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Sports Personality of the Year 2012

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Barbara Slater Barbara Slater | 16:40 UK time, Thursday, 18 October 2012

2012 was always going to be a very special year for sport - but surely none of us could have imagined quite how much it would exceed expectations.

To find a time when sport created such a sense of national pride and euphoria you have to go all the way back to 1966 and England winning the World Cup on home soil.

There have been many special sporting moments since then but surely nothing that compares to the events of this year.

Much has been said and written about the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. It was billed as the ‘greatest show on earth’ and it's difficult to imagine how they could have gone any better.

Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2011. Photo: PA

But the year of sport was not defined solely by the brilliance of these Games. We have been spoilt with so much sporting drama and unprecedented success across many sports.

The power of sport to unite the nation has never been so evident.

And so BBC Sport will be celebrating and reliving these events with our biggest ever Sports Personality of the Year on the evening of Sunday, 16 December.

We will be broadcasting live on BBC One, BBC One HD and BBC Radio 5 live from Excel London in front of a record crowd of more than 15,000 people.

It’s a huge privilege to bring the sporting curtain down on 2012 and we hope it will be a fitting finale to one of the most enthralling and memorable 12 months in the history of sport in the United Kingdom.

This year also sees some changes to the show.

Given the calibre and number of potential candidates this year has produced, we have decided the 2012 shortlist will consist of 12 sportspeople, two more than usual.

As in previous years, the winner will be voted for by the public during the live BBC Sports Personality of the Year programme, giving everyone a chance to back their favourite.

We also committed to review the shortlisting process for this year’s event following the controversy of an all-male list in 2011.

It was the first time that the system had thrown up this sort of anomaly, although no-one could deny that Mark Cavendish was a very worthy winner of the award and the clear choice of the general public.

We wanted a wide range of input into the review so over the last 12 months, assisted by some of my senior BBC colleagues, I have consulted with a wide range of people on the subject including BBC Audience Councils, former nominees and various representatives of the sports media and sporting bodies.

Amongst all the discussion and debate two key messages in particular shone through.

Firstly, there was a consensus that the BBC itself should be better represented and have more control in the shortlisting process to ensure there are no more anomalies of the sort we saw in 2011 - in the previous system the BBC had no input other than to administer the voting process.

Our research also showed that there were many options and views about how that control should be exerted. We thought long and hard about the right way forward, to ensure the show maintains its credibility as the definitive review of the sporting year.

We have decided to evolve the shortlisting process through the introduction of an expert panel. The panel will be asked to devise a shortlist that reflects UK sporting achievements on the national and/or international stage, represents the breadth and depth of UK sports and takes into account ‘impact’ within and beyond the sport or sporting achievement in question.

The 2012 panel will comprise:
*Me, in my role as Director of BBC Sport (Chair)

*The BBC’s Head of TV Sport (Philip Bernie)

*The Executive Editor of BBC Sports Personality of the Year (Carl Doran).

*A representative from BBC Radio 5 Live - this year, Eleanor Oldroyd.

*Three national newspaper sports editors (to be rotated annually) - this year, Mike Dunn (The Sun), Lee Clayton (Daily Mail) and Matthew Hancock (Observer)

*Three former nominees (to be appointed annually) - this year, Sir Steve Redgrave, Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson and Denise Lewis OBE

*A pan-sports broadcaster/journalist - this year, Sue Mott

*Baroness Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport.

The panel will endeavour to produce a shortlist based on reaching a consensus view. If a consensus view cannot be reached on all or some of the candidates, then they will be asked to vote for the remaining candidates.

We are extremely grateful to the sports editors of the national press that were the crucial part of the previous system. They are still closely involved, on a rotational basis, occupying three out of the 12 places. Their perspective and enormous wealth of experience is critical to the legitimacy of the shortlisting process.

I am in no doubt that the assembled panel will produce a shortlist that meets the criteria set down. The members of the panel bring a wide and diverse range of expert sporting knowledge through a combination of permanent seats and rotational participation.

When we reviewed the shortlisting process, a few people suggested that we should adopt two awards - male and female - whilst others have suggested there should be separate awards for Olympians and Paralympians.

We have decided to keep with tradition and not risk devaluing the success of any particular sportsperson, so we have retained the format that has served the nation well for 58 years, of one overall Sports Personality of the Year award.

The expert panel will also decide the Team of the Year, Coach of the Year and the Overseas Personality Award.

One of the most notable features of sport is the passion it instils as people discuss what they have watched, listened to or read. I can’t wait for the panel to convene and open up the debate over these awards. I hope a day will be long enough.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Well good luck compiling that shortlist - it's going to miss out about 50 people or more who deserve to be there. Should have just called it a dead heat!

    Hope it will be a great show.

  • Comment number 2.

    Federer for overseas personality please. 300 weeks at no1. Says it all baby

  • Comment number 3.

    Even reducing it to 12 will be an impossible task. No matter who they choose there will be screams from fans about somebody being missed out. And in such a successful year do you include golfers or jockeys who have won major events and been nominated in past years or go just for those who made major breakthrough achievements in 2012 such as Wiggins, Murray, Dujardin, Ennis, etc ?

    Only certainty is hopefully we won't have any footballers on the list.

    I think they should have just grasped the nettle and declared everyone as winners in 2012.

  • Comment number 4.

    Wow, where do you start this year?
    Jessica Ennis (whom I wagered on about 6 months ago!), Bradley Wiggins, Andy Murray, Chris Hoy, Mo Farah, Nicola Adams, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter...either of them would have walked it any other year.

    Not to forget the other Olympian gold-medalists and over-achievers who probably won't get more than a fleeting mention..high-jump guy, triathlon bros, female tennis players, female rower who finally won (sorry i'm partly drunk).
    Been a special year, just a shame about the scottish football team!

  • Comment number 5.

    Oops, apologies Ben Ainslie (I'm not a boat person but you should be right up there!)

  • Comment number 6.

    Clare Balding, Sport.... Personality..... Nuff Said....

  • Comment number 7.

    Positive discrimination is not a good thing. Obviously it is not the case this year, but so what if there happens to be an all-male shortlist? If their achievements have been greater relatively speaking to the sportswomen of that year, a woman shouldn't be shoe-horned in instead of them due to which gender she happens to belong to

  • Comment number 8.

    Alex Zanardi should get the overseas award, to be great at one sport in a lifetime is good, to come back when all seems lost and come out on top at the Olympics is extra special, Man of the year in my book.

  • Comment number 9.

    I think Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Andy Murray, Ben Ainslie and Bradley Wiggins will definitely be on the list. They won't want it completely dominated by cyclists and so I can imagine two out of Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Victoria Pendleton and Laura Trott being selected. Out of the other Olympic gold medallists, Greg Rutherford, Nicola Adams and Alistair Brownlee have outside chances of making the list. Out of the Paralympians, David Weir, Jonnie Peacock and Ellie Simmonds are probably the favourites to be included.

  • Comment number 10.

    very very tough to call this year.this has to be celebrated, having such a difficult choice. i agree with previous input which said i hope no footballers are bloody right. my of year ryder cup team or can team gb be counted? not sure... overseas.probs federer not lance armstrong! and deserved too..young personality i think may go to ellie simmons..i hope i got the name right....main award to surprisingly not audley harrison but my heart says ennis but i think wigging may get it coz of his records..and coz he a cool mod and like paul folks.all the best..

  • Comment number 11.

    Shortlist of 12 - Each one wins it for 1 month - Simples

    Hoy & Wiggins have achieved epic things this year. Murray's done something we've waited over 70 years for... Impossible to pick a 'winner' and you shouldn't.

  • Comment number 12.

    No One would have complained at an all female list had the ladies have a barnstorming year.

    Those complaining about the all female list when asked to say who SHOULD have been on the list couldn't come up with a credible vote.

    As for the 12, it's going to be tough... For me however there is only one winner and that's Wiggo. Olympic Gold AND Yellow in the TdF that is beyond anything achieved by an British sportsperson in 20 years.

  • Comment number 13.

    Andy Murray won't win. The odds are already stacked towards English athletes with the bit at the top of the page:
    "To find a time when sport created such a sense of national pride and euphoria you have to go all the way back to 1966 and England winning the World Cup on home soil."
    Not everyone was proud and euphoric in 1966...

  • Comment number 14.

    Firstly, what would be the point of this award if a winner wasn't picked? Sport is all about a winner, tough as it maybe.

    I would go for Ennis, partly due to her being the poster girl of the Olympics and all the pressure that came with that.

  • Comment number 15.

    **B.Wiggins **C.Hoy **A.Murray **J.Ennis **M.Farah *B.Ainsley *L.Trott *G.Rutherford *E.Simmonds *I.Poulter *N.Adams *K.Grainger

  • Comment number 16.

    Of all the people mentioned above, I would wager Mr. Wiggins as sports personality of the year.

  • Comment number 17.

    I'm sure the six men, six women make up of the panel is PURELY coincidental....

    anyway, my twelve...

    Wiggins - Murray - Farah - Ainsley - Ennis - N.Adams - Hoy - Trott - Weir - S. Storey - E. Simmonds - A. Brownlee

    Team of the year candidates : (no "Team GB" - that's silly)

    Team Europe - Ryder Cup
    Team GB Dressage; Hester, Dujardin, Bechtels'er (my winner, from zero to world domination in 4 years)

    Young Personality of the year -
    Jack Laugher
    Jessica Judd
    Frank Baines

    If there was a breakthrough award, it would be Adam Gemili or Max Whitlock, or possibly Jamie Peacock

    coach of the year/manager of the year

    Olazabal (I know, i know)
    Lendl (Murray)
    Brailsford (cycling)
    McCracken (boxing)
    Di Matteo
    A Salazar (Farah, Rupp)
    Pfaff (Rutherford, Jamie Peacock)

    Lifetime Achievement -
    Lord Coe, has to be

    Unsung hero award :
    Gamesmakers - hardly unsung, but they deserve it still

    Helen Rollason award -
    Sarah Stevenson (beat grief over two parents deaths AND career ending injury to make her home Games)

    Overseas award -

    and finally, I'd ass a sports journalist/broadcaster of the year award -

    Simon Barnes (the Times)
    Claire Balding (BBC + C4)
    Paul Kimmage and David Walsh (Sunday times/cycling)

  • Comment number 18.

    As has been said this has been a year where to pick 12 will be difficult verging on impossible.

    However, as great as many of the achievements have been surely there can only be 1 winner.

    He won the Tour de France, Gold @ the Olympics and has a personality worthy of the name.

    Personally, I would give honourable mentions to Ennis, Farrah, Trott, Murray & Poulter

  • Comment number 19.

    Team of the Year - surely British Cycling/Team Sky?

  • Comment number 20.

    I understand why people are saying Wiggo. Amazing achievement gold medal,when we had others achieve why is his more valid than theirs? And winning the Tour was a team fact there is an argument that he wasn't even the strongest in his team during those three weeks..I believe Chris Froome could have taken enough time off him in the mountains if allowed, to compensate for any time trial losses.

    So do you say Murray? A five hour marathon where all he had were some people shouting at him from the stands, and he has to do all the work himself? (Brad has an earpiece as well as a team) And a gold, silver and Wimbledon runner up....

    Or Ennis, for the pressure and expectation (your on our turf!)and coming through in such style, and also being so gracious and lovely that no one could begrudge her winning?

    Or Farah...two golds, huge pressure and just him against the Africans, and also, as Ennis, being extremely dignified in victory.

    And although it may be a little contentious...but what about Poulter on the list? Personality - yes. Amazing performance - yes. The difference - yes (not to win, but certainly think he should be in the twelve.)

    To be honest, the list is so strong (or will be) that although I will have my favourite, anyone mentioned by others could win, and it will be fair enough.

    I imagine that next year we will be back to a list of two or three!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    Can I make a recommendation to the BBC - this years SPOTY show needs to be at least 4 hours in length to cover ALL of the achievements by British sports men and women this year. A short list of 10-12 is fine, in keeping with tradition, but every single success from this golden year of British sport, for me the best ever, must be honoured.

  • Comment number 22.

    What about Frankel? Can a horse be nominated. Haven't seen anything about it being a humans only!!!

  • Comment number 23.

    I have not read all the comments made thus far but wish to make the point that. 2012 provides a unique opportunity to change the competition for the better where gender politics is concerned and that change should mean there re two honours available to be celebrated, a female sports personality of the year and a male sports personality of e year.

  • Comment number 24.

    The most recent system was transparent by virtue of publishing each individual voter's nominated ten. I hope that that same sense of transparency will continue into the new regime. The system is not to blame for there having been an anomalous shortlist last year; some of the press representatives who voted had been picking with a closed mind for several years and were not deserving of their votes.

  • Comment number 25.

    Please Please Please....

    Use 2012 as the reason to get rid of the word 'personality' in the title and instead have 2 awards, to the 'Sportsman' and 'Sportswoman' of the year

  • Comment number 26.

    Let's be honest SPOTY long since ceased to be a show for fans of sport it's now some sub-X Factor type show to attract the celeb magazine generation. It used to actually feature SPORT and was a proper review of the sporting year.

    This is something that needs to be addressed rather than the shortlisting process otherwise like the last few years, I'll watch the NFL and then catch up later forwarding through all the celeb drivel.

  • Comment number 27.

    Sadly, as always, the SPOTY winner will come from the list of sporting celebrities who get the most media attention. Given that women’s sport gets so much less attention than men’s it is no wonder we end up with all male shortlists.

    For example, we all know of the Brownlee brothers but how many people have heard of Leanda Cave. Just last week she won the World Ironman Championships in Hawaii. Women’s football gets hardly any media coverage whereas we get wall to wall coverage of the men’s game. The same applied to our women’s T20 team in Sri Lanka. Even though they made the final, the Beeb only covered the semi-finals and final of the women’s tournament compared to coverage of every game of the men’s.

    Of course, I agree, we want those who have produced the greatest sporting moments to be the people included on the shortlist but how are many women going to get on there if we almost never get told about their achievements?

    Anyway, purely for the intensity of the media focus and pressure that she had to overcome before winning her gold my winner would be Jess Ennis.

  • Comment number 28.

    Team of the Year:

    London 2012 Games-maker Volunteers

  • Comment number 29.

    The Tour de France should have NO bearing on the outcome of any awards. It has allowed itself to be thoroughly discredited over the last 15 years and even risks tarnishing all cycling.
    Jessica Ennis is the winner, she shouldered a HUGE burden of expectation, not just hope.

  • Comment number 30.

    shoe in for either John Tery or Ashley Cole for sports personality of the year?

  • Comment number 31.

    I am absolutely astonished that Race Horse "Frankel" has had no mention at all. This is a once in many life times horse and his achievements are simply remarkable,along with his trainer Henry Cecil who is battling stomach cancer. It would be a travesty not to even get a mention in my opinion and think the horse has more "personality" than a lot of the people who will get nominated !!! If it has to be a person, then Bradley Wiggins achievements this year certainly swing it for me..TDF and then 10 days or so later Olympic Gold... Quite brilliant. Also agree that their should be a female/male SPOTY, and the categories expanded. Frankel being one reason.. and dear Sir Henry Cecil the other.. Don't ignore horse racing like you do every's hugely popular and watched by millions each year...

  • Comment number 32.

    Andy Murray Should Win :) That Greg tennis player won sports personality by only coming runner up in the US Open. Andy however WON the US Open Won a Olympic Gold and Silver and Came Runner UP at Wimbledon Enough Said

  • Comment number 33.

    @29.........that is the most ridiculous comment I have read in years! It looks like you are one step away from accusing all cyclists who take part as being cheats!

  • Comment number 34.

    @ 29

    Surely the recent allegations and subsequent "evidence" against Lance Armstrong cannot deter from the fact that the TDF is one of the hardest, most gruelling events in sport.

    The fact that there have been previous winners who have allegedly "doped" should have no bearing on the achievements of Bradley Wiggins in winning the TDF 'clean'.

    Its like punishing all current cyclists. Tarnishing them all with Armstongs brush, which effectively tarnishes all cycling.

  • Comment number 35.

    @ 31....please read all posts before commenting (ie post 22).

  • Comment number 36.

    El Hadji Diouf for overseas personality, lovely fella.

  • Comment number 37.

    I agree with the many comments regarding the all-male list from last year. I think it is wrong for BBC to try and "rig" it so that a woman has to be in the list. This year we are all in agreement there have been amazing performances by men and women in the UK, it jsut happened that last year no performance captured the public's attention enough to vote for them, thats not to say there were not some great performances that year either.

  • Comment number 38.

    #29 - paulevansdirect

    "The Tour de France should have NO bearing on the outcome of any awards. It has allowed itself to be thoroughly discredited over the last 15 years and even risks tarnishing all cycling.
    Jessica Ennis is the winner, she shouldered a HUGE burden of expectation, not just hope."

    Yes because athletics is such a clean sport with no history of doping! Your reasoning for disqualifying Wiggins etc. would equally apply to Ennis.

  • Comment number 39.

    There should NOT be a competition for an individual this year. It should instead be awarded to Team GB and invite ALL the medalist to receive the collected gratitude of the nation.

  • Comment number 40.

    you can give next years one to one of the other people who deserved it this year instead of yet another pointless football player.

    as for armstorngs recent disgrace detracting from wiggins achievement it makes it an even greater one, as he won clean infront of some people who will still have been on drugs even now

  • Comment number 41.

    So, because there were no female nominees last year, we have gone through a review of the process. Is there going to be a review next year also, when an Olympic gold medalist fails to appear on the list this time?

  • Comment number 42.

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

  • Comment number 43.

    why should anyboby care who the bbc chooses when the bbc has abandoned sport?

  • Comment number 44.

    If Bradley doesn't win, there is no justice. I fail to see how Andy Murray can even be included in any short list, as the key word in the competition title is, "personality", which he doesn't appear to have. What Bradley achieved was remarkable. Not just winning one of the most difficult sporting events in the world, and doing it drug free, but then, soon after, winning our first gold, (along with Glover and Stanning on the same day) at this year's Olympics. This made him also, along with Chris Hoy, most decorated Olympian in British history. No contest.

  • Comment number 45.

    I'm glad you've finally got rid of the previous system for compiling the just needed to read some of the names on those shortlists to realise many of those given the privelege to pick a shortlist were just taking the michael or didn't have a clue about sporting achievements! (Manchester Evening New springs to mind!)

  • Comment number 46.

    For what it's worth, my 12 on the shortlist (would be happy to see any one of these win)

    Ben Ainslie, Nicola Adams, Charlotte Dujardin, Laura Trott, Brad Wiggins, Andy Murray, Jess Ennis, David Weir, Ellie Simmonds, Sarah Storey, Kath Grainger, Alistair Brownlee

    Incredibly tough to even get down that far - so many people could have also been nominated (Hoy, McIlroy, Peacock etc).

  • Comment number 47.

    Cannot totally agree with 26 but do share the sentiment. Why there is a need for a short list I do not know unless too many footballers keep winning (and not sure that is the case anyway). This year of all years let the public decide as we did in the past.

  • Comment number 48.

    Barbara & Carl thanks for listening. We'll still see some 'controversial' omissions, but hopefully we'll now see greater recognition of outstanding individuals in non-mainstream sports.
    Can't wait for this celebration of British sport.

  • Comment number 49.

    There was no 'anomaly' last year. There were no credible female candidates last year, simple as that. If we end up with a majority female shortlist this year due to your efforts to appease the feminist bigots then THAT will be an anomaly. Stop trying to find discrimination where there isn't any and judge purely on the value of the achievement. It will be a total and utter farce if the top three are not Wiggins and Murray in the top two spots and either Farah or Ennis in third. You can be damn sure though that there'll be some women in the Guardian and Evening Standard etc who try to claim it's a 'glass ceiling' regardless of whether the facts agree with them. Stop trying to please them and tell them to wind their necks in, they have no credibility. This should be an entirely meritocratic process, not some watered-down quota-based nonsense.

  • Comment number 50.

    What a great year for sport.
    However the short list works out please don't devalue it by making comments about the media-storm over last year's all-male list. There may well have been excellent sportswomen in 2011 but they didn't make the top 10.
    To give any suggestion that Jessica Ennis' inclusion on the list is due to positive discrimination for women is insulting to her and the other female athletes who deserve to be there.
    You make exactly the same point about Olympians and Paralympians - all judged together.
    What you could do is choose a short list by sport - one cyclist, one boxer, one athlete, one tennis player etc - but that would open another can of worms selecting the categories.
    Good luck! Just please devote enough time to enable us to relive a great year.

  • Comment number 51.

    Like many older sports fans, I much preferred the days when the programme was callled "Sports Review of the Year" and the awards came at the end. (I do accept that we can't go back to the days when the only way to vote was on a form cut from the Radio Times!) Too much time is now taken with stilted chat on sofas, music and dry ice, and not enough looking back at actual performances. The question "How did you feel when ......." needs to be banned!

    As to the SPOTY shortlist, the first 7 or 8 pick themselves - Wiggins, Murray, Farah, Ennis, Ainslie, Trott, Weir, Simmonds, with Poulter, A Brownlee, Nicola Adams likely additions.

    When it comes to the coaches Brailsford is difficult to look past, but it always surprises me that David Tanner never appears in these lists. Performance Director of British rowing since Sydney 2000, he has led his sport to the top of the international tree and sustained this over several Olympic cycles. I wouldn's argue with a knighthood for Brailsford, but would want to see Tanner on that list as well.

  • Comment number 52.

    As #32 said, Murray would be incredibly unlucky not to win, when Rusedski won the whole award for getting to a final.
    I wonder if the Manchester Evening News guy has shortlisted Patrick Veira & Berbatov again like last year, or maybe he went for Gary Neville & Mike Atherton this time.

  • Comment number 53.

    26 is spot on

    .. but this year the BBC has a huge opportunity to get the programme back to what it should be - celebrating our fabulous sporting year. Lets get back to re-living the sport as opposed to numerous irrelevant interviews. I watch it every year but at the end of each programme I say - never again! Please BBC, listen - and get it right!

  • Comment number 54.

    Barbara Slater...why on panel. The lady responsible for ruining the F1 coverage on the BBC and the shoddy deal giving it to $ky. No wonder the F1 team are slowly drifting off.

  • Comment number 55.

    Didn't Red Rum win something back in the 70s (or 80s)??

    Isn't it a pity that the panel doesn't include just one off the street sports fan. I'll do it, if someone asks...

    btw -Murray or Mo, maybe Ennis, possibly Wiggins or Adams, Hoy, Pendelton, Ellie, Johnnie Peacock, Weir, Poulter...Oh! I don't know the list goes on and on and on...

    Any chance something for Clare Balding???

  • Comment number 56.

    Glad to see they have expanded the vote to include more people, and to the manner in which the sportsmen and women are nominated / selected, but to my mind this still cannot work fairly for 2012. Surely there are far too many to mention and to select from, and how do you choose one over another without dissapointing many others. It cannot be done.
    My answer is to give SPOTY to Seb Coe to represent everyone involved in a fantastic once in a lifetime (probably) summer of sport.

  • Comment number 57.

    I wish to nominate TEAM G.B. to be the Sports Personality of the Year.
    No one individual should have the honour this year as there have been so many tremendous achievments and to single out just one would be grossly unfair.

  • Comment number 58.

    Clear Olympic bias with this year's SPOTY panel (Redgrave, Grey-Thompson, Lewis) and the BBC Sports Representatives. Hope this year is going to be just a celebration of the Olympics and the BBC's coverage. Don't forget there have been many more highlights throughout the year in non Olympic Sports and those not covered by the BBC. Also time to change the format of the show, go back to the old days were the show was primarily a round up of sport in the country with the highlight being who won SPOTY. For the last few years the sport round-up has had to take a back seat with the nominations and their biographies and interviews taking up too much of the show.

  • Comment number 59.

    Bradley Wiggins......A very humble chap who was shy of all the fuss for winning a competion ,of which he is the First British man to do so ,and then a few days later to go on and win a Gold medal in the olympics.
    He has made this sport his lifes career and done so with honour.
    There are several people that heve now bought bicycles and have taken up the sport .
    Bicycle sales are up and petrol sales are down , folk are keeping fit ,having fun and the enviroment is getting cleaner......Well done Bradley.

  • Comment number 60.

    Has it been noted that the three former nominees are all Olympians? Surely a more even spread of sporting competitions would make it fairer on non Olympic sportsmen/women.

    Nonetheless, it has been an epic year for British sport, and I really can't pick a winner.

  • Comment number 61.

    I know he's not everyone's cup of tea, but I'd love to see Andy Murray win it, and I don't think there are many who would deserve it more (Wimbledon final, Olympic gold, Olympic silver, US Open, world number three)... and I for win think he's got a good personality, albeit not always plain to see on court.

    Team of the year, Europe's Ryder Cup team... phenomenal achievement at Medinah. Comebacks like that don't happen without an incredible team spirit!

    Oversees sports personality, perhaps Michael Phelps for his Olympic achievements... or Usain Bolt for being the fastest man on record, and a one man stand-up show before the start gun.

  • Comment number 62.

    For me, the top top list would be

    Bradley Wiggins, Andy Murray, Ben Ainslie, David Weir.

    BTW, #29 is full of rubbish.

  • Comment number 63.

    A very tricky decision.
    But I do think there should also be a special, parallel, award this year for the Olympic Personality of the Year. It was held in the UK so is a very special year and recognised as such.
    But still tricky decisions.
    Brad Wiggins for me - 3 weeks racing; amazing - and a great role model.

  • Comment number 64.

    Just to clear up the horse-racing team award history confusion.

    The team behind Nijinsky won in 1970 when the horse won racing's Triple Crown (1000 Guineas, The Derby and the St Leger).

    Aldaniti, Bob Champion & Josh Gifford won team of the year in 1981, for winning the Grand National after Chamion's recovery from cancer and the horse's recovery from injury.

    Also, in 2000 the team award went the "The Olympic and Paralympic teams". Difficult to look past a repeat of this for the team award this year, despite the Ryder Cup, Chelsea etc.

  • Comment number 65.

    I hope that this post is seen by somebody on the judging panel, as I feel quite strongly about this point. Andy Murray, any Olympian/Paralympian, McIlroy, Bradly Wiggins for the Tour. How do you fairly choose between any of these? I don't think that you can. It cannot be ignored however that a crucial part of this incredible year of sport was capitalised upon by the Olympics. Yes there have been amazing successes away from the Olympics, McIlroy/Murray at Wimbledon or the US Open /Ryder Cup to name but a few, but because of the once in a generation and electric feel that the Olympics brought to both London and the rest of Britain cannot be ignored. It is for this reason that my nomination for Sports Personality would be the individual that this whole momentous event revolved around, and I will add at this point that in my view the Paralympics and the Olympics are one and the same in this respect.

    Lord Sebastian Coe has been the lynchpin from the beginning of the bidding process to the culmination of the closing ceremony of the Paralympics. He has tirelessly worked to deliver the summer of sport that has been to the british public. As I have already said, there have been achievements away from London 2012, but let's all be honest with ourselves, London 2012 was the highlight in Britain. He may have not competed in any event specifically, but he has competed consistently for 7 years against all the naysayers and critics, people who said it couldn't be done, people who said we couldn't afford it and that we would not deliver an event either worthy of the status of the Olympics or that could compete with Beijing in any way. He proved them all wrong.

    To my mind, the moment 007 collected Her Majesty from Buckingham Palace was the moment he won. The applause at each of the speeches he delivered or victory ceremonies he presented, became his gold medal, and I feel that to award him the Sports personality of the year would not be an injustice to any of the other wonderful athletes we have watched this year, but an ultimate recognition of the whole movement and every athlete in recognising 2012 as the ultimate British year of Sport. If we cannot choose between the athletes, which I believe many of us cannot, let's honour the man that made most of it happen.

    As my name suggests, I just wanted to make this one point.

    Many thanks for reading to the end.

  • Comment number 66.

    re#55 Clare Balding - a P45?! Pretentious drivel most of the time

  • Comment number 67.

    Why not have male and female personality of the year. That would give more candidates and also help boost women's sport.

  • Comment number 68.

    Why isnt the team of the year voted for by the public if the BBC are so keen on "giving everyone a chance to back their favourite"?

    Maybe it is because the last time it was voted for by the public St Helens Rugby League team won it, and we couldnt possibly have a Rugby league team win it again could we. No it is much better that we instead listen to 'experts' who then give the award to their favourite elitist sport and instead give the award to a Golf, Cricket or Rugby Union team and completely ignore more popular sports.

  • Comment number 69.

    I would not like to be this panel. It has been exceptional, and awe inspiring

  • Comment number 70.

    In a year of such unprecedented achievement why should a panel of 12 decide who goes forward to the final vote. Let the people who cheered on all of these sporting heroes have the final decision and make this year a free vote for everyone.

    I love my sport but I couldnt name "one" winner out of all the spectacular events I was able to enjoy throughout the year. And I won't mention names now for fear of leaving out someone who richly deserves a mention. There were too many magical moments from so many althletes for me to pick one above others.

  • Comment number 71.

    Fantastic reading everyone's comments,personally,I can't see why it can't be a shortlist of 20. That way there could be a fair distribution of sports in what has been an epic year. Having said that,I am also against this panel that selects who decide who should be voted for.Surely,its time to go back to the good old fashioned way & then draw a shortlist up from that.
    Overall though its a very tough choice,of all the athletics,Mo Farah's runs made the hair on the back of my neck stand up,Wiggins achievements incredible,brave comeback from defeat at Wimbledon by Murray to win a gold & then his first major but he as the personality of a slug! Team of the year as to be the Ryder Cup golfers,that was some comeback!
    As for the women, well quite a few were on the world stage for the first time & although there are some gold medal winners, & even double Gold medal winners, its hard to choose between them who would deserve it most. Kath Grainger certainly deserves the plaudits for perseverance!
    Alex Zanardi should win the Helen Rollason award I think. Amazing to think what that guy as been through & come back to do what he as done but ,I presume,there are so many worthy winners in that catergory.
    Glad I'm not choosing the 12 to be honest!

  • Comment number 72.

    this year you have to set the bar at world standards no teams and no team orders thus ruling out wiggins.So for achievement,pressure,expectation ,personality and technical ability it has to be between Ennis and Weir.

  • Comment number 73.

    I feel one of the reasons sports personality of the year is so popular is people feel represented by the selection of the 10 (or this year 12) people in the running. By giving respected sports journalists from a range of papers (who cover some sports in more emphasis given the tastes of their readership) the chance to give their top 10 and selecting the most popular, an unbiased list of nominees were selected. The 'anomaly' referred to was created by a clear lack of success by female sportswomen in 2011 as compared to their male counterparts. The most deserving female contender last year, Chrissie Wellington, could barely have been named by 99.9% of the population before the 'controversy'.

    My primary worry with this new system is that it is dominated by the bbc and therefore may have a tendency to be bais in its selection towards sport covered by the bbc. In particular, it may discriminate against sports where the bbc have recently lost broadcasting rights in order to make the sport seem less popular and therefore justify the loss of the sport from free to view tv. I would hope that this will not be the case but if, for instance, we see a series of rugby league players and F1 drivers but a lack of jockeys, golfers and cricketers, we're going to know why.

  • Comment number 74.

    what a shame that the BBC now no longer has much sport to actually show.
    No wonder that it is making such a fuss of this awards show.

    My top 3 would be:

    1. Mo Farah
    2. Andy Murray
    3. Bradley Wiggins

    Team of the year:
    Team GB & Paralympics GB shared

    Lifetime Achievement
    Sebastian Coe

    Overseas Award
    David Rudisha

  • Comment number 75.

    Wiggins has to win this, he's the only Brit ever to win the greatest cycling race on the planet. To follow that up with a Gold Medal performance a week or so later was amazing.

    Great as the performances by Murray, Farrah and others were, they're not in the Wiggins league of achievement IMO. They're playing for 2nd place here IMO.

  • Comment number 76.

    Quite hard to call it this year isn't it?! Would think one out of Wiggins, Farah, Ennis or Murray though.

  • Comment number 77.

    I think it's almost impossible to choose a winner this year. So many great achievements I can't see how any can be singled out above another. So why not give the award to "GB Sport" to honour the magnificent year that sport has had.

  • Comment number 78.

    43. At 08:14 19th Oct 2012, selloutbbc wrote:
    why should anyboby care who the bbc chooses when the bbc has abandoned sport?

    I'm guessing you slept through the entire Olympics then?

  • Comment number 79.

    I love Ian Poulter but please ... how you could put his name next to Rory, Andy etc is a joke. The man achieved nothing this year apart from being a part of a team that won.

    I think the winner has to be Andy Murray. An Olympic GOLD medal and a Major! Andy or McIlroy for sure...they are the most deserving English men.

  • Comment number 80.

    I can't believe what I just read or perhaps I should as a member of the " Ingerlish" edia yet again demeans the sporting achievements of ALL British sportsmen and women this year. For Barbara Slater to compare this sporting year to 1966 (when one part of Great Britain celebrated a football world cup) and to suggest that it created a similar sense of "national" pride is so jingoisitic and parochial to be laughable if it were not so pathetic.

  • Comment number 81.

    Wiggins surely is a team award more than an individual one.

  • Comment number 82.

    Would a new catagory of paralympic or disabled sports personality of the year be a great oppertunity to celebrate the achievements or would it be patronising to treat them any different to every other sports stars? It is right that they celebrated as equals but would an extra catagory give them abit more of the limelight or would it unnecessary catagories them as different? Gennuine post!

  • Comment number 83.

    Loads of great achievements without a footballer in sight, but in the end only two in it: Wiggins (Tour de France and Gold), Murray (US Open and Gold) has to be Murray as Wiggins was part of a team, Murray was solo.

  • Comment number 84.

    Top 3 must be Wiggins, Farah and Murray

    Other 9:
    Ennis, Weir, Poulter, N Adams, K Grainger, Hoy, Trott, Ainslee, Dujardin

    Left field idea though - how about Dave Brailsford??????

    To decide who gets my vote I have to be objectively harsh in such an incredible year.
    Ennis didn't have much to beat as her main opponent missed the games so that's why she's not in the top 3. Would win in most normal years as would some of the others there!!

    I am a massive cycling fan and watched every minute of Wiggins' historic Tour win. In my heart of hearts though i'm not so sure he'd have won if Andy Schleck and Contador had been in the field given the way they'd have shaken up the mountain stages, Contador especially. I still cried as he won though....
    Murray has improved incredibly this year under Lendl's guidance. Historic first slam win for a british man in the pro era. Helped by Nadal's absence so he only had to beat one of the big 3. Immense in the Olympics. Again made me cry...
    Farah beat all of the top Africans I think and again did something no brit has ever done. Cried my eyes out on those two electric saturday evenings.

    Therefore Farah just edges it for me but I might vote for Wiggo and Murray as well!!!

    Team of the year Team Sky Cycling

    Sporting moment of the year leads to overseas personality - Sergio Aguerro

    Special achievement - Dave Brailsford

    Lifetime Lord Coe.


  • Comment number 85.

    Got to be Wiggins by a mile. Do people realise how grueling the Tour De france is? Then to win a gold medal straight after!? Unbelievable!!

  • Comment number 86.

    Why does the panle not include at least 1 member of the public? Surely we, as watchers, would have valule in deciding on the final 12?

  • Comment number 87.

    Clearly Chris Powell should win

  • Comment number 88.

    #79, I feel that, despite that fact I do get very irritated about a lot of the jingoism which peppers tese boards, I must point out that McIlroy is deserving Northern Irishman, not an Englishman. If you're going to get specific about the countries which make up UK (which I think is largely unnecessary), you need to get it right.

    Incidentally the rules for the team of the year do not permit the panel to give the award to the whole Olympic/Paralympic team as per my post #64. It has to be a "team in an individual sport or sporting discipline". Wouldn't want to judge that one.

  • Comment number 89.

    I have always had a problem with the title of the award - 'Sports Personality'. There is a cult of personality in the UK, and recognising sporting achievement is a totally separate thing and what the award should really be doing in my opinion. Is an athlete's personality or popularity really what we should be 'judging' like on X-factor? The persona the athlete puts across in media interviews will be very different to their real persona in many cases. I'd prefer the title 'Sports Achiever of the year.' Mark Cavendish definitely deserved the award last year for his towering achievement crowning years of hard effort and fantastic success, and his standing across the world. This year the new panel will hopefully come up with a well balanced list unlike last year's flawed effort. The list should recognise dominating, pinnacle achievements, and this year it is a really impossible task because how do you begin to compare the likes of Bradley Wiggins with Murray or Sarah Storey, Alistair Brownlee, David Weir, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis....... the list of genuinely deserving winners goes on and on. Many of them names not well publicised before their successes this year, certainly in comparison with the Jessica Ennis's of this world whose face was promoted everywhere before the olympics. Not her fault - and her achievement and success was as great and well deserved as anyone elses. Looking at what British athletes across sport have achieved this year, how does personality come into it at all? I would make an argument to support KP for his 149 against South Africa at Headingly - the type of dominating innings Viv Richards used to play at his best, the best single cricketing performance of the year. His 'personality' will not gain him many popular votes though.

  • Comment number 90.

    Has to be Wiggins. Not just because of his phenomnel acheivement but also because (unlike Murray) he has a personality and is very funny which sports stars very rarely are.

    2 most memorable quotes from him.

    On winning the Tour De France in Paris, he addresses the British contingent: "So we'll do the raffle in a minute"

    After being asked in an interview "What's it like being Britain's most renowned cyclist"

    He replies: "What, so i'm officially more well known than Cav? But i haven't even done a shampoo advert?!"


  • Comment number 91.

    All three of the Former Nominee's section are from Athletics. Surely this area needed a mix.

  • Comment number 92.

    Are we counting Felix Baumgartner's efforts as sport? If so it's a cinch for the overseas category. Pushing boundries and looking cool, calm and collected doing it! Amazing.

  • Comment number 93.

    My top 12 would be
    Wiggins (w), Murray, Farah, Ennis, Weir, Shorey, Simmonds, McIlroy, Hoy, Trott, DuJardin, Ainslie

    Noms for Int' would be
    Alex Zanardi (w), Bolt, Federer, Rudisha and Felix B (skydiving is a sport)

    Lord Coe for lifetime achievement award

    Coach of the year - Brailsford

    Team of the year either Dressage team or Ryder Cup team (w)

    (w) indicates my expected winner

  • Comment number 94.

    @29... Quick, someone take Chris Hoy's gold medals off of him!
    Strip Mark Cavendish of his 2011 Sports Personality of the Year award!
    And while you're at it take my 5 year old daughters Barbie bike and throw it in a skip.
    Because obviously anyone who rides a bike is a drug cheat...

  • Comment number 95.

    How come we cannot vote online and have to pay (on top of the licence fee) to vote? There are software to stop block voting like Recaptcha which could allow more voting.

  • Comment number 96.

    My top 3 would be:

    1. Andy Murray – phenomenal achievement in one of the greatest ever eras for men’s tennis. Battling the ridiculous amounts of media pressure to reach the Wimbledon final was a fantastic achievement in itself, but to come back from the disappointment of losing to beat Djokovic and Federer at the Olympics, then beating Djokovic again in the joint longest ever US Open final showed true guts, resilience and the attitude and hunger of a champion. I actually like his personality and don’t care one bit that he doesn’t put on a smile when having a camera shoved in his face after a match.

    2. David Weir – To win 4 Gold medals in such a diverse range of distances is incredible. He has been successful for over a decade now, winning 6 London Marathons during that time which also deserves recognition. His gold in the 800m final was one of the sporting moments of the summer for me.

    3. Bradley Wiggins – I’m a huge cycling fan and was delighted to see a British man win the TDF for the first time. Seeing Wiggo destroy the field in the time trial was also one of my highlights of the summer. The reasons I haven’t chosen Wiggo for number 1 are firstly that the field he was competing against was not so strong this year – there was no Schleck or Contador, Cancellara dropped out and Evans was off the pace this year. Also the Team Sky’s resources gave him a huge advantage and Chris Froome undoubtedly carried Wiggo through the mountains (I believe Froome could definitely have gone on to win the tour himself had he been on another team to Wiggo, or at least gone on to make for a more exciting finish.) Having said this, I do love Wiggo’s personality and not wanting to take anything away from a truly historic performance, I just feel that Murray and Weir are more deserving of this particular award.

    Overseas award – David Rudisha, no doubt.

    Team award – Team Sky

  • Comment number 97.

    Some still defending the all male shortlist last year with the 'no women were worthy or well known enough' line. So Rebecca Adlington not well known then? And winning the world championship & becoming 1st ever British swimmer to hold Olympic, World, European & Commonwealth titles was not a worthy achievement. The fact is that you only had to look at some of the nominations made over the years to see that some sports editors were far from expert. At the end of the day if you're going to have experts then they should be knowledgable & arguably more so thatn your average man/woman on the street. And why BBC ever let Zoo or Nuts near the thing God only knows.

    As to this year firstly glad to see it's back in an arena again. I think even extending the shortlist to 20 would see worthy people left out. Wiggins, Hoy, Ennis, Farah, Murray, Ainslie & Weir probably pick themselves with the remaining 5 places between other Olympians (Rutherford, Adams, Joshua, Kenny, Trott, Pendleton & Brownlee most likely to feature; Paralympians (Storey, Simmonds & Peacock) and McIlroy.

    Team Award should go to Team GB/Paralympics GB, yes the Ryder Cup was great but the Ryder Cup Teams seem to have won it so many times over the years so rightly this year they should play 2nd fiddle to the Olympians & Paralympians. Coach of the year should be Brailsford or David Tanner and Young SPOTY should be Josef Craig. Overseas Award is a tough one between Bolt, Rudisha & Phelps though Bolt will prbably win.

  • Comment number 98.

    Compiling the short list might well be difficult but if Brad Wiggins doesn't win it will be the biggest waste of time ever!!

  • Comment number 99.

    @49. I'm all against positive discrimination for the sake of it when not merited, but could you please look up the name Chrissie Wellington for what she achieved in 2011 and then tell me she did not merit a place above Andy Murray (no grand slam win) or Amir Khan (mediocre boxer)?

    Absolute no contest this year for Bradley Wiggin's achievements. Only one who comes close is Leanda Cave for winning both the Half and Full Ironman World Championships this year (only the 2nd athlete to ever do this). Can't really give it to Alastair Brownlee despite a great achievement under so much pressure, it was basically his only race this year having spent most of it injured. Incredible gold medal performance though.

    No contest for team of the year Sky Pro Cycling/ GB Cycling team

    No contest for coach of the year, Dave Bailsford (all GB cycling teams + Sky Pro cycling)

  • Comment number 100.

    No 59, Kath Lucas sums up the thing. End of. Kudos Kath.


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