matters is that only the general public will decide the actual winner as they vote in their huge numbers to crown the Sports Personality of the Year 2011 live on the night. We extended the shortlist to 10 from six in order to give the public far more choice than in years gone by.

There is no doubt that list itself is oozing with incredible talent. It is one of the strongest fields I have ever seen during my time on the show and the race itself is too close to call. The winner could easily be any of the 10.

Other sporting achievements from the past year will be featured throughout the show, with awards for Team of the Year, Coach of the Year, Unsung Hero, Lifetime Achievement and the Helen Rollason Award - as well as the Young Sports Personality of the Year award, for which the top 10 was announced last week.

I sit on the panel to decide the Young SPOTY award - and this year the candidates were the highest calibre I've ever seen. Choosing a winner will be unbelievably tough, and when former winner Amy Spencer, John Inverdale, Jake Humphrey, Sonali Shah, Ore Oduba and I - along with our good friends in Youth Sport Trust - start debating the final three, we could be going for a very long time.

There will be some very special moments in the show again this year, which are not to be missed, ranging from the emotional to the high energy. Many of these will be kept secret until the day. (More secrets!)

So we are all set for a huge Sports Personality of the Year show - make sure you join Gary, Sue and Jake on 22 December. Who will follow AP McCoy as the 58th Sports Personality of the Year? That will depend on your votes.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Sports personality is a JOKE. As were Linekers comments on the One Show ''a bad year for women in sport'' ARE YOU KIDDING? Kath Grainger and Anna Watkins reigned yet again supreme and unbeaten in Bled in the 2x, Team GB Dressage with Laura Bectholsheimer won the European champs, Helen Jenkins wins world triathlon, Jessica Ennis holds her own in Heptathlon and so so much more. How narrow minded, BBC Sport, i expected so much better.

  • Comment number 2.

    Gotta be Farah

  • Comment number 3.

    Come on, it's got to be Big Daz ...... more PERSONALITY than the rest put together!

  • Comment number 4.

    Could none of the 27 sports writers find any women for this list or have I not understood it and this is the men's list and the women's list will appear later?

  • Comment number 5.

    I remember when it was a free vote, now you're 'directed' towards who they would like you to vote for, by the pushing of 'someone's' idea of the top 10 contenders.

    SPOTY has been meaningless for about 10 years or more

  • Comment number 6.

    it will be an absolute travesty if Mark Cavendish doesn't win this! The greatest cyclist that Britain has ever seen

  • Comment number 7.

    The sun even ran an article about how Chrissie Wellington should be on the list, then didnt put her on their own list. What does that tell you!!

  • Comment number 8.

    If this is about sporting achievement then surely Marc Cavendish will win this easily. The man is by far our best and most successful athlete. What he has accomplished this year is unheard of in the world of cycling. Green jersey, 3 wins in a row at the Champs-Elyses, world champion. What else could the man do to win SPOTY??

  • Comment number 9.

    Strong field? Any shortlist with two cricketers in it shown its weakness immediately!

  • Comment number 10.

    Chrissie Wellington??? Done more than a number of the nominations such as Khan and Murray even though they are both great. Won a world championships again!!!

    Or even Alistair Brownlee although his time to get nominated could be next year.

    But number 1 has to be The Manx Missile, followed by Farah and Cook. All enjoyed spectacular years!

  • Comment number 11.

    got to be cav, how many other British sportsman have done what he has. I could swear Andy Murray gets on this list just for being the only tennis player who is any good.

  • Comment number 12.

    Mark Cavendish.
    Shows as much personality as any other sportsperson in the world. Wears his heart on his sleeve, always speaks his mind and has something interesting to say. Not to mention his ridiculous success as a sportsman. Another bagful of wins this season, Tour de France stages and Green Jersey winner then a magnificent win at the World Championships amongst others. Well on his way to being one of the all time greats in cycling and the greatest British cyclist of all time. It would be an absolute travesty if he did not win.

  • Comment number 13.

    I hope Mo Farah wins he is my idol :)

  • Comment number 14.

    I find it absurd that Dario Franchitti is not nominated. This is a guy who has won 4 of the last 5 Indycar Championships (the only year he hasn't won was 2008, in which he didn't compete as he was in NASCAR) What does he have to do to get nominated? We have someone who is winning championships, and instead we have nominated Murray and Khan, who won nothing of significance (I say this as a huge Murray fan). I thought there may have been a nomination for Dan Wheldon, because he won the biggest race of the year (Monaco has nothing on the Indy 500). He lost his life doing what he loved. I hope there will be significant tribute to him on the night. Just because the sport is not in the public eye does not mean we should not celebrate their achievements. I feel some of these sports reporters need to be re-educated on British sporting success.

  • Comment number 15.

    And Jamie Bestwick totally ignored again despite dominating BMX vert riding for yet another year. Fair enough not 'mainstream' from a TV perspective but the guy has won all the major BMX vert ramp competitions for years. A strong Facebook campaign to get him noted obviously ignored becuase the BBC 'don't do' extreme sports, even if a lot of the public paying the TV licence do. For those that don't know him try searching his name on certain popular search engines and video streaming sites to see what this British champion has achieved for years......

  • Comment number 16.

    Was Danny Hart even considered? He won the MTB Downhill World Championship in terrible conditions by eleven seconds in the most stunning ride I have ever seen.....such a shame to neglect him.

  • Comment number 17.

    How can a publication be given an imput into this when their credible suggestions for the Sportsman of the year include Dimitar Berbatov! Paul Scholes, Yaya Toure and Glen Chappple - I'm not even sure most of their list are elligible and they exclude Mo Farah and Cavendish?

  • Comment number 18.

    No Alistair Brownlee AGAIN. World Champ in Triathlon for second year running. What's the guy got to do?!

  • Comment number 19.

    Once again an absolute joke, there are many names mentioned far more deserving then the likes of Andy Murray for one, (no personality and not won much) but how Chrissie Wellington for one didnt get nominated is unbelievable. Is there one on that list that could win their major event of the year while injured? She crashed less then two weeks before ironman world champs and won it while still nursing road rash and a torn pec. She does loads for charity and has far more personality then the majority of that list. What a farce

  • Comment number 20.

    Where's Chrissie Wellington? 4 Time Ironman World Champion with an Epic win in Kona this year! This is really, really short sighted BBC!!

  • Comment number 21.

    This really is a nonsense list, what does Alistair Brownlee have to do to even get nominated. Three years running he has obliterated the world at Triathlons.

    It's hard to think of a sportsman British, or even in the wolrd, who is so far & away better than anyone else at what he does, world class at all three disciplines. It's not as if we're talking of an elite, specialist or unknown activity - three of the most mainstream sports there are.

    It comes to something when the Daily Star & Nuts magazine, have the most credible lists.

    This should have been a straight head to head between Brownlee & Cavendish, even his brother had an outside shot of a top 10 place.

    Luke Donald's had a good year, but failed to win a significant title. Strauss probably wasn't in the top 5 cricketers.

  • Comment number 22.

    3 golfers, 2 cricketers, and no Chrissie Wellington. A joke!

  • Comment number 23.

    Seems to me that by nominating three golfers and two cricketers the BBC is ensuring that the five nominees from those sports do NOT win - split votes? That reduces the list to five only and surely Cavendish then becomes a 'shoe in'.
    Not that I'll complain about that result, but it would seem fairer to restrict nominees to one (same sex)) from each sport only (especially minority sports, such as golf) , which would have opened the list up for three other sports. That might even have given the girls a chance.
    Personally I feel ten is too many, with or without the above restriction. Six has been accepted for years - if it ain't broke don't fix it! I would probably have voted for Luke Donald but won't be wasting time or money with the current 'fixed list'.

  • Comment number 24.

    Cavendish must win. He has achieved almost all that there is to achieve in what is arguably the most grueling of all sports, and all at a staggeringly young age. He treads the line of arrogance and brilliance in the same way that Mohammed Ali once did. He is engrossing to watch and is a superb roll model to budding generations who are taught that to be competitive is a negative trait. Vote Cavendish!

  • Comment number 25.

    There are some woeful lists by supposed "very knowledgable" experts.

    Surely Wales deserve a rugby player there, Warburton should be in more lists than some of those, so should Sam Tomkins, a phenomenal season.

    Brownlee should be one of the first choices for the overall list, yet only made about 4 lists, do they even watch sport.

    I didn't see Chris Froome listed once, or Wiggins, 2nd & 3rd in Tour of Spain, surely a mention was worthy when you look at who got votes. Berbatov!?

    If a second cricketer was to be there Stuart Broad was more deserving, so too Trott.

    Luke Donald looks fortunate to be there. I'm not convinced Strauss or Khan were even the best choices in their respctive sports. Murray you could make a good argument either way, for him being there. I loved Clarke winning the Open but didn't really figure in much else throughout the year, considering some of those left out - and in.

    Thankfully Cavendish & Farah are there, they should be top 2 with one of Greene or Cook third ahead of Rory. Brownlee should be ahead of most of those though.

    Clarke apart, the remainder look predictable choices at the expense of more deserving.

  • Comment number 26.

    Chrissie Wellington too. Surely the event must count for something. In other countries if they had her & the Brownlee's and the cyclists we have, they'd be superstars.

  • Comment number 27.

    Chrissie Wellington won her fourth World Ironman title this year in just her sixth year of elite competition, and set two world records. Before becoming an athlete she had an accomplished career in international development and uses her profile (and her own money) to support child development programmes in South East Asia. What motivates her? "We have the power to change things. And sport is one vehicle for doing so. It has the power to build bridges, to empower, to teach, to heal – this is what triathlon and every other sport should be about." She's incredible, an astonishing woman - and a far more credible contender for both her sporting achievements and her personality than anyone else on the list (with the exception of Cavendish, who is also amazing); yet there's no room for her. Instead we Amir Khan (what's he done of real note this year?), Andy Murray (again. Good year, but no major), and so on. They're all great sportspeople, but they're not even close to Chrissie Wellington's achievements. Are all 27 of the newspaper and magazine sports editors who put the list together male?

  • Comment number 28.

    Croquet shamefully overlooked again, I see...

  • Comment number 29.

    Golfers Clarke & McIlroy have had good years.......but it has to be CAVENDISH. The guy is the greatest cyclist we have ever had. Green jersey holder and World Champion, 20 TDF stage wins (3 on Champs Elysees). He is a legend in his own lifetime and with team Sky will go on to break Armstrong's TDF stage record. People who cycle know how great his achievements are........I just hope there are enough of us to get him the award he deserves

  • Comment number 30.

    1. Cavendish
    2. McIlroy
    3. Farah

    Cav has to win. What he has achieved this year is nothing short of phenomenal.

  • Comment number 31.

    I agree with rowrowrow only about 5 of the 10 names should be there,. As for Linekers comments on the One Show ''a bad year for women in sport" just rubbish what about Helen Jenkins world ITU champion for the second time, Chrissie Wellington winning her 4th World Ironman title with such bad injuries going into the race, these woman put big ears to shame. These are only 2 of the woman who should be there.Some poor pics by the judges!

  • Comment number 32.

    Carl, I would appreciate, if you get the chance a response to this - I know the beeb have no involvement whatsoever in the 10 but you refer to them as knowledgable experts and one of the 27 have the following 10:

    James Anderson
    Dimitar Berbatov
    Darren Clarke
    Glen Chapple
    Rory McIlroy
    Keri-Anne Payne
    Paul Scholes
    Andrew Strauss
    Yaya Toure
    Patrick Vieira

    I genuinely ask, is that a serious list? It should need no explanation why!

    Then the Daily Star Sunday have list WITHOUT - Cavendish, Farah, Cook & Dai Greene who could easily be the clear Top 4. Nor Brownlee or Wellington, but do have Lewis Hamilton? who'd be the first to admit he had a poor year.

    Less so, but Wayne Rooney is a surprise in the Times list, David Weir & Judd Trump also crop up. I'd be interested to hear the credible arguments for some names.

    Hats off to The Mirror - who I would say have by far the best list of the 27 and include, what would be my top 6 or even 7. The only one to include Brownlee & Wellington too.

    Brilliant list from the Western Mail, probably the best and most interesting 10 of all and the Daily Star, oddly the only other list not to make me raise an eyebrow.

  • Comment number 33.

    Cavendish is the only credible choice from that list.

    A bit confused as to why Andy Murray got his annual nomination?

  • Comment number 34.

    Another absolute disgrace from the BBC. Don't expect anything else now though it's the same every year! How Chrissie Wellington doesn't even get a nomination. Four ironman world titles and an unbeaten record over the distance in 5 years. How Andy Murray, amir khan and the most incredible name on the list lewis Hamilton. Complete disgrace.

    Also where is alistar brownlee? I guess being a world champion doesn't count for much.

    Only Cav or Mo Farah deserve to win. Can't say I care though definitely won't be tuning into watch!

  • Comment number 35.

    Nick Matthews recently retained the World Squash Championship he won last year. It is sad to see that a double World Champion does not even get a mention. This is not so surprising I suppose as the coverage of this achievement by the BBC was non existent.

  • Comment number 36.

    As a nation britain and british golfers have been the pinnacle of the sport for the last 2 or 3 years and i think its wholely apt that there are 3 nominated for this prize .. you can make a great case for all 3 of them winning but personally Luke Donald has been the best british sports person all year, 4 tour wins worldwide, 15 top 10's in 20 starts, winner of the us tour money list and has an untouchable lead in the european tour 'race to dubai'.

    If he doesnt win then cav would also be a great winner!

  • Comment number 37.

    Again, it's the big sports that win. Jenkins, Wellington, Brownlee(s). Why are they not on the list? Not wanting to sounds biased but Triathlon is the fastest growing sport in the country so why does it not get the recognition it and is stars deserve. If the BBC gave just a little time to the less well known sports maybe we would finally see a true sports "personality"

  • Comment number 38.

    No Chrissie Wellington? A disgrace-what she has achieved is remarkable-and she IS a personality-she is eloquent, enthusiastic, and writes with feeling. Next year, BBC, ask the public, as they know a lot more than your so-called experts. This is one of the few times that the smaller sports get mentioned, and you have missed the chance to celebrate a true champion.

  • Comment number 39.

    "14. At 20:53 28th Nov 2011, Ali wrote:
    I find it absurd that Dario Franchitti is not nominated."


    "18. At 21:03 28th Nov 2011, StiltonNinja wrote:
    No Alistair Brownlee AGAIN. World Champ in Triathlon for second year running. What's the guy got to do?!"

    Win the Olympics next year.

    "15. At 20:54 28th Nov 2011, Andy T wrote:
    And Jamie Bestwick totally ignored again.....A strong Facebook campaign to get him noted obviously ignored"

    Presumably because, and I may be wrong here, most sports journalists aren't 14 years old.

    I find it most amusing that people are shocked that minority sports have been ignored. What exactly do you expect? For example, the UK has dominated world squash for years, but it has never been acknowledged because the BBC rightly focuses on sports that most people watch and/or are interested in. That they have put Cavendish in there is a massive step forward. For me, Cavendish is so far ahead of this field it shouldn't even be a contest.

    So to the poor souls mourning the omission of Jo Bloggs, Britain's World Champion at extreme tiddlywinks: get over it.

  • Comment number 40.

    Very surprised to see three golfers and two cricketers. Also surprised by the absence of women and, to be honest, the presence of Andy Murray. He's had a decent season, but I'd be amazed if no women in British sport could be said to have done better.

    From the list, it must be Cavendish. Utterly devastating performance, again, at the Tour de France and now the world championships too. What a tribute it would be to get SPOTY for a sport which is still not mainstream in this country.

    But seriously, half the list from golf and cricket!!??

  • Comment number 41.

    For what it's worth, this would've been my 10, in order:

    1) Cavendish, 2) Brownlee 3) Farah 4) Wellington 5) Cook
    6) Greene 7) McIlroy 8) Broad 9) Warburton

    Froome, Helen Jenkins or Clarke worthy of 10th, Murray just outside. Hard to justify Donald, Strauss or Khan in a top 15.

  • Comment number 42.

    As long as the farce of 2009 (Ryan Giggs!!!!) is never repeated, fair enough. Frankly, a choice of anyone other than Mark Cavendish would run it close, though, and I am no fan of cycling.

  • Comment number 43.

    Pretty clear how flawed these lists are when almost every post here thus far is questioning the omission of Brownlee and Wellington and from 27 possible votes each one gets 5 and the other 3.

  • Comment number 44.

    A few years ago I wrote to the (male) sports editor of the Guardian, Jim White, about their review of the sporting year without any female athletes being pictured or mentioned. He held his hand up and apologised.The SPOTY suffers the same myopeia and shameful discrimination against women athletes. I think its called national, institutionalised, sex discrimination - whoever the 'great and good' editorial team are! When can I expect a shame faced apology foirm the Beeb. How does this award celebrate UK sport which is 50% female and encourage and inspire my 11 year old daughter?

  • Comment number 45.

    This list is a nonsense. It reflects more the high media profile of a small number of sports than any individual competition success. I can only guess that when sports editors are not writing about cricket, they're playing golf.

    As for the lack of women nominees - well it's not as if we're short of female world champions. But not, alas, in the sort of male-dominated sports that regularly grace the back pages of our newspapers. If this competition is to have any credibility in future, I think the time has come for a review of how the shortlist is drawn up.

  • Comment number 46.

    Cavendish by the distance he sometimes beats his sprint rivals by which is truly jaw dropping.

    As for Warburton. Please. Did they win the 6 nations? No. Did they win the World Cup? No.

    Same for Murray. Well done mate you've dropped a place in the rankings and messed up again in slams. Give his place to Brownlee.

    As for the why is there 5 from Golf and Cricket please have a look at the World Rankings. Embrace the dominance.

  • Comment number 47.

    BennyBlanco, I think the gripe is more that triathlon is not a minority sport. The longer ironman at a push ok, but not triathlon, the disciplines are the opposite and each should have had at least one representative (2 have). I could understand Brownlee's omission if it was Squash, BMX, snowboarding etc, Or if he just sneaked a world title

    But dominating world triathlon is hard to fathom. I agree with you generally, but read those selection lists, read the Manchester News, the Star on Sunday and tell me they don't mystify you!

  • Comment number 48.

    @29 Mitch46 - Armstrong has just 22 TDF stage wins - 4th all time. Not much of a stretch for Cav to beat as he has 20 from just 4 tours. The greatest cyclist who ever lived - Eddie Merckx - has 34 stage wins, 5 overall wins, 2 polkadot and 3 green jerseys. He's the only rider to win yellow, green & polkadot in the same year - 1969. Bernard Hinault has 28 stage wins, 5 yellow, 1 green & 1 polkadot. He won yellow & green in 1979

    Cav is our greatest ever & probably will eclipse Merckx & Hinault in stage wins but he can never match them overall as they were truly great all round whereas Cav is a sprint specialist & will probably be the best ever sprinter by the time he retires

  • Comment number 49.

    For people doubting why Khan is on the list then it should be noted that his fight against Maidana (Dec 2010) is probably included and was one of the best fights of the year. Epic. He has since defended twice as well.

  • Comment number 50.

    39. At 22:12 28th Nov 2011, BennyBlanco

    So you're saying that the only sports that count are the ones on TV? And those sports are on TV only because those are the ones that people watch?

    That's rather a circular argument, wouldn't you say?

  • Comment number 51.


  • Comment number 52.

    A disgrace - a total disgrace - to include no women... and then blame it on the (all male) sports editors YOU, the BBC, selected to vote! Including (and this is the real joke) the editors of soft-porn lads-mags like Zoo and Nuts!! Heck, why not include Playboy and Men Only?

    Three golfers from the men's Ryder Cup, no-one from the women's Solheim Cup. Could hardly be more blatant, could it?

    All in all it is appalling discrimination that, if repeated in ANY other walk of life, would results in those responsible losing their jobs. You should be ashamed to be associated with this travesty.

  • Comment number 53.

    Surely has to be Mark Cavendish this year, although the BBC should be ashamed not to have Brownlee make the top 10 , he has just won the Triathlon world title and will be a massuve star at the Olympics , so to will his younger brother.

  • Comment number 54.

    Origami Penguin,

    No, I never said anything like that. I said the BBC focuses on the sports that most people watch and/or are interested in. They have chosen sportsmen who participate in sports most people know. It is common sense. Put the BMX fellow in over Luke Donald and you'd have a hundred posts from golf fans saying "Luke Donald got to World number 1, scandalous he isn't on the list". Omit Murray, and you'd have posts saying "Murray regularly competes with the best in the world and wins lots of non-grand slam events. Is this anti-Scottish bias from the BBC?" from people. It's about catering to the masses, not honouring every single individual sporting success the country has had. It happens every year and like I said, I find it amusing people are surprised by this.

  • Comment number 55.

    Nice to see someone mention downhill mountain biker Danny Hart. Maybe he doesn't quite cut in popularity terms for SPOTY, but that video of his World Championship winning run (and the justifiably crazy commentary) is the most supreme thing I've seen from the world of sport all year.

  • Comment number 56.

    So the BBC consider an overweight 44 year old man to be a candidate for sportsman of the year.

  • Comment number 57.

    Everyone seems to be really, really angry! Lets all calm down!

    The biggest problem seems to be the miss-interpretation of "Sports PERSONALITY", its not: "Sports achievement of the year"

    Rowrowrowrow and Scotsman both seem to slate the BBC for these choices; yet, by simply fully reading the article, it is easy to see that the BBC pass the voting over to : "professionals from a wide variety of publications". So it seems unfair to lambaste the beeb (on this occasion).

    Secondly, having watched Chrissie Wellington reign supreme in the Triathlon, I would argue that if it was "sporting achievement", she should certainly be in the top 3, and probably deserves to win - her win at the Ironman, was unreal!

    However, ask the general public who she is and, generally, she would be un-heard off - this would also be true of the Brownlee brothers. There is no doubt these guys have been brilliant, but this show is for the mainstream, and they're simply not well known enough. Hopefully, with continued success, the triathlon will start to permeate into the more talked about sports as it deserves more recognition.

    And on the topic of women, I would argue that only Jessica Ennis has the mainstream appeal and "personality" out of the major sportswomen; and Jess didn't have the greatest season - darn Javelin! - but she is my tip to win gold at London 2012, and probably this award next year. And yes, Watkins and Grainger, did well again in Bled, but rowing - unless at the Olympics - doesn't exactly make the back pages. Finally, and sorry all Dressage fans, but Laura Bectholsheimer winning the European Championships, really? Clutching at straws, I think!

    There are a few people on here who champion their sports, (mtb for instance), but these sports are simply not watched enough to strike a cord with the public. This is not to say this diminishes their achievements, as i'm sure they have been fantastic, and worked terrifically hard.

    Also, Scotsman1981, Lewis Hamilton is not on the list! That would certainly be a step too far.

    I can understand people's exasperation with Murray, but I think he gets a raw deal as he is playing in an era with two of the greatest in Federer and Nadal, and then also a guy who looks like he step into "legend" bracket, in Djokovic. Murray won two more masters events, won three tournaments in a row, and made three semi's and a final in the majors.

    And how is Amir Khan's inclusion a "complete disgrace"? He has beat Maindana, Mcclosky (rubbish fight, admittedly) and was superb in beating Judah. I do however, think Carl Froch should have got a mention.

    The rest seem to be pretty standard to me; although Strauss has probably sneaked in due to the excellence of the England team, his form has been inconsistent.

    My vote to win would be Cavendish: he has the "personality" combined with excellence in results. Mo Farah 2nd - to come back to win gold in the 10,000m after silver in the 5,000 was fantastic (and both brilliant races) - he is also seems like a larger than life guy, and I love hearing him in interviews. I would love to see Darren Clarke get 3rd, yes he only played well for about 3 weeks, but the guy oozes charisma, and seeing him win a major was a great sporting moment.

    Overall, I think people have been rather harsh in their comments on the competition, and the BBC. Everyone will have different lists on who they think should be included, it doesn't have to mean that the other person wrong, they may just enjoy different sports.

  • Comment number 58.

    No women on this list is an absolute joke.

  • Comment number 59.

    Must be Cavendish. Never watched cycling / Tour De France prior to 2 years ago, now I can't wait for the TDF to come up primarily due to this guy - the endurance required for the event and the sheer spectacle of it is amazing. I've watched extensive live sport in various countries, but methinks a visit to France is on the cards next year.

    In addition, I think the manner of the victory in the World Championships for Cav to become the first British World Champion for nearly 50 years, was as gripping a piece of sporting theatre I have ever seen - awesome.

    To be perfectly honest I have a vested interest in wanting Cavendish to win, since I put a £15 bet on at 66/1 for SPOTY prior to his green jersey win - so he'll be getting my vote!

  • Comment number 60.

    1.Either Cavendish or Farah must win, Cav won the green jersey and the rainbow jersey and has more personality than the rest of them put together, and Farah won a long distance race against the africans.
    2.How is it that Andy Murray, after yet another year of not winning anything, and Amir Khan, can get into that list ahead of any member of the Welsh rugby union team. They were cheated out of a place in the world cup final, therefore at least one(Warburton or North) had to feature.

  • Comment number 61.

    #14: Couldn't agree more. However, this is never going to happen because the Beeb refuses to acknowledge the existence of many motorsports beyond the overpaid primadonnas of F1. Not only should Dario be a candidate for SPOTY but last year's overseas award should have gone to Jimmie Johnson for his unprecedented five consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championships. Indeed, they should give the latter award for 2011 to Tony Stewart - if only because he'd do a funnier interview than any of the personality-free-zone candidates likely to be considered.

  • Comment number 62.

    1. Appalling NO women on the list.
    2. An advert for Mediacity and nothing else it is already overhyped.
    3. I fear a cryathon will result. So, so sorry about Gary Speed but I am sure it is all going to be over done.
    4. Can you not trust the sport loving public to just send in a vote for any sportsman or woman and let the votes be counted because this smacks of a total fix.

  • Comment number 63.

    Quite how Andy Murray (respectable 4th in the world but streets behind the top 3) gets in but Jenson Button (2nd in the WDC) doesn't I'll never understand. Having said that, Adrian Newey's contribution to sports outweighs just about everything achieved by the 10 nominees - he may not qualify being an engineer/designer rather than a driver but surely the BBC can come up with a special award to recognize his vital contribution to multiple drivers' and constructors' championships.

  • Comment number 64.

    52.At 22:41 28th Nov 2011, John Birch wrote:
    A disgrace - a total disgrace - to include no women... and then blame it on the (all male) sports editors YOU, the BBC, selected to vote! Including (and this is the real joke) the editors of soft-porn lads-mags like Zoo and Nuts!! Heck, why not include Playboy and Men Only?

    John, maybe that would be an idea, Nuts actually has one of the most credible lists there!

    We can't rely on the Times or Telegraph to come up with half decent lists after all and are put to shame by the Daily Star, Mirror and some local hacks (outside of Manchester).

  • Comment number 65.

    Over the last few years SPOTY has lost more and more of its credibilty. I think this list just continues that trend. It's clear that quite a few of the people voting watch nothing other than mainstream sports and some don't even seem to know what the voting rules are. That the BBC don't reject lists containing invalid entries suggests to me they don't really care about the credibility of the show either. As others have mentioned there are some shocking omissions from this list, I just hope one of the few that have dominated their sport and so truly deserve to be on this list, win in the end.

  • Comment number 66.

    Forgot about Jenson. Shame on all those (male) editors who chose the (male) shortlist and left off the best looking one of all of them in favour of - Andy Murray? Ahem.

  • Comment number 67.

    In regard to the no women comments, by my calculations, Adlington & Keri-Anne Payne both missed out by one single vote each from Amir.

    Yaya Toure, Patrick Vieira & Dimitar Berbatov who aren't even elligible for the award all picked up a vote each from one of the judging publications, yet seemingly are allowed to remain as their choices, as they are still listed.

    Surely they're required to submit a revised list? Fair enough if that has Khan on it though.

  • Comment number 68.

    SPOTY continues to lose credibility and we are left anticipating another sycophantic bore-fest. Does anyone remember Sports Review of the Year? That was a good programme.

  • Comment number 69.

    Rather than debate the merits of the shortlist I prefer to approach SPOTY from a betting perspective.
    Last year I was in line for a tidy profit if Graeme McDowell won and, also, if he finished in the top three.
    On the night the golf vote was split between Westwood and GMac and they finished fourth and fifth respectively.
    Lesson for this year - despite the brilliance of McIlroy, Clarke and Donald avoid them as the golf vote is sure to be split three ways.
    By the same logic the cricketers should also be bodyswerved.
    I also don't feel Khan has caught the public's imagination while Murray will not win SPOTY until he lands a Grand Slam.
    That leaves Cavendish, Farah and Greene.
    I have my doubts about Cavendish polling enough votes on the night, despite the fact he would be a worthy winner.
    Therefore the value lies with Farah, especially given the strong showing of athletes down the years.
    Greene may also be worth a cheeky bet as he is sure to attract the Welsh vote.

  • Comment number 70.

    A weak year for women’s sport??
    Chrissie Wellington is Ironman world Champion for the fourth time in five years
    Helen Jenkins is the ITU women’s World champion over the Olympic Distance

    Plus the success we’ve had rowing too.

    Thanks the lord there are no footballers in the mix for a change but how about performance in other sports being recognised such as Alistair Brownlee (another world champion triathlete)?

  • Comment number 71.

    #9 "Any shortlist with two cricketers in it shown its weakness immediately!"

    Completely showing your ignorance there. I know little about cycling and athletics but can still acknowledge the brilliance of Cavendish and Farrah who will both at least make the top 3.
    Those "two cricketers" you allude to have been involved with things no other English team has done. Cook was prolific and while Strauss didn't have a great year with the bat, his partnership with Andy Flower is the driving force behind England getting to number 1.
    Despite my bias towards the cricketers the winner in my opinion has to be Rory McIlroy, he has become a global superstar in a truly global game, with a major championship to boot and people forget the character it took to come back from his Masters meltdown.
    Darren Clarkes achievement was fantastic but was undoubtedly a flash in the pan, and while Luke Donald has been consistent he hasn't won a major. Unfortunately the Golf vote will be split in a similar situation to last year when McDowell should have won but because Westwood was in there he never stood a chance. The vote will also be split between Strauss and Cook which probably means its between Cavendish and Farrah.
    As much as I admire Andy Murray and believe he receives unfair criticism, he just seems to be a token choice on this every year but he can't seriously be considered until he's won one of the four grand slams.

    PS - The Manchester Evening News short list is hilarious, definitely a wind up but it looks like people are biting!

  • Comment number 72.

    If Zara Phillips and not Laura Bechtholsheimer had won European Gold them she would have been nominated..Remember her SPOY win, her acceptance speech was a joke. The list is a disaster and I shall not vote for any of them.

  • Comment number 73.

    Frankly I'm a little shocked that I am not on the short-list, seeing as I've got exactly the same number of career major victories as Luke Donald and Andy Murray combined.

    Also, bumping post 32. Just ridiculous really.

  • Comment number 74.

    Also like to add, it would be a travesty if team of the year didn't go to the England cricket team, but they'll probably give it to the Wales rugby union team who won nothing although you would have thought they'd won both the 6 nations and the world cup the way the media have been waxing lyrical about them.
    Coach of year showing my bias again has to be Andy Flower but I genuinely can't think of any other contenders.
    Overseas award in my opinion is a three way fight between Novak Djokovic, Seb Vettel and Lionel Messi. I'd personally favour Messi but the BBC will probably favour Djokovic judging the way this award has been dominated by Federer and Nadal over the years.
    Finally I hope the BBC will put on a fitting tribute to Gary Speed at the event which he would truly deserve.

  • Comment number 75.

    Disappointing that so many people are up in arms about 3 golfers and 2 cricketers being on the list. Typically British of these people to forget that in these two sports, we are now world beaters. And what do we do? Complain when sports people from these two fields are lauded by being placed on this prestigious list.

    People forget that sport at the professional level is about managing pressure and expectations from the watching public. The ones who cope with these expectations best succeed in their disciplines and that applies to all those on this list. They have huge profiles, are followed by millions and therefore have to deal with those expectations.

    Chrissie Wellington??? Never heard of her before coming on here. Does she have to deal with such pressure and expectation when competing? Not at the moment.

    And well done BBC for not bowing to political pressure to have women on the list for the sake of it. The list has been compiled purely on merit for this year's achievements and nothing else.

  • Comment number 76.

    It's really quite obvious that Cavendish must be the winner. Incredible achievements, and quite a personality!

  • Comment number 77.

    I see people are not happy with the list I do agree. I don't why A Murray is on there again he can only win this award when he gets a grand slam. Also a bit annoyed to see people slatting the cricketers on the list Cook has full right to be up for the award has had a fantastic year without his batting we would have won the ashes down under and continued on the rest of the season.

  • Comment number 78.

    Just looked at the pictures of the ten shortlisted for sports personality of the year. I recognise 2 out of the ten , Andy Murray and i am not sure why he is here in the list but it appears Pierce Brosnan had been nominated top left picture in the ten pictures.
    Question is does anyone really care about this anymore??

  • Comment number 79.

    A good blog, now look what you have done and you did not even have a say in it.

    These lists bring out the worst and best in people.

    No women, for god's sake get a life, it was a matter of opinion. What! no minority sports represented, well they can't all be on the list. In fact the list is totally dominated by minority sports when compared to football. Our number one spectator sport has not one player listed, does not say much for football, does it?

    The title says it all personality, some would argue that many of the listed do not possess one but I doubt if the intention was originally meant to be a personality contest, in the true sense. Some of you have mentioned Andy Murray, he's had a great year although didn't win a major but Donald failed to do that too. Is it only about the big winners?

    You could argue the case for each of the listed, plus many who are not there but isn't it supposed to be fun. Many on here seem to think their favourites have somehow been snubbed. I'll watch it but it never bothers me who wins it, it's just a pleasant stroll through the past year's sporting events.

  • Comment number 80.

    The fact that Sam Tomkins is not even in contention is an absolute joke. Rugby League is looked over far too many times. Especially with the particularly poor showing of the English Rugby Union squad in this world cup also.

  • Comment number 81.

    After reading that list I'm off to place a bet on the England Men's Rugby Union players winning Team of the Year.

  • Comment number 82.

    It should be Farah or Cavendish, imo.

  • Comment number 83.

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

  • Comment number 84.

    58th BBC Sports Personality of the Year
    "Amir King Khan"

  • Comment number 85.

    Given that Cavendish won the World Championship, became the first Briton to win the Tour de France green points jersey, has now won over 20 stages of le Tour and has been regarded as the best in his field (sprinting) for a few years now, the prize should be his with honourable mentions to Farah and Clarke.

  • Comment number 86.

    Cavendish by miles. Travesty if he doesn't win it.

  • Comment number 87.

    All male list? Come on? I have never been much of a fan of this programme, but to include no women is a travesty. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Comment number 88.

    It has to be Mark Cavendish - unprecedented success, dominates the world in his field and with some personality to boot!

    Not sure how some of these got on the list. Golf should be classed as a game not a sport - you can be old and fat and still be world no 1 - like darts and snooker.

    Andy Murray hasn't yet won a major and isn't exactly mr Charisma - how did he get in front of people like Carl Froch who is the sm world champion and has consistently fought the best and (unlike murray) actually beaten most of them. He also has some personality albeit abrasive for some.

    I can't think of any footballers deserving, possibly Gareth Bale as a nominee for young sports personality?

    C'mon Super-Cav

  • Comment number 89.

    Chrissie Wellington is the greatest female endurance athlete the world has ever seen - what's the betting you only give her a 2 second clip on the night because otherwise the great British public will realise what a travesty it is that she is not on the shortlist. Time to change the way this list is put together.

  • Comment number 90.

    In 2011 surely we should be recognising amazing women who have worked as hard as the likes of Chrissie Wellington to be right at the top of her field -four time world ironman champion - and raising the bar for an entire sport. Add to this that everyone sees her as a huge genuine personality. Not somebody who is only focussed on her own performance but on making a real difference to others.

  • Comment number 91.

    I think this years line up is perfect, all household names who are competing in mass televised sports.
    To be a sports personality is not to have the best personality, nor is it to be the most successful sportsperson.
    It is a combination of being in the public eye, being successful, and being in a well followed and well publicised sport.
    As for slagging off the BBC, this list is voted for by sports editors from all over the country, how narrow minded of you!

  • Comment number 92.

    "The biggest problem seems to be the miss-interpretation of "Sports PERSONALITY", its not: "Sports achievement of the year""

    Well said Beardsley's_shorts.

    It's also the annual "Why isn't [NAME] on the list?" Then there are those who blame the BBC for the shortlist. Fact is that the Beeb had no choice to put the shortlist out to publications because otherwise the vote would have been hijacked, like the year there was a shedload of votes for Justin Fashanu, when he was off the sporting radar. Actually, I believe the vote WAS ruined two years ago, because Ryan Giggs, in the company of half a dozen world champions, should NEVER have won. This year at least the winner is obvious.

    As for those who complain about the lack of women in the shortlist, take that up with the publications, although if Nuts is one of them it's a bit of an odd choice. However, if Jessica Ennis wins the Olympic gold medal next year, all bets are off, and the only likely rival would be Andy Murray, if he wins a slam.

  • Comment number 93.

    They should just give it to Gary Speed instead, a more worthy candidate than anyone on this list.

  • Comment number 94.

    Cavendish and Strauss both stand out for me, simply because they have both accomplished something truly unique/special this year and are unrivalled in their respective fields. How many other nominees can you say that about?

  • Comment number 95.

    If this is the best the BBC can come up with in 2012 then it says more about the BBC than perhaps they would like.

    An all male list chosen by a bunch of mostly middle aged and middle class 'blokes' with paunches - I was just a bit surprised that Andy Gray and his sidekick weren't on! The BBC chooses who goes on the list of 'judges' so no bottling out of responsibility their either!

    Couldn't make it up but it is sooo pathetic lol

  • Comment number 96.

    Well Said British Bulldog #91. Also people who say golf is not worthy of putting forth candidates (#88 in particular) because it is not sport need to take up the game and understand the different variety of sport out there. There are endurance sports and there are skill sports and golf firmly fits into the latter category. But it doesn't mean it is any less a sport.

    Also fed up of people slagging off Murray for lack of personality etc. For heavens sake he's the best tennis player these isles have ever had. And a personality isn't just about having charisma. Other traits such as mental toughness and being strong through adversity are relevant too. I can think off quite a few on this list who qualify with those attributes.

  • Comment number 97.

    Who exactly chooses the shortlist? Can someone tell me why Chrissie Wellington is not on this list? Maybe being undefeated at the ironman triathlon distance and beating your own world record this year just is not good enough? But Andy Murray who has never won anything of significance is in the shortlist. Total travesity!

  • Comment number 98.

    Once again this list reiterates my belief that in this day and age Sport Personality should be recognizing the Sportsman & Sportswoman of the year. What, for exmaple has Amir Khan done this year to warrant being on the shortlist? Does there have to be perennial boxer on the list? And Andy Murray c'mon. Doh!
    I have been living in Holland for a number of years, and they have the format regonizing both sportsman and sportswoman, as do Germany.
    If there can be separate categories for team, manager, young, unsung hero etc, then having a category for Sports woman can't be too difficult to organise can it?

    Having said that, Cav should win it. Mo 2nd and Dai 3rd.

  • Comment number 99.

    It must be Cavendish the first world cycling champion since Tom Simpson, what an achievement what a race!

  • Comment number 100.

    Has to be Cavendish, more personality than the rest put together, he should be a shoe in on the strength of his achievements this year alone. Team of the year?? Britains Mens Road Race Team from the World Championships. Coach of the year? Rod Ellingworth, Mens Road cycling Coach. Young Spoty winner..... Lucy Garner Womens Junior World Road race champion.

    This year has been Britains best year on the roads ever, Cav: 5 tour stages, 2 Giro stages, Tour Green Jersey, World Champion. Wiggins won the Dauphine Libere and was third in the Vuelta, Chris Froome Second in the Vuelta, Team Sky one of the best teams all year, Lizzie Armistead and Emma Pooley winning on the raods all year. It has been a banner year for British cyclists especially Cav, he HAS to win.


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