Sports Personality of the Year: Top stars in running for 2012 award

One of Britain's top sports stars of 2012 will be crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday.

Broadcast live from London's ExCeL, the 59th running of the prestigious event is set to be the biggest and closest in history.

The winner will be chosen from a shortlist of 12 - five women, seven men - by a public vote.

Coverage starts on the BBC red button and online at 18:15 GMT with the main programme on BBC One at 19:30.

There will also be extensive coverage on BBC Radio 5 live.

The shortlist features Nicola Adams, Ben Ainslie, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Katherine Grainger, Sir Chris Hoy, Rory McIlroy, Andy Murray, Ellie Simmonds, Sarah Storey, David Weir and Bradley Wiggins.

In addition to the main award of Sports Personality of the Year, won in there will also be awards for: Team of the Year, Coach of the Year, Overseas Sports Personality of the Year, Young Sports Personality of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Helen Rollason Award and Sports Unsung Hero.

Representing eight sports, the 12 shortlisted for the evening's main award were put forward by an expert panel which was put together following criticism of an all-male list decided via a different method in 2011.

The 2000 winner Sir Steve Redgrave, Baroness Grey-Thompson and Denise Lewis were joined by Baroness Campbell, chair of UK Sport, and representatives from the BBC and the newspaper industry.

Presented by Sue Barker, Gary Lineker and Clare Balding, the show will welcome a star-studded line-up of medal winners and sporting heroes to London's 15,000-capacity ExCeL.

It will be a climax to 12 months of sport which saw London host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

To reflect a brilliant year for British sport, the shortlist for the coveted title was extended from 10 to 12.

Adams became the first female fighter to win an Olympic boxing title while Ainslie's four gold medals made him the most decorated Olympic sailor.

Ennis won her first Olympic gold medal with victory in the heptathlon, Farah became the first Briton to win both the 5,000m and 10,000m and rower Katherine Grainger followed up three Olympic silvers with a gold in the women's double sculls.

Cyclist Hoy won his fifth and sixth gold medals overall - the most of any British sportsperson - with victory in the team sprint and men's keirin and golfer McIlroy won the US PGA title, topped both the PGA and European money lists and played in Europe's winning Ryder Cup team.

Murray ended Britain's wait for a tennis Grand Slam title with his US Open win and Simmonds triumphed twice in the pool at the Paralympics.

Cyclist Storey won four Paralympic golds in London, as did her team-mate Weir, while Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France before going on to win Olympic time trial gold.

Such was the strength in depth of potential contenders that those to missed out include Olympic gold medallists Charlotte Dujardin, Greg Rutherford, Victoria Pendleton, Laura Trott and Alistair Brownlee, along with Europe's Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter.

The public will be able to vote for their BBC Sports Personality of the Year by telephone; details of the numbers to vote on will be given out during the programme.

For voting criteria on all the awards, further information and updates visit