ⓘ BBC Sports Personality of the Year
The BBC Sports Personality of the Year is an awards ceremony that takes place annually in December. Devised by Paul Fox in 1954, it originally consisted of just one, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. Several new awards have been introduced, and currently eight awards are presented. The first awards to be added were the Team of the Year and Overseas Personality awards, which were introduced in 1960. A Lifetime Achievement Award was first given in 1995 and again in 1996, and has been presented annually since 2001. In 1999, three more awards were introduced: the Helen Rollason Award, the Coach Award, and the Newcomer Award, which was renamed to Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2001. The newest is the Unsung Hero Award, first presented in 2003. In 2003, the 50th anniversary of the show was marked by a five-part series on BBC One called Simply The Best – Sports Personality. It was presented by Gary Lineker and formed part of a public vote to determine a special Golden Sports Personality of the Year. That year Steve Rider and Martyn Smith wrote a book reflecting on the 50-year history of the award and the programme. The event was held outside London for the first time in 2006, when tickets were made available to the public.
The trophy for the main award is a silver-plated four-turret lens camera, and for the other awards smaller imitations of the main trophy are used. All of the BBC local regions hold their own independent award ceremonies, which take place before the main ceremony and are used to compile a shortlist for the BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award.
Other awards have been presented in the past. Special Achievement Awards have been presented on five occasions: to jockey Lester Piggott in 1984 and 1994, disabled marathon runner Dennis Moore in 1981, comedian David Walliams in 2006, and comedian Eddie Izzard in 2009. Sebastian Coe picked up a Special Gold Award in 2005 for his work in helping Britain obtain the right to host the 2012 Olympics. Five awards have been presented once: Manager of the Year in 1969, a Special Team Award in 1986, Good Sport Awards in 1990, an International Team Award in 1983, and the Sports Personality of the Century Award in 1999. In 2003, to celebrate fifty years of Sports Personality of the Year, two special anniversary awards were created to recognise the best team and Sports Personality from the previous fifty years. Rower Steve Redgrave was voted BBC Golden Sports Personality of the Year and Englands 1966 World Cup-winning football team was chosen as Team of the Decades.
The BBCs Sports Personality of the Year was created by Paul Fox, who came up with the idea while he was editor of the magazine show Sportsview. The first award ceremony took place in 1954 as part of Sportsview, and was presented by Peter Dimmock. Held at the Savoy Hotel on 30 December 1954, the show lasted 45 minutes. It consisted of one award for the sportsperson judged by the public to have achieved the most that year. Voting was by postcard, and rules presented in a Radio Times article stipulated that nominations were restricted to athletes who had featured on the Sportsview programme since April. For the inaugural BBC Sportsperson of the Year award, 14.517 votes were cast and Christopher Chataway beat fellow athlete Roger Bannister. The following year the show was renamed Sports Review of the Year and given a longer duration of 75 minutes.
1.1. History 1960s
In 1960 Dimmock presented the show, and introduced two new awards: the Team of the Year award and the Overseas Personality award, won by the Cooper Car Company and athlete Herb Elliott respectively. David Coleman joined the show the following year and remained a co-presenter until 1983. Swimmer Anita Lonsbrough became the first female recipient of the main award in 1962; females won it in the following two years as well. Frank Bough took over as presenter in 1964 and presented Sports Review for 18 years. In 1969, a new Manager of the Year award was given to Don Revie for his achievements with Leeds United, the only occasion it was presented. In the following year boxer Henry Cooper became the first person to win the main award twice, having already won in 1967.
1.2. History 1970s and 1980s
During the 1970s Bough and Coleman presided over the ceremony alongside Jimmy Hill, Cliff Morgan, Kenneth Wolstenholme, and Harry Carpenter, who also went on to present the show until 1985. Des Lynam took over as main host from Bough in 1983, and presided over figure skating duo Torvill and Deans win the following year, when they became the first non-individual winners of the main award. Steve Rider replaced Carpenter as co-host in 1986, at which a Special Team Award was presented to Great Britain mens 4 x 400 m relay team. In the 1980s, Steve Davis finished in the top three on five occasions, including one win in 1988.
1.3. History 1990s
In 1991, angler Bob Nudd received the most votes following a campaign in the Angling Times. However, the BBC deemed this to be against the rules and "discarded all the ballots cast on forms printed in the Angling Times ", allowing athlete Liz McColgan to win the award. The following year racing driver Nigel Mansell became the second person to win the main award twice, having won his first in 1986. Sue Barker presented the show for the first time in 1994, at which racing driver Damon Hill won the first of his two awards, the second coming two years later. Boxer Frank Bruno was the inaugural winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996, and as of 2014 there have been 15 recipients of the award.
In 1999 the show was renamed Sports Personality of the Year, and Gary Lineker joined the show as a co-presenter alongside Rider and Barker. They were supported that year by John Inverdale and Clare Balding. The ceremony introduced a further three regular awards: Coach of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, and a Helen Rollason Award for "outstanding courage and achievement in the face of adversity". In a one-off award, boxer Muhammad Ali was voted as the Sports Personality of the Century.
1.4. History 50th anniversary 2003
On 1 November 2003, BBC Books published "BBC Sports Personality of the Year 50th Anniversary" ISBN 0-563-48747-X, written by Steve Rider and Martyn Smith, to mark the golden anniversary of the show. Leading up to the anniversary show on 14 December 2003, a series of five half-hour special programmes, entitled Simply The Best – Sports Personality, were broadcast. Hosted by Gary Lineker, the episodes were shown on BBC One for five consecutive nights from 8–12 December 2003; each covered one decade of Sports Personality history. At the end of each programme, viewers voted for their favourite Sports Personality winner from the decade covered; the five winners then went onto a shortlist for one of two special 50th Anniversary awards. From this shortlist, rower Steve Redgrave was voted Golden Sports Personality of the Year by the public. The England World Cup-winning team of 1966 won a Team of the Decades award, voted for by representatives from all previous Teams of the Year.
1.5. History 2006–2009
In 2006, for the first time in its 53-year history, the event was held outside London, in Birminghams National Exhibition Centre NEC. For the first time, tickets for the event were made available to the public, and 3.000 were sold in the first hour. That year, Adrian Chiles joined the show and co-presented alongside Barker and Lineker for two years. The 2007 ceremony was the first of a two-year sponsorship deal with Britvics brand Robinsons, and the capacity of the NEC was increased from 5.000 to 8.000. The event sold out, but the sponsorship deal was shortened to one year after complaints by ITV and RadioCentre caused the BBC Trust to rule in June 2008 that "Editorial Guidelines were breached and the editorial integrity of the BBC compromised by giving the impression to licence fee payers via Sports Personality of the Year that part of a BBC service had been sponsored." They decided that the 2008 awards should not be broadcast as a sponsored event, and no new sponsorship deal was negotiated after the Britvic deal expired. In February 2008, the BBC announced that the 2008 Sports Personality of the Year event would be held at the Echo Arena, Liverpool. One reason for the move to Liverpool was to allow greater numbers to view the show live, as the 10.600-seater venue in Liverpool had a bigger capacity than the NEC. That year Jake Humphrey replaced Chiles as co-presenter. The 2009 show was rumoured to be held in either Cardiff or Glasgow. However, it was announced on 30 April 2009 that the show would be staged at the Sheffield Arena.
1.6. History 2010s
The 2010 ceremony was held in Birminghams LG Arena with approximately 12.000 guests. The ceremony in 2011 was held at dock10 at MediaCityUK. The 2012 ceremony took place at ExCeL London, which had been one of the major venues for both the Olympics and Paralympics earlier that year. The 60th ceremony in 2013 was held at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. In 2014, the ceremony was held in Scotland for the first time in its history, at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, which had served as a host venue during the Commonwealth Games earlier in the year. In 2015, the ceremony was held in Northern Ireland for the first time, at the SSE Arena in Belfast, on 20 December. The event returned to Birmingham and Liverpool in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The 2018 ceremony will take place in Birmingham, marking the citys fifth time hosting the event 3rd time at the same venue. In 2018 the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award was renamed World Sport Star of the Year. Along with the change of name, votes could be cast from outside of the UK for the first time. In addition a new award was announced: Greatest Sporting Moment of the Year. For the main award, the nominees would not be announced until the show itself.
The trophy for the main award was created in the 1950s and cost about £1.000. It was first presented to the inaugural winner, Christopher Chataway, in 1954. It is a silver-plated four-turret lens camera, with the name of each winner engraved on individual shields attached to a plinth underneath the camera. The trophy originally had one plinth, but two more were added to create room for more shields. A replica trophy was made in 1981 and sent to India in case Ian Botham won the award while playing cricket there - which he did. The original trophy is still used for the ceremony, and is engraved after the show before being given to the winner, who keeps it for eight or nine months. The trophies for second and third place, and for the other awards, are smaller imitations of the main trophy, but have in the past been silver salvers. For the two special awards celebrating the 50th Anniversary, and for the Sports Personality of the Century award, similar miniature trophies were presented but they were gold in colour.
3. Regional and national awards
The three BBC national regions of BBC Wales, BBC Scotland and BBC Northern Ireland each hold individual sports personality awards. Respectively, they are BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year, BBC Scotland Sports Personality of the Year, and BBC Northern Ireland Sports Personality of the Year. The 12 local BBC English Regions also have their own award ceremonies, which are held locally prior to the national ceremony. Also, fifteen regional winners comprise the nominees for the BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award.
4.1. Intermittent awards Manager of the Year
In 1969, Don Revie was presented with a Manager of the Year award for his achievements while in charge of Leeds United A.F.C. Leeds became champions of the Football League First Division that season, having lost only two games and scored a record number of points.
4.2. Intermittent awards Special Achievement Award
In 1981, to recognise the year of the disabled, Dennis Moore received a Special Achievement Award for completing the inaugural London Marathon despite being blind since birth. Lester Piggott won an award in 1984 for his achievements, including winning the St. Leger Stakes on Commanche Run that year, Piggotts record-breaking 28th British classic win. In 1994, Piggott won the award again for his "services to racing". Comedian David Walliams received the award in 2006 "for his outstanding achievement of swimming the English Channel for charity", which raised over £1 million for Sport Relief. Fellow comedian Eddie Izzard was presented with the award in 2009 after running 43 marathons in 51 days for Sport Relief.
4.3. Intermittent awards International Team Award
In 1983, the team of Australia II received an International Team Award in recognition of their victory in the 1983 Americas Cup. The American defender Liberty had taken a 3–1 lead in races, but Australia II came back to win 4–3 and take the Americas Cup, ending a 132-year winning streak by the New York Yacht Club. It was the first time the competition had gone to a seventh and final race.
4.4. Intermittent awards Good Sport Awards
In 1990, Good Sport Awards were presented for courage and good sportsmanship to Derek Warwick, Martin Donnelly, Louise Aitken-Walker and Tina Thorner, who were all involved in motor racing accidents that year. Warwick survived a high speed crash at Monza; Donnelly crashed during a practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix - the injuries he received ended his Formula One career; Aitken-Walker and co-driver Thorner crashed off a cliff into a lake in Portugal when competing in the womens World Rally Championship, which they went on to win that year.
4.5. Intermittent awards Sports Personality of the Century Award
In 1999, a one-off award voted for by the British public selected a Sports Personality of the Century. Muhammad Ali accumulated more votes from BBC viewers than the combined total of the five other contenders: Pele, George Best, Donald Bradman, Jack Nicklaus, and Jesse Owens.
4.6. Intermittent awards Special Gold Award
In 2005, Sebastian Coe received a Special Gold Award for chairing Londons winning bid for the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic games.
5. 50th Anniversary awards
As part of the 50th Anniversary of BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2003, two additional awards were presented. In the lead up to the anniversary show on 14 December 2003, a series of five half-hour special programmes, entitled Simply The Best – Sports Personality, were broadcast. Hosted by Gary Lineker, the episodes were shown on BBC One for five consecutive nights from 8 to 12 December 2003 and each covered one decade of Sports Personality.
5.1. 50th Anniversary awards Golden Sports Personality of the Year
To celebrate the golden anniversary of the show, a special award was voted for by the public to recognise an all-time Golden Sports Personality from the previous winners of the last 49 years. A shortlist of five was planned to contain one winner from each decade of the award; however, the actual shortlist contained two winners from the most recent decade - rower Steve Redgrave, who won the award, and footballer David Beckham. The other members of the shortlist were footballer Bobby Moore, cricketer Ian Botham and ice skating duo Torvill and Dean.
5.2. 50th Anniversary awards Team of the Decades
Alf Ramseys squad won a poll to select a Team of the Decade for the 50th anniversary show. Representatives from each of the past winners of the Team of the Year award voted for their outstanding team of the last 50 years. Bobby Robson presented the award to Bobby Charlton, who collected the award on behalf of the late Bobby Moores team.