Sports Personality of the Year 2012 as it happened

Bradley Wiggins wins the 59th BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, ahead of Jessica Ennis and Andy Murray.

16 December 2012 Last updated at 23:33 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 2328: 

    Ladies and Gentlemen, our work is done. It's been a night of nostalgia as we looked back on surely THE greatest sporting year this country has ever known. All 12 of the names on the shortlist for the main award would have made worthy winners but in the end it was a London lad called Brad who took the spoils. Thank you for all of your contributions to the commentary and to all those who voted for the main award. This time next year we'll do it all again. Have a very Merry Christmas.


    World Taekwondo champion Sarah Stevenson on 5 Live: "Combat sport, women don't think that is what women do. Jade [Jones] has proven that women can do combat sports, as well as boxing Olympic champion Nicola Adams. I hope it has inspired women to get in sport. I want women to use the Olympics as an inspiration to get fit."

    Taekwondo gold medallist Jade Jones on 5 Live: "More girls are getting into martial arts. It is not just about fighting it is about flexibility and it is nice to have that other side to you. You can wear nice dresses and heels and then have the other side to you."

  3. 2320: 

    Scores on the doors for you. Wiggo's triumph takes cycling above tennis into fifth on the all-time list of sports with four SPOTY winners. Athletics is top of the tree with 17 first places, Formula One second with six, while five footballers and five boxers have scooped the big prize.


    London 2012 gold medallist rower Helen Glover on 5 Live: "It was a real privilege to compete in the Olympics and be in the fortunate position to win gold. To have played a part in the most incredible summer is amazing."

    London 2012 gold medallist rower Heather Stanning on 5 live: "The whole effect the Olympics had on the nation is something you could not predict. We have loved the whole experience, not just the Olympic weeks, but also the whole post-Olympics."

  5. 2313: 

    Here's your answer...

  6. 2312: 

    Pub quiz question for future generations. Who won the very first GB gold of London 2012?

  7. 2309: 

    My favourite Wiggo moment of the year? When he was on the podium on the Champs Elysees and told everyone he was just there to draw the raffle. "I just say the first thing that comes into my head," Bradley tells Inverdale. "Sometimes people get offended by when you are successful, you tend to get away with it."


    Lord Coe, to Bradley Wiggins on 5 Live: "My dad, who was my coach - track and field is what he did - road cycling was his passion. If the Tour de France had fallen during Olympics, he would have been at the Tour de France. He was asked if there were any regrets and he said the only one is that his son never won the Tour de France. So somewhere he is looking down and revelling in your achievements Bradley."


    Bradley Wiggins on 5 Live: "It has been incredible. To do this and be part of this after what everyone achieved tonight makes it more special. To sit in the crowd and listen to Andy then Jess be announced, well my thoughts were Mo Farah had won it. For him to not get a look in is incredible. It is something to tell my kids because I think Mo will go own in history like Lord Coe."

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    Annabel Croft is all over Bradley's blue velvet suit, which surely deserves an award of its own.


    Football Focus presenter Dan Walker on Twitter: "Glitz, glamour & amazing memories of 2012 at SPOTY but Martine Wright stole the show. What a speech, what a woman."

  12. 2302: 

    There are very few people who can upstage Lord Coe but here's one of them, sliding in between Annabel Croft and Matt Dawson on the 5 live sofa. Arise Sir Bradley.


    John Rainsforth on Twitter: "Great to see Wiggo win - but no place for Super Mo???"

    Jessica Bridge on Twitter: "There's only one Bradley Wiggins echoes round Ally Pally!"

    Alistair Bunkall on Twitter: "So did the right person win BBC Spoty? I think so. Would have liked a Paralympian to finish in the top 3 though."


    Lord Coe on 5 Live: "It reminds me a lot of when I was a competitor. You are cocooned away and in the boiler room so to speak during the Olympics and it is only when you get away afterwards and go to your local pub and people say what it meant to them, only then you realise what you have been involved in."

  15. 2300: 

    Lord Coe is on the 5 live sofa declaring that he will not be giving any more speeches this year. Yeah, right.


    London 2012 medallist Beth Tweddle on 5 Live: "It was the most amazing summer. To walk out into the Greenwich Arena and hear the cheers - I was so nervous - but knowing the people were behind me made a massive difference. Everyone knows how disappointed I was after Beijing. It took me a while to put that behind me and say I wanted to carry on for another four years. It was pretty obvious I was getting old. It took me 20 years to achieve my dream."


    Nominee Chris Hoy, who is training in Australia, on Twitter: "Congratulations to Bradley, @J_Ennis and @andy_murray well deserved! And thanks to those who voted for me!"

  18. 2256: 

    John Inverdale is backstage at the ExCeL welcoming sporting star after sporting star onto the 5 live sofa and we'll bring you more reaction as it comes in. Meanwhile, if you want to watch the moment the top three was revealed, you can do so on the BBC Sport website.


    Performance Director of GB Cycling Dave Brailsford on 5 Live: "I am thrilled for Bradley. He deserved it, his performances merited it. If personality is part of the equation then he has bags of that for sure. Bradley is a very coachable athlete, he knows how to be coached and he works tremendously hard behind the scenes. That is the bit people don't see. It is great for us, great for sport and great for cycling."

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer, BBC Sport

    On Twitter: "Wiggo chatting afterwards reveals that, when Mo wasn't called in 3rd or 2nd, he thought his own chances had gone. Says nan will get trophy."

  21. 2251: 

    In the excitement of it all, I neglected to relate some amusing scenes in Miami where Lennox Lewis didn't seem to realise that he was supposed to hand over the third place trophy to Andy Murray. The award just stood there on a table in front of the two of them looking rather lonely during a pregnant pause before a laughing Murray grabbed it himself, muttering something about "technical issues."

    John Inverdale, BBC Sport Presenter

    "There were always three from four for me in various permutations and the one person to miss out was Mo Farah. Mo made such a big contribution through this summer. He will undoubtedly be disappointed I think not to be in the top three."


    Jessica Ennis on 5 Live: "It was incredible. Very nerve-wracking being nominated but it was an amazing show. It did feel like the summer spirit was back again. To celebrate with a huge crowd, you feel that enthusiasm. When I started athletics not for one minute did I think I would be part of such an amazing year and having achieved what I have. It was a dream come true. You definitely need luck on your side and fortunately happened. It has been an incredible."


    Sarah Mitchell on Twitter: "Well done Bradley! Love it when Sports Personality of the Year actually has a personality."

    Idil S on Twitter: "Mo Farah wins two gold medals for GB and wins nothing at BBC SPOTY pathetic. I'm an angry fan. Love you Mo Farah, in my eyes you won."

    Arsenal_Harry on Twitter: "Well happy Wiggins won and Andy Murray came in top 3! But bit disappointed neither Mo Farah, Rory McIlroy or David Weir came in top 3."

  25. 2245: 

    I'm beginning to feel that quite a few of you, like me, are surprised that Mo Farah didn't make it into the top three. I expected replays of those successive Super Saturdays to carry some sway. But the people have spoken, an amazing 1.5m of them.


    James Bouault on Twitter: "2 road cyclists winning BBCSPOTY in successive years. Shows what an unbelievable rise pro British road cycling has had 2 the top of the world."

    Jay bassan on Twitter: "Mo Farah you woz robbed, should have been in top 3. But fair play Wiggo Tour De France & Olympic gold takes some beating!"

    HVP on Twitter: "I feel very sorry for anyone who doesn't like sports. It's not just a hobby, not just an interest. It is a way of life. Goodnight!"

    Matt Dawson, Former England rugby international

    "If you don't know about cycling, you do now."

  28. 2238: 

    A soupcon of context about Wiggins's achievement for you. In 109 years of the Tour de France, the best previous placing by a Briton was third - by Wiggins in 2009. Sports events don't come much more gruelling than the annual three-week pedal-fest in France and Wiggins more or less turned it into a procession.


    Rebecca Armstrong on Twitter: "Wiggins!!!!!! Coolest guy ever."

    Sean on Twitter: "Wiggins... was nailed on. Shame for Mo to miss out, but when I look back on London 2012 his triumphs will be what stand out."

    steve Machine limb on Twitter: "Didn't vote for him, think one of the Paralympics deserved to win it, but neither the less well done #Wiggo a true champion.

  30. 2235: 

    There were 1.5m votes cast tonight, but did the public make the right choice? Were you surprised not see Mo Farah in the top three? Keep you reaction coming our way via #bbcspoty and text to 81111.


    The 2012 BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner, Bradley Wiggins: "I will say thank you to everyone who voted. We have had all that jungle stuff and X-Factor the last few weeks, so for people to pick up the phone and vote in half an hour, thank you very much. What a year, to stand on this stage with the people next to me is incredible. I'd like to thank my team-mates, I wouldn't be on this stage without them. I'd like to thank David Brailsford, the coaches, British Cycling, Team Sky and all the Olympians. There is a free bar round the back paid for by the BBC, so we are all going round there tonight!"

  32. 2232: 

    Wiggins positively leaps on to the stage and gives the famous trophy a loving embrace before advising his kids that they can finally go to bed. He may look like the lead singer of an indie band but this man is a sporting hero in the purest sense of the word.


    Alex Blaney on Twitter: "Arise Sir Wiggo. Lord of the people."

    Liam O'Dell on Twitter: "Knew it would be wiggins to win the #spoty straight away!"

    Learnahammersley on Twitter: "Well done the wiggo.... i voted."

  34. 2229: 

    Bradley Wiggins is crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour De France and capturing Olympic gold in the time trial. By the sounds of the deafening roar in the ExCeL he's a pretty popular choice.

    Jessica Ennis is second in Sports Personality 2012
    Andy Murray is third in Sports Personality 2012
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    The Duchess of Cambridge and David Beckham are going to reveal all.

    Matt Dawson, Former England rugby international

    "I voted for Bradley Wiggins."

    Annabel Croft, Tennis commentator

    "It would be lovely to vote for Andy Murray. Ben Ainslie's achievements have been extraordinary, but I think Bradley Wiggins will win."

  41. 2225: 

    Not long to go now folks. Only one more award to present, and I think you know which one it is.


    More from Lord Coe: "There are a few thanks due tonight - the thanks to the extraordinary athletes we have celebrated this evening, who made this year what it has been. Thanks to the public and the many volunteers and Games Makers. I am indebted to teachers at every level who have worked with me throughout my career. I am also indebted to the people I have worked alongside on this incredible journey. Nobody could have done this alone. It is to all of you this evening I share this trophy. It has been an extraordinary night for me, thank you so much, I will never forget it."


    Christopher Golds on Twitter: "No more deserving a man. He truly is a Great Briton. Beyond thrilled that he has won this award. Be upstanding for Lord Seb."

    Paris Cowan-Hall on Twitter: "Seb Coe, on behalf of Great Britain, we all love you, what a legend."


    BBC Lifetime Achievement Award winner Lord Coe: "I am so flattered and honoured to be the recipient of this trophy. You only have to tip toe through the names of previous winners to know just how flattered I am. I am also incredibly lucky. For the larger part of my life I woke up knowing that sport was going to shape that day. I am somebody who has competed, trained, supported and, in the last few years, delivered."


    James Underwood on Twitter: "This is truly deserved, well done Seb, you helped make some amazing memories for this country this year."

    Rosanne Perry on Twitter: "'he won the Olympics and run the Olympics' - Lord Seb Coe - lifetime achievement award. Hooray!"

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    The Duchess is glowing in green as she enters from the back of the stage to whoops and cheers from the 15,000 crowd before leaving the floor to Lord Coe.

  47. 2220: 

    Seb Coe's friends and family are joined by the Olympic cauldron-lighters as the Lord of London 2012 is crowned. A big hug from Steve Cram, his one-time rival and a massive ovation. Then the biggest cheer of the night as Gary Lineker introduces the presenter of the Lifetime Achievement Award: the Duchess of Cambridge!


    Former England captain David Beckham: "It is truly a great honour for me to introduce the Lifetime Achievement of the Year Award to this person. I know he won't like me for pointing this out but I remember watching him compete in the Olympics - fast forward in time and this same man was face to face with me in an office taking me through plans for the Olympics in London. I could see that his passion and desire on the track had crossed over to his desire to bring the Olympics to London. It was a team effort but he was our leader. In what was an incredible year in sport in my lifetime, we have to thank him. He understood that we had the capacity to do great things and put on the greatest show on earth. He is a great sportsman, a great person."

  49. 2214: 

    I think you'd struggle to find anyone to quibble with this one. Lord Coe is awarded the BBC Lifetime Achievement Award after leading the successful bid to host the Olympics and overseeing the Games. Coe is also one the country's most decorated Olympic athletes having won 1500m gold in 1980 and 1984. "He has won the Olympics and run the Olympics," says Becks. Quite.

    Seb Coe wins the BBC Lifetime Achievement Award
  51. 2213: 

    Hold on, look who's presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award? None other than David Beckham.

  52. 2211: 

    A suitably-sombre mood descends over the arena as we take a moment to remember some of the sportspeople who lost their lives in 2012. Emeli Sande plays a poignant rendition of "River" as the names and photos of the deceased are displayed on the big screen.


    BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year winner Usain Bolt: "I have really worked hard, it is an honour to get this award. I will continue to work hard and do my best to make everybody proud - friends, family and fans. Thank you very much."

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    Important announcement for you: the phone lines are now closed. Please do not call as you may still be charged.

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    Usain St. Leo Bolt take a bow. The Jamaican superstar scoops the Overseas award for the third time in five years after successfully defending all three of his Olympic sprint titles at London 2012. His 100m, 200m and 4x100m golds made him the most decorated Olympic sprinter of all-time.

    Usain Bolt wins BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year

    Father of Olympic swimmer Chad le Clos, Bert: "What show, what a show BBC, well done. I am sure there are other parents here just as proud of their children, but I have to thank you for making me famous - 30 years too late and 40 kilos too late! London is a wonderful city, there are great sports men and women here."

  58. 2206: 

    We're steaming along at Bolt-like pace now as we motor into a package celebrating some of the great overseas performances of the year. Missy Franklin, David Rudisha and Michael Phelps catch the eye as does South African swimmer Chad Le Clos, whose father Bert became an overnight sensation when he delivered an emotional and hilarious interview after watching his son beat Phelps. And guess where Bert is tonight...

    Matt Dawson, Former England rugby international

    "Dave Brailsford and Sir Clive Woodward are two peas in a pod. The detail they go into is minute. Once, during the Olympics, Brailsford tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to interview a German cyclist. The reason? It would have given Laura Trott an extra two minutes to prepare for one of her races in the omnium."


    Mike Cowan on Twitter: "Delighted to see Dave Brailsford get coach of the year. All good nominations but very well deserved after an amazing year.

    Mark Elliott on Twitter: "About time Dave Brailsford got the recognition he deserves from a wider audience. Nothing short of a genius!."


    BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach of the Year Dave Brailsford: "It is a huge privilege to get this award - this year of all years after a fantastic summer of sport. I am lucky because I get to collect the award but there is a great team behind me. It is about the athletes, it is about the riders and we have a brilliant team in British Cycling and Team Sky."


    Comedian John Bishop on Twitter: "Got to be honest for SPOTY I can not choose between 5. A bit like being @Lord_Sugar without the financial commitment."

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    British cycling chief Dave Brailsford wins the Coach of the Year award after helping guide Team GB riders to eight golds for the second successive Olympics. Brailsford is also team principal at Team Sky, which delivered an historic Tour de France one-two in the shape of Britons Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.

    Dave Brailsford wins Coach of the Year

    Former tennis player Martina Navratilova: "A lot of athletes tonight talked about dreams. Women like Ellie Simmonds, Jessica Ennis and all the other female athletes have given girls all around the world role models. They don't have to dream as it has already been done, so it gives them belief."

  66. 2159: 

    The three nominees are cycling chief Dave Brailsford, Jess Ennis's coach Toni Minichiello and rowing coach Paul Thompson, who was behind three of our golds.


    Andrew Strauss and Martina Navralitova are the presenters for the Coach of the Year prize...


    Jonnie Peacock, speaking on behalf of Team GB's Paralympic team: "It really is down to the support team. Athletes stand on the podium but it is down to 1000s of people - there are so many faces behind it all."

  69. 2158: 

    England manager Roy Hodgson is slightly incongruously flanked by Zara Phillips and Pendleton's boyfriend and GB Cycling sport scientist Scott Gardener as we look back on Euro 2012. England got through the group, but were beaten by Italy on penalties in the quarters. Italy were walloped by Spain in the final. We move on.


    Victoria Pendleton, speaking on behalf of Team GB's Olympic team: "It was a once in a lifetime experience and it is wonderful to be presented this award as part of Team GB, but there is so many people behind us that help us get to where we are today. The staff, organisations, the British public and the volunteers and Games Makers. Thank you all so much."


    William Hamilton on Twitter: " I know it is a cliché but they are all winners tonight."

    Jordan Dashti on Twitter: "Just put on my Team GB sweatband."

    Joe Rushton on Twitter: "Should give everybody inspiration to go for their related or not, however big or small they may be...DREAM BIG."

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer, BBC Sport

    On Twitter: "I don't think the Gemma Gibbons slo-mo will ever fail to reduce me to rubble."

  73. 2154: 

    Not surprisingly, not every member of the two teams are invited up to receive the award, but cyclist Victoria Pendleton and Paralympic sprinter Jonny Peacock are among the select band of representatives.


    This year's team award goes to Britain's Olympic and Paralympic teams in recognition of their incredible contributions to the mother of all sporting summers. Team GB won 65 medals, including 29 golds, while the Paralympians added 34 titles from a total of 120 medals. Both squads finished third in the medal tables at their home Games.

    Team GB and Paralympic GB win Team of the Year

    Judith in Sandhurst on 81111: "The best decision of my life was to send that email to volunteer as a Gamesmaker. So proud tonight. What an amazing year."


    Joe Blight on Twitter: "The people who win the 'The Unsung Hero Award' should be knighted as a right of passage."

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    Luther actor Idris Elba delivers the rousing prose and Elbow the music to a montage of Olympic imagery as we build up to the team of the year award.

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    Eddie Butler completes his review of the year with October to December, encompassing Ricky Hatton's comeback defeat, Celtic's amazing triumph over Barcelona and England cricket captain Alastair Cook's feats in India.


    BBC Sport's 2012 Unsung Hero Award winner Sue Houghton: "All progress is made by the unreasonable. So be unreasonable, dream huge dreams and with the team around you it it is amazing what you can achieve."

    Fellow winner and husband Jim added: "It is just tremendous. This trophy is for the many dozens of coaches and volunteers who make it work."


    The lines are still open to vote for your SPOTY winner. And if you are having trouble getting through, please keep trying.

  82. 2145: 

    BBC Sport's 2012 Unsung Hero Award goes to Sue and Jim Houghton. The husband and wife team spent 25 years helping to transform a derelict Leicestershire sports ground into a popular community facility. Sport in Desford has hundreds of people each week using its tennis and squash courts, a football pitch, bowling green and dance studio.

    Sue & Jim Houghton win Unsung Hero Award

    Former Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba: "I am very honoured to be here among many great sports men and women. I don't know where to start, all the medical staff that were there that day mean so much to me. These people I will be forever in debt to. They did a great job to keep me where I am right now and I am thankful for that. As for what I am doing now I have finished recording Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special. Now I am campaigning about cardiac arrest and raising awareness on this issue, but I will enjoy Christmas, because I'll have no training the next day! It will be nice to spend time with family and friends."


    Anas Hassan on Twitter: "Three cheers for Muamba!"

    Mark K on Twitter: "London changed the face of Paralympics forever I think."

    Andy Nicholls on Twitter: "What a legend Fabrice is."

  86. 2144: 

    The doctors who treated Fabrice Muamba are joined by some of his close friends as the man himself enters the stage to one of the longest rounds of applause of the night.. A true inspiration, he chats to Gary about his incredible recovery and even reveals he has a part to play in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special.

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    A chance now to remember one of 2012's most frightening, but ultimately heart-warming, stories. On March 17, Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest during a match against Tottenham. His heart stopped for 78 minutes but he was brought back to life by medical staff and was out of hospital less than a month later.


    Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba: "It was the season where I think we had our worst season in the league but the team was fantastic [to win the Champions League] with the spirit we had. I just like to have fun on the pitch. I feel like a kid every time I go on the pitch, like when I was six. I just want to start running and kick the ball."

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    Munich in May and Frank Lampard talks us through Chelsea's backs-to-the-wall triumph in the Champions League final. The scorer of the winning penalty that night was Didier Drogba, who is sporting a tuxedo as he steps up for a chat with Gary.


    dannypallett on Twitter: "I regret that I didn't volunteer for London 2012."

  91. 2133: 

    I can announce that the phone lines to vote for the 2012 Sports Personality of the Year are now open. For editorial policy reasons I can't publish the individual numbers for each contender in this commentary but they are being regularly flagged up on BBC One and the Red Button.


    David Weir, who claimed four gold medals at the Paralympic Games in London: "I planned the week in my head for a year but when you are racing in your home city the emotions and plans are blown totally out of the water. The first race, the 5k, I was bricking it. I was in my room and could not keep still, I was so nervous and did not know what to expect but once I get on that track everything goes into place. I know if I race clever and stay out of trouble, I'll hopefully win."

  93. 2130: 

    The Weirwolf enters to a crack of thunder, some smoke and the tunes of Michael Jackson's Thriller. He's decked out in a well-worn suit and a retro-patterned burgundy tie. Weir has recently had a daughter and named her Tillia Grace London Weir. Fine work.

  94. 2127: 

    Our 12th and final SPOTY contender is David Weir. The wheelchair racer, nicknamed 'Weirwolf', won a clean sweep of four gold medals at his home Paralympics. He dominated the T54 category, winning the 800m, 1500m, 5,000m and marathon titles to give him a career total of 10 Paralympic medals. Earlier in the year, he triumphed in the wheelchair race at the London Marathon for a record-equalling sixth time - matching Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson.

  95. 2126: 

    More memories from the Olympic stadium as we relive some of the blistering performances by Paralympic athletes such as Richard Whitehead, Jonny Peacock and Mickey Bushell.


    Double Olympic champion Mo Farah: "The Olympics is special for every one of us as athletes. It is something you train for for years and to have the Olympics in London and run in my home town was incredible. I preferred the 5k by far, everyone was watching me. I was really tired going into it. The other athletes knew they had to beat me, so it was just myself and that was by far the hardest. I am glad I have done that right and to bring middle-distance running back to England where it all started is just amazing. We take it for granted but I think if we take a step back and look at when we announced the Olympics we never thought we would pull it off. For me, Seeing people in the street do the mobot, I never thought it would take off."

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer, BBC Sport

    On Twitter: "Watching montage of Super Saturday in Olympic Stadium, can still barely believe it all happened. To have been there - oh, what a privilege..."

  98. 2123: 

    Farah's "Mobot" celebration was mimicked by sprint champion Usain Bolt on the Olympic podium and became a national craze. His wife Tania gave birth to twin girls just weeks after the Olympics finished.

    Mick Fitzgerald, Former jockey

    On BBC Radio 5 live: "No matter what your religion or the colour of your skin, Mo Farah made a lot of people realise that you can come to this country and perform with pride for Britain."

  100. 2119: 

    Did I mention the roar? I think it might have been raised a few decibels when Farah delivered again on the following Saturday night to become the first Briton - and only the seventh man in history - to win both the 5,000m and 10,000m at the same Olympic Games. "Words cannot do justice to the way I feel" said an emotional BBC commentator Steve Cram after watching Farah's latest feat.


    Andy in Warrington on 81111: "Went to the Excel in the summer to watch Boccia in the Paralympics. Brings back memories!"


    London 2012 heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis: "It was such a nice feeling to sit here with all these amazing sports men and women and look back at what we achieved. It was incredible. That first welcome at the Olympic Stadium was like nothing I had experienced before. I came into this year knowing not to get ahead of myself after missing Beijing through injury and to take nothing for granted. It was great to get to London, be there in the best shape I could possibly be, with the best team behind me."


    Colin Rice on Twitter: "I forgot how much I loved the Olympics, @BBCSport #SPOTY reminding me again! What a summer!"

    Leeroy on Twitter: "Getting goosebumps watching the Olympics highlights!!!"

  104. 2117: 

    And there's huge applause for the poster girl of the London Olympic Games, with cameras picking out Dame Kelly Holmes and Colin Jackson, as she takes centre stage in a full length red dress.

  105. 2115: 

    Ennis set three personal bests in the seven events as she swept to gold in the Olympic heptathlon. Her total of 6,955 points was 306 ahead of German silver medallist Lilli Schwarzkopf.

  106. 2114: 

    Super Saturday, Spectacular Saturday, Stunning Saturday - call it what you want - Saturday 4th August provided quite possibly the most incredible 45 minutes in the history of British sport as Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah all won athletics golds in the Olympic stadium. The roar as Farah came round the final bend is something I will never, ever forget and I very much doubt I am alone. Jess Ennis and Mo Farah are contenders 10 & 11.


    Nicola Adams, the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title: "This is the first time I have been back to the ExCeL since the boxing, it is fantastic to see everyone here. In 2009 I had a really serious back injury, it left me out of boxing for a whole year. I was in bed for three months, I could not train, walk or do anything. It was really hard for me. I have to say thank you to my family and all the team who worked so hard behind me to get me back up to speed and strength. I took my opportunity at the Olympics. I was so focussed and had this determination that I wasn't going to let anything stand in my way. I wanted that gold so much and to put boxing back on the map was great - it was the best Olympics Games for boxing."


    Magnus on Twitter: "BBCSPOTY is a great way to end 2012."

    Tom Perry on Twitter: "Could have nominated 100s of worthy sportsmen and women for BBCSPOTY this year, doubt I'll see a better year for sport than this."

  109. 2109: 

    It's home from home for Jade Jones, Katie Taylor, Luke Campbell, Anthony Joshua and Adams, who all won their Olympic golds at the ExCeL, where tonight's gala is taking place. Adams is the last of the quintet to arrive on stage, wearing a dark trouser suit and a silk top in a highly appropriate colour - gold.

  110. 2106: 

    Contender nine is the one and only Nicola Adams. The flyweight fought her way into the history books when she became the first woman win an Olympic boxing title. Despite two previous world championship final defeats by her opponent Ren Cancan, Adams overcame the Chinese fighter 16-7 in the gold medal bout.


    More from Poulter on BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee Rory McIlroy: "Rory is an amazing talent. He is 22, has won two Majors and he is the world number one comfortably at the minute. What a year he has had."

  112. 2105: 

    Eddie Butler is rattling through July to September now when Jonathan Marray provided a British Wimbledon winner in the men's doubles, Kevin Pietersen was dropped over text message-gate and the Hillsborough truth was finally revealed.


    Sara Hutchinson on Twitter: "I hope the phone lines will be able to cope when they finally open them. BBCSPOTY they are not leaving much time to vote."

    Tim Carr on Twitter: "Surely the Ryder Cup team for team of the year??"

    Judy Saunders on Twitter: "Watching BBCSPOTY tonight reliving the magic of London 2012. Martine Wright the biggest hero for me. Let's see more of her in future."


    Ian Poulter, part of Europe's 2012 Ryder Cup-winning team: "Friday morning I believed it was possible we would win, before it all started! It wasn't looking good for a little while, 10-4 down and I don't know if any of us really believed but at 10-6 I really felt we had a great chance. We saw how Sunday unfolded after that, it was pretty good. I love the Ryder Cup, have done since going there as a little kid. It brings the best out of me"

  115. 2100: 

    Yes that's right, some choice images from that incredible Sunday when Europe's golfers fought back from 10-6 down to beat the USA 14 1/2-13 1/2 in the Ryder Cup. Bill Nighy is an inspired choice for the voiceover as we build to the moment when Martin Kaymer sunk the winning put before captain Jose-Maria Olazabal broke down in tears as he dedicated the win to his late friend Seve Ballesteros.

  116. 2057: 

    Sadly, we can't hear from McIlroy as he's taking a break to prepare for next season, but here's something to cheer you up. Miracle of Medinah anyone?

  117. 2056: 

    SPOTY contender numero ocho is Rory McIlroy. A stunning eight-shot victory at the US PGA Championship was the second major title of the Northern Irishman's career and made him the youngest player to achieve that feat since Seve Ballesteros.

    He then featured in Europe's Ryder Cup comeback victory over the United States and also topped the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic, to secure the world number one spot.


    London 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Nick Skelton: "It was certainly worth the wait. It was amazing, of all the games I went to, this was my seventh, and this was by far the most special. To do what we did in London was amazing."

  119. 2054: 

    Nick Skelton broke his neck in 2000. In 2012, he won an Olympic gold medal at the age of 54 - one of the many amazing stories provided by GB's Olympic and Paralympic equestrian medallists, who receive warm applause as they gather on the ExCeL stage.


    Record-breaking Paralympian cyclist Sarah Storey: "You train with a monkey on your back, there is always someone trying to beat you. I never imagined I would get off the front of the road race so quickly. My schedule for that race was to go at the same distance but my pacing was horrendous. [The record] was one I didn't realise was coming so close but the journalists kept reminding me. I got to the road race and I knew I had to stay calm and I tried not to think too much about it happening. It was just incredible."

  121. 2050: 

    Horse power now and a reminder of the amazing feats of Frankel the wonder horse before double gold winner Charlotte Dujardin talks us through the incredible achievements of Team GB's equestrian team at Greenwich Park.

  122. 2047: 

    Storey may not be pedalling at full pelt for the next couple of months. She's 13 weeks pregnant!


    Six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy: "The keirin was just the combination of everything really. The pressure and build up, it is the most unpredictable of the events I do. The German rider came up on my shoulder with less than a lap to go and I knew if he got in front of me it would be game over. So I was just thinking about my own race and that last corner and I had that roar and to be able to celebrate with everybody was the highlight of my career. When you have that chance to let all the emotion out is why I was so emotional at the end. You look out on the podium and see your friends, team-mates, family and rivals and that is when it hits you. It was a great experience and one I'll never forget."

  124. 2046: 

    Remember Sir Chris Hoy's tears on the podium? Or the bear hug he received from Sir Steve after breaking his record?

  125. 2042: 

    Our cycling contenders are 10,000 miles apart as Storey enters the stage in high heels and a short black dress, while Sir Chris Hoy joins via video link from Perth.

  126. 2041: 

    Storey's Paralympic career reached new heights in London as she added four cycling titles for a British record-equalling total of 11 gold medals. Her overall total of 22 medals is as many as the Olympic record held by swimmer Michael Phelps and come from two sports. She previously won five golds in swimming before switching to cycling for the 2008 Games.

  127. 2040: 

    Two cycling titles in London gave Hoy a British record six Olympic golds in all - one more than rowing great Sir Steve Redgrave. Having won on the first night of the track cycling in the men's team sprint, Hoy's emotional triumph in the keirin was the perfect velodrome finale for Team GB.

  128. 2039: 

    I can say from personal experience that the atmosphere at the Olympic velodrome was something else. There was something about the enclosed space, the fact that the spectators were so close to the action, and quite possibly the fact that Great Britain's cyclists did really rather well. Two of them, Sir Chris Hoy and Sarah Storey, are our sixth and seventh contenders for the main award.


    Adam wright on Twitter: "At this juncture in BBC SPOTY I appear to have something in both my eyes so shall be stepping out to smoke."

    Tanya Searle on Twitter: "So many worthy winners, it's a teary night."


    Helen Rollason Award winner Martine Wright: "It is an absolute honour to be here collecting this award. It is unbelievable with the year we have had. I do count myself lucky I survived that awful day and I count myself lucky I have made an incredible journey in the last seven years. I have not made it on my own, there have been lots of people behind me and I would like to accept this award on behalf of them as well. I want to thank my husband Nick, family and friends and the absolutely wonderful Liz for saving my life that day. Also all the emergency services and medical staff that day, they did so much. I will never forget the 52 people who sadly lost their lives, this is definitely for them as well. Finally, I would like to say thank you all so much for a fantastic summer. Thanks to the athletes and thanks to the volunteers and Games Makers and thank you - the nation of Great Britain. This is the time we need to remember the summer and build on this legacy and inspire a nation."


    Nick Binns on Twitter: "Martine Wright. What an amazing story. Truly inspirational."

    Rebecca Ellis on Twitter: "So proud to be able to say I saw Martine Wright play sitting volleyball at the paralympics."

  132. 2033: 

    Martine Wright nearly died the day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. She lost both her legs in the 7/7 bombings in 2005, but fought back to play sitting volleyball for Team GB in the Paralympics. Since the terror attack, the 40-year-old Londoner has also had a baby, got married and learned to fly.

    Martine Wright wins the Helen Rollason Award
  134. 2031: 

    Now it's time for the Helen Rollason Award, named after the former BBC Sport presenter who died in 1999 after a long battle against cancer. The prize is awarded to an outstanding achievement in the face of adversity.


    More from Grainger, on possibly competing at Rio 2016: "At the moment we are still enjoying this wonderful experience. None of us expected this incredible summer of success, we are still soaking all that up and it is almost impossible to think forward. I am just enjoying the moment."

  136. 2030: 

    Eddie Butler is on to the review of April to June now when Ronnie O'Sullivan won the World Snooker Championship, Chelsea won the the FA Cup and Leinster captured rugby's Heinken Cup.


    Olympic gold medal-winning rower Katherine Grainger: "It was worth it. Sport ultimately is about spirit, challenge, heart and getting knocked down and getting back and having a dream. Sometimes you get the perfect set up, this year was the home crowd and the home Olympics. It was the best team and support staff and I had the dream partner in Anna Watkins. I have tried many times and it all came true and it was because of this wonderful lady [Anna Watkins], I could not have done anything without her. We worked so hard and we believed in it from the beginning, we also had fun every step of the way and it was about dreams coming true."


    Rach on Twitter: "Reminding me what an incredible year it has been. London 2012 is definitely an experience I will never forget."

    Lucy Lacey on Twitter: "Such an amazing set of athletes, what an amazing year for sport."

  139. 2028: 

    Sir Steve Redgrave leads the applause as Grainger steps onto stage in a black and white knee-length frock. There are hundreds of Gamesmakers at the ExCeL too, all decked out in those purple, red and beige outfits that became synonymous with the warmth and friendliness of London 2012.

  140. 2024: 

    Contender five is rower Katherine Grainger, who finally gained an Olympic rowing gold medal after three silvers at successive Games. She and Anna Watkins surged to victory in the final of the women's double sculls for their 23rd consecutive win. Grainger became the first female British athlete in any sport to win a medal at four successive Olympics.


    More from Murray, on winning Olympic gold: "Having the experience of losing on that court at Wimbledon before definitely helped me at the Olympics. I was watching on television the night before as Jess Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah won gold medals and it gave me a huge boost."

  142. 2023: 

    In the night's next montage, we relive those amazing August mornings at Eton Dorney where Britain's rowers brought home no less than nine medals, four of them gold.


    Olympic champion and 2012 US Open winner Andy Murray: "I felt pressure a few times [to win a Grand Slam], it has been a long road the last few years, I have had a lot of losses so it was great to win and move on with the rest of my career. It is still a little bit of a blur, I have never been in that position before and I think I built it up so much in my head that when it came to it I didn't find it that bad. I cant remember what went through through my head but I was so relieved to win. It was an amazing feeling to finally do it."

  144. 2020: 

    Murray gets a chuckle as he blames Sue Barker for the moment he broke down in tears trying to speak to the crowd after losing the Wimbledon final to Roger Federer: "It was your fault for handing me the microphone."


    Five-time Olympic gold-medal winner Ian Thorpe: "It was quite standard that everyone was wondering ahead of the Olympics if London could deliver. My expectations were high and London surpassed Sydney. What's disappointing is that London has not be credited for how successful these Games were. The contribution that the UK made was something we haven't seen for a number of years."


    Rishi Verma on Twitter: "Loved how the obvious #ManUtd fans chose to opt out of taking part in the 'Poznan'! Reds 'til we die!!"

    Mike Hayes on Twitter: "The Poznan!!! Amazing!!"

  147. 2017: 

    Murray can't be in London because he's competing in Miami at the moment but he's taken time out to talk to Sue via a live video link.

  148. 2016: 

    Contender number four is Andy Murray, who ended Britain's 76-year wait for a British major tennis champion with victory in an epic US Open final against Novak Djokovic. Two months earlier, the Scot was beaten in the men's final at Wimbledon by Roger Federer, but reversed that result to win Olympic gold and also picked up a mixed doubles silver with partner Laura Robson.


    Phil in Wrexham on 81111: "If there was an award for 'Dogged Determination and Never Say Die' it would go to Ian Poulter, no question."

    Zachary on 81111: "Some beautiful sporting moments this year. I can't decide who I'd like to win but the overseas award I think should go to David Rudisha. His run was incredibly moving and what a humble chap to boot. A true Olympic treasure."

  150. 2015: 

    One of my favourite Olympic memories this - the moment Alistair Brownlee rounded off his Olympic triathlon triumph by walking across the line with a Union Jack draped around his shoulders. His brother Jonny Brownlee captured the bronze. Good genes.


    Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany: "You are never sure you can win [the Premier League title] when you are 2-0 down and have to win. We kept believing and I am ever so grateful for Sergio Aguero for scoring that winning goal. It will be difficult this season but there are many games to play."

  152. 2011: 

    Aah, now I know why they were practising the Poznan earlier. City stars Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany are greeted by the dance as they arrive on stage with the Premier League trophy. A few words from Kompany then Gary Lineker shows off his Spanish with a quick instant translation of Sergio Aguero's words. How did Sergio feel after scoring THAT goal? "He said it was alright" quips Gary.

  153. 2009: 

    Speaking of Manchester City - we're onto football now and a look-back at the final day of the Premier League season when City diced with disaster before snatching the Premier League title from the hind teeth of defeat. "Aggguueeeroooooooooo......."

    Elizabeth Hudson, BBC Sport at the ExCeL

    "It is a hive of activity backstage at the ExCeL with presenters and guests getting ready to go on stage. The Premier League trophy is here adorned with blue and white ribbons and Man City captain Vincent Kompany has his hands in his pockets waiting with it, along with Sergio Aguero. The crowd here might not be as big as they get at the Etihad, but it's possibly more noisy! They look a bit nervous."


    BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year winner Josef Craig: "I want to say a big thanks to everyone involved in me getting my gold. It was a big shock for me, it was an amazing part of my life. I want to thank my mam and dad, along with the rest of my family and friends. I also want to thank John Atkinson, the Performance Director of British Swimming and finally want to thank my friends and the staff of British Swimming."


    London 2012 medallist Tom Daley: "To win an Olympic medal, it is not just about you being out there competing, it is the whole team behind you - coaches, physios and most of all family behind you. It has been a tough couple of years and it means a great deal for me and my family."

  157. 2006: 

    Teenage swimmer Josef Craig is the BBC's Young Sports Personality of the Year after becoming Britain's youngest gold medallist at the 2012 Paralympics. The 15-year-old won the S7 400m freestyle final in a new world record, knocking nearly two seconds off the previous best. Craig, who has mild cerebral palsy, was diagnosed with Graves' disease in 2011 which causes rapid weight loss. He had his thyroid removed but battled back to secure a spot at the Games.

    Josef Craig wins BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year
  159. 2005: 

    There are three contenders - swimmers Jessica-Jane Applegate and Josef Craig and gymnast Rebecca Tunney...

  160. 2004: 

    Now to our first award of the night, the Young Sports Personality of the Year, to be presented by three-time winner Tom Daley and multiple five-time Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Ian Thorpe.

    Kate Grey, Paralympic swimmer

    Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live: "Ellie Simmonds is just so lovable, I really think she's won the hearts of the nation."


    Four-time Paralympic swimming champion Ellie Simmonds: "I think you can do anything, whatever age, age is only a number. Being in the top 12 with so many great athletes and in a room full of amazing athletes I feel so honoured. It was so hard in London, there was a lot of pressure but I thrive on pressure, it drives me forward, so it was good. Hopefully the Paralympics and Olympics inspired the next generation, especially with three Paralympians in the top 12 of SPOTY, it shows how the Paralympics has come along."

  163. 2002: 

    Ellie is wearing a red dress as she walks onto the stage with an ear-to-ear smile on her face. Each of our contenders is being interviewed within spitting distance of the SPOTY winners trophy. In less than two hours time, that precious piece of silverware will be the possession of one of 2012's golden 12. Deep breaths.


    Chris Hedges on Twitter: "Good grief this year's staging is outshining the Oscars. Hope they're watching for inspiration."

    igmorrison on Twitter: "Proving it doesn't matter how many elite sportsmen and women are in the audience. No British audience can clap in time to music..."

  165. 1959: 

    Simmonds, lest you forget, won two Paralympic swimming golds in London to add to the two titles she secured as a 14-year-old four years earlier. She broke her own world record to win the SM6 200m individual medley final, just two days after gold in the S6 400m freestyle. She also won silver in the S6 100m freestyle and bronze in the S6 50m freestyle.


    More from Ainslie, about whether he may change his mind about not competing at Rio 2016: "I don't think so. I have not retired from sailing totally. there is then Americas Cup and we have never won that, it is about time we brought it back."

  167. 1958: 

    Well Claire with an i, seeing as you asked, here's another montage of some splendid images from the Paralympic Games leading into a profile of our third contender Ellie Simmonds.


    Amit Chaudhary on Twitter: "Recognition of the Olympic Games makers was a wonderful idea. Amazing people who showed why this country is special."

    Claire with an i: "Nothing beats a BBC Sport montage."


    Ben Ainslie, the most decorated Olympic sailor in history: "I do feel pretty old when you talk about the length of time I have been in Olympics for! It is about being in a team and having the right people behind you. Sailing is exciting because of its diversity and there is always a new challenge out there. [Being made angry in London] made a difference. I was struggling before then, not really sailing that well and I needed something to fire me up and that worked. It changed my Olympics."

  170. 1955: 

    There's polite applause from Louis Smith and Didier Drogba as Ainslie enters the stage carrying a flare which, Gary Lineker jokes, could melt his makeup. It's a sharp suit, clean shave and spotty tie for the great sailor.

  171. 1952: 

    Contender number two is Ben Ainslie, who clinched his fourth straight gold medal to become the most decorated Olympic sailor in history. Great images from the Weymouth waves and that famous quote after he had fallen behind: "He made me angry and he won't like me when I'm angry." The rest as they say...

  172. 1951: 

    Eddie Butler's review of the sporting year starts off with a look back at January to Mach when England's cricketers were demolishes by Pakistan in the UAE, Liverpool won the League Cup and Wales won their third Grand Slam in eight years.


    Tour de France winner and Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins: "It was brilliant, incredible. Just looking at the video then, I feel a bit embarrassed because so many other people played a part in this sporting year. It was incredible. I am sat behind David Weir and Kris Akabusi and it is phenomenal. Cycling is a team sport and I could not have done it without the team, as well as the personnel behind us. There is an incredible team behind every athlete in this room, I am no different."

  174. 1948: 

    Wiggins has the crowd in stitches as he addresses Barker as Susan, then compliments Gary Lineker's make-up artist.

  175. 1947: 

    With twin glories on the Champs Elysees and the streets of London, Wiggins had an astonishing year on two wheels. With his soundbites and sideburns there was rarely a dull moment and here he is bounding onto the stage in a tight navy velvet suit, with big cream buttons to talk to Sue Barker...


    Matt Crossfield on Twitter: "What a night this is going to be! No doubt it will be emotional reliving the highlights of a very special British sporting year!"

    Scott Houston on Twitter: "What an impossible choice for Sports Personality of the Year. Impossible."

  177. 1944: 

    Anyone remember the Olympic opening ceremony? I thought you might have done. "From the Queen to Mr Bean" as Sue Barker puts it after a quick mntage of memorable images. And then we're straight into the first profile of a SPOTY contender: Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins.

  178. 1942: 

    Here's our first look at the 12 contenders: Nicola Adams, Ben Ainslie, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Katherine Grainger, Sir Chris Hoy, Rory McIlory, Andy Murray, Ellie Simmonds, Sarah Storey, David Weir and Bradley Wiggins as the presenters reveal the numbers you need to call later in the show to vote for your SPOTY winner.


    2011 BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner Mark Cavendish: "It was incredible to win this last year. You can work towards anything in your sport, but this award is special because it is bestowed on you, it is voted for by the public and you cannot measure it."


    Lynda Deane on Twitter: "Tears started with opening credits thank god for tissues."

    John Hall on Twitter: "It's only the opening scenes and I've already got Goosebumps."

  181. 1938: 

    Last year's winner Mark Cavendish receives a standing ovation from the 15,000 crowd as he marches into the arena with the SPOTY trophy flanked by servicemen and gamesmakers.

    Gary Lineker, BBC Sport

    "It has been a magnificent sporting year, tonight we will celebrate the never-ending success story that has been 2012. Over the next two-and-a-half hours we will look at the triumphs and must see moments of the year and give out eight awards overall."

  183. 1937: 

    Exit Sande, enter Lineker, Barker and Balding and we are underway. A quick glimpse at the front row of seats reveals Roy Hodgson, Ian Poulter and Ellie Simmonds among many, many others.

  184. 1934: 

    The helicopter lands and we're straight into a live rendition of Read all About It from singer Emeli Sande, accompanied by more images of those golden moments, including Chelsea winning the Champions League, Wales taking the Grand Slam, Andy Murray's US Open triumph and Olympians galore...

  185. 1931: 

    It's a mesmerising start folks. Presenters Sue Barker, Gary Lineker and Clare Balding are flying in a helicopter over London with images of some 2012's most amazing sporting moments being projected onto some of the capital's most famous landmarks.

  186. 1930: 

    Here we are then. Lights, camera, action. The SPOTY 2012 show is go, go, go...

    Elizabeth Hudson, BBC Sport at the ExCeL

    Gymnast Louis Smith, who is currently wowing the audience in Strictly Come Dancing, tells me that it is harder to get ready for Strictly than for nights like this. "Tonight is far less stressful - there is no make-up, no dashing around and no panic," he admits. "But even doing the show and learning the dances can be stressful, there is a brilliant sense of satisfaction from doing it."


    Jimmy, via text: "Oh no, power cut just before SPOTY starts! This could seriously ruin my evening!"

  189. 1927: 

    More fun and games at the ExCeL, where the warm-up man is getting the entire 15,000 crowd to do the Man City "Poznan" dance while "Blue Moon" blares over the loudspeakers.

  190. 1925: 

    Seasoned SPOTY-watchers will know the drill but interspersed among tonight's award presentations will be highlights packages from 2012's most memorable moments, misty-eyed montages, interviews with some of the year's biggest stars and one or two surprises. It's a heady cocktail designed to make even the most abstinent of viewers feel a little light-headed and we'll do our best to describe how it looks, tastes and feels right here on this page.


    Two-times Olympic javelin medallist Steve Backley on BBC Radio 5 live: "[Lifetime Achievement winner] Lord Coe's a bit of genius when it comes to mixing it with different people. His work ethic is incredible."


    Michael Nairn on Twitter: "Looking at this years top 12, how did Zara Phillips, Paul Gascoigne and Greg Rusedski win it? All 12s achievements eclipse theirs."

    Ewan Murray on Twitter: "Looking forward to BBCspoty - so many winners. Give it to everyone! There will never be another sporting year like 2012!"

    Sue Barker, BBC Sport

    "It doesn't get any bigger and it doesn't get any better than this. We have so much to celebrate and so much to look forward to this evening."

  194. 1924: 

    I've just been steered in the direction of a live feed of last-minute preparations at the ExCeL. It's clapping practice at the moment as the crowd are asked to rehearse 30 seconds of applause. Then Mark Chapman asks the crowd to show their appreciation for presenters Sue Barker, Gary Lineker and Clare Balding, who bounce onto the stage to "Gangnam Style." Fever pitch.

  195. 1920: 

    Just 10 minutes to go until the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012 show gets underway on BBC One. I'll be providing a running commentary of every spit and cough from the ExCeL and revealing the winners of all tonight's awards as they are announced live on air. We've been gobbling up your texts and tweets all afternoon but we're still hungry for plenty more. What was your favourite moment of 2012? Who were the biggest heroes/villains? Was 2012 the greatest sporting year of all time or has there been a rival? Send over your thoughts, hopes and fears to #bbcspoty on Twitter or 81111 (UK) via text.

    Elizabeth Hudson, BBC Sport at the ExCeL

    "Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, who was part of the judging panel who came up with the shortlist for the award, is wearing a black dress and is accompanied by her 10-year-old daughter Carys, who is looking forward to hopefully meeting cyclist Bradley Wiggins."

  197. 1915: 

    Isles of wonder - the title of Danny Boyle's thrill ride of an Olympic opening ceremony and a fitting epithet for a year in which Great Britain's sportspeople delivered awe-inspiring deed upon awe-inspiring deed to leave jaws on the floor, tears in the eyes and arms in the air in households up and down the land. As an unprecedented and unforgettable year of sporting success draws to a close, tonight's London shindig gives us all a chance to remember, relive and rejoice all over again. Get your dancing shoes on - it should be quite a night.

  198. 1913: 

    Right, now you've been whipped into a frenzy, it's time for me to step aside. Thanks for your company so far. Sam Sheringham is here to talk you though the rest of the evening and crown the 2012 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.


    Sprinter Jonnie Peacock, who won Paralympic gold in London: "It is impossible to sum up this year in one word but every athlete at the Olympic and Paralympics can be proud of what they have achieved. I cannot really complain about my year. It was a world of what ifs last year and the way it turned out, I couldn't have hoped for better."


    Olympic gymnastics silver medallist Louis Smith: "Strictly is going really well. It's very hard work. I'm enjoying myself and having a wicked time. I'm not sure whether I'm going to watch or compete at the Rio Olympics."


    Sealtiel, 11, and Yassine, 12, from George Green's School had a very busy evening on the red carpet. Early on, Sealtiel said she was surprised how calm it was but by the end of the night she described reporting on the red carpet as "kind of crazy!"

    The school reporters even grabbed a word with Mo Farah, who told them how he will try to inspire young people by telling them that with hard work, they can achieve their goals. He told them that Paula Radcliffe helped him by giving him advice early in his career. The young reporters have now taken their seats in the arena for the show.


    Barcelona Olympics track cycling champion Chris Boardman: "It's been a pretty incredible year for cycling. For Bradley to win the Tour de France then win Olympic gold is amazing. Sarah Storey won golds in swimming in 1992, I think, then won golds in another event in London. Sir Chris Hoy is a man of many talents - I'm fascinated to see what he does afterwards."


    2004 BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner Dame Kelly Holmes: "It is amazing. I remember when I got ready for the night I won and I was a nervous wreck. It means everything to win. It is a public vote and you are up against your peers who are all deserving. How do you decide this year!"


    Jack Hammond on Twitter: "Why isn't Kevin Sinfield nominated for sports personality??????"

    Carrie Gregory on Twitter: "Still can't believe no equestrians are on BBCSPOTY shortlist! Especially Charlotte Dujardin. If they don't win the team award I'll be so mad!"

    Emily Clifford on Twitter: "Almost time BBCSPOTY."


    BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee and boxer Nicola Adams: "It feel fantastic, just to be nominated as one of the 12 is amazing for me. We have had so many great athletes this year and just being nominated is enough for me really. I wanted to go for gold so all of this is just extra bonus for me."

  206. 1901: 

    Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman: "To have imagined a British winner of the Tour even two years ago was almost impossible.

    "To go from where we were to having a British rider and team frankly dominate a sporting monument like the Tour - well, I never thought I'd see the day."

  207. 1900: 

    "Wiggins, 32, became the first British man to win the Tour de France, and then went on to claim the fourth Olympic gold medal of his career. Wiggins made the leader's yellow jersey his own from early on in Le Tour's gruelling 20-stage, 2,173-mile race. His victory in the men's time trial at London 2012 gave him a record-equalling seventh Olympic medal for a British sportsman."


    BBC Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement award winner Lord Coe: "I'm very, very flattered especially when you look at names on the trophy. I'm very lucky to still be doing something, in my 50s. I've trained, competed and helped deliver sport. I'm lucky to wake up knowing that sport is going to shape my day."

  209. 1857: 

    That's it for the pre-show. To continue your build-up excitement, switch to BBC Radio 5 live. We're just over half an hour from the main event.

    Elizabeth Hudson, BBC Sport at the ExCeL

    "SPOTY nominee Ellie Simmonds tells me she has one secret fear for tonight! 'I'm terrified of falling over!' she says. The teenage swimmer, who won two golds, a silver and a bronze in the Aquatics Centre at London 2012 is wearing impressively high nude court-style shoes. 'My feet are only a size 2 so it is hard to get high heels to fit,' she went on. 'I fell over once at an event and showed off a bit too much! But I love events like this and getting dressed up and having my hair and make-up done.'"

  211. 1855: 

    My nomination for worst-dressed of the night? Louis Smith. He's gone for the wide-rimmed glasses and bow tie, which he says looks "jazzy". I say he looks like an extra from Saved By The Bell.


    Tim Garner on Twitter: "Amazing we ran an Olympics looking at this queuing chaos. Where are the Games Makers when you need them!"

    I think they might all be at the ExCeL.


    BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee David Weir: "It has been an amazing year and the Paralympics was special. I am so proud to be mixing with the great guys on that list. There are some great sports people on there and to be recognised as one of the greats is amazing. To have three Paralympians is a step forward for Paralympics. You have to earn your place on the list, like everyone else but hopefully there will be a few more Paralympians on the shortlist in years to come."

  214. 1851: 

    My nomination for the most dapper-looking man of the night? Jonnie Peacock. Black suit and trenchcoat. Cool as.


    BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee and soon-to-be mother Sarah Storey "I have some incredible role models, there are sportswomen before me who have combined motherhood with being sporty so I plan on getting on the bike as soon as I can. I will be back for the qualification period for Rio, no doubt at all."


    Rebecca Molloy on Twitter: "I'd like to see the Overseas Personality award go to either Seb Vettel or Oscar Pistorius. I hope it's not Federer *again*"

    Gary on Twitter: "Absolutely cannot wait for BBCSPOTY. I've got my beers chilled, ready for the start!"

    Lynda Martin on Twitter: "Popcorn, check. SPOTY on, check. GamesMakerChoir bought, check. Bring it on!"


    Olympic double bronze medallist swimmer Rebecca Adlington: "I love Ellie Simmonds. She's one of the sweetest, nicest people. I know the work she puts in. I'd love to see Ellie to do well."

  218. 1847: 

    Just look at some of the names that are rolling into the ExCeL now. Wall-to-wall sporting royalty. It reminds me of the film King Ralph, where they asked every member of the royal family to get together for a photograph. Probably best not to dwell on the consequences of that photo, but it was still a cracking film.


    Victoria Pendleton has just arrived at the ExCeL and she talks about how she has been spending time since winning gold at London 2012: "I filled the gap after Olympics by going on Strictly Come Dancing. I remember after Beijing in 2008, despite winning there I felt really low afterwards. It is such an amazing experience and you don't anticipate what you do after. This time I thought I would plan something in and Strictly came in and it was the perfect distraction."


    Jade Jones, who won taekwondo gold at London 2012: "I am looking forward to celebrating with all the athletes, especially here in the ExCeL where I won. It has been a mad year, it just keeps getting crazier."


    Ryder Cup-winning Europe player Ian Poulter: "It's been amazing - a good steady year. The last part of it was amazing, with the Ryder Cup and winning the WGC."


    Phil, via text: "This is going to be the greatest SPOTY in living memory, thanks to our inspirational and indomitable sportsmen and women. It really has been an unforgettable 2012."


    Former BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner and ex-boxer Barry McGuigan: "I won it in 1985 and it seems like a lifetime ago. It is incredible to win it. It is the crème de la crème of sports awards - it does not get any better. It was a fantastic year of sport in 1985 but this year is the most incredible year of sport I can think of. All 12 deserve to win it."


    Dame Kelly Holmes on Twitter: "I remember this night 8 years ago when I was getting ready for SPOTY. I was a nervous wreck wondering if I'd win. I did & it meant so much."

    Elizabeth Hudson, BBC Sport at the ExCeL

    "Three-time London Paralympic equestrian gold medallist Sophie Christiansen is dazzling the crowds with her sparkly gold shoes. 'It's a shame there is no equestrian rider from the Olympic or Paralympic team on the short-list,' she told me. 'But it has been such a high standard this year. This is a great night to look back and celebrate British sport.'"


    BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee Katherine Grainger: "I thought the Olympics was crazy - the enthusiasm and excitement is happening again. It's pinch yourself time to be on a list like this. There are fantastic names not on this list."

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer, BBC Sport at the ExCeL

    "Red carpet seeing some serious footfall. Mo's wife Tania arrives with daughter Rihanna. No sign of the couple's twin daughters, who arrived a few days after Mo's golden distance double in London. Early night for the nippers."


    BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee Ben Ainslie: "My success was down to the support I had. Evenings like this able you to thank people for their support. It would be an amazing honour to win it, but just to be here is great."

  229. 1832: 

    Four-time Paralympian Dan Greaves: "Dave is multi-talented at wheelchair racing. Because of the nature of his sport, you face the same guys in almost all events, and to face those same four day after day in big final after big final and beat all in all is phenomenal.

    "You need four times the mental strength to get through all those qualifying rounds and semis. You need to control and time your energies, working out which is your strongest event, which one you'll have to work hardest in, which one you will enjoy the most.

    "He has always had a great work ethic - he'll give blood, sweat and tears in pursuit of success - but that hit new levels this year. If he thinks someone is training harder than him, he'll go out there and do another session regardless of how cold or wet it might be or how hard he has already trained. He operates on a full tank of fuel every single day."

  230. 1831: 

    "The wheelchair racer, 35, nicknamed 'Weirwolf', won a clean sweep of four gold medals at his home Paralympics. He dominated the T54 category, winning the 800m, 1500m, 5,000m and marathon titles to give him a career total of 10 Paralympic medals. Earlier in the year, he triumphed in the wheelchair race at the London Marathon for a record-equalling sixth time - matching Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson."


    BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee Jessica Ennis: "I am looking forward to the whole evening and being a part of a celebration of British sport. This is nicest thing - when you have done the hard work and you can now can sit back and watch what we have achieved as a country. It is an incredible list and to be on that list of 12 is a massive honour."

  232. 1827: 

    Last, but by no means least, on our run down of the awards to be handed out tonight is the Coach of the Year gong. First given to Sir Alex Ferguson in 1999, it is currently held by England cricket team director Andy Flower. ho could be in line for success tonight? Team Sky and British cycling supremo Dave Brailsford? TeamGB chef de mission Andy Hunt? Europe Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal? What about Champions League winner Roberto di Matteo...


    BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee Ellie Simmonds: "It is such a great list to be on. It has been such a great year for British sport and to be here I feel honoured. It will be very hard, but I am looking forward to tonight."

  234. 1822: 
    TENNIS IN 2012

    BBC Sport's Piers Newbery: "Andy Murray ended one of the longest hoodoos in British sport in September, when he emulated Fred Perry's 1936 US Open victory and joined the ranks of Grand Slam winners. The foundations were laid when he hired Ivan Lendl as his coach on New Year's Eve, 2011, going on to lose an epic Australian Open semi-final to Novak Djokovic, impress in defeat by Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, and then dismantle the Swiss for Olympic gold the following month.

    Djokovic began and ended the year on top with wins at the Australian Open and ATP World Tour Finals, while Rafael Nadal and Federer each won their seventh titles at the French Open and Wimbledon respectively.

    On the women's side, Victoria Azarenka won her first Grand Slam at the Australian Open, while Maria Sharapova completed her set of major titles at Roland Garros, but 2012 was still all about Serena Williams. The American overcame her own serious health issues to dominate the second half of the year, powering through Wimbledon, the Olympics, the US Open and the WTA Championships."


    BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee Mo Farah: "It has been an unbelievable year, to do what we did, all 12 nominees deserve to be up there. We have had a fantastic year and I am looking forward to tonight. In any other year any one of the nominees would be a winner. It will be a hard choice."

  236. 1820: 

    First comedy moment of the night. BBC presenter Helen Skelton offers to take Mo Farah's daughter to meet Tom Daley, but Rihanna refuses with a shake of the head and a wag of the finger. Never work with kids...

    Elizabeth Hudson, BBC Sport at the ExCeL

    "Swimmer Rebecca Adlington arrives at the ExCeL looking glamorous in a floor-length black grecian-style dress with a gold belt (appropriate for the night that is in it!) and black and gold accessories."


    Anon, via text: "I've been looking forward to SPOTY for months. Tickets and red carpet access arranged then wife goes into labour three weeks early. A beautiful baby daughter later and a couple of bottles with her at home becomes the absolute highlight of my year. Welcome to the world Elizabeth. 2012 has been the greatest year ever for British Sport!!!"

  239. 1815: 

    Jayne Torvill, Alan Shearer, Paula Radcliffe and Rebecca Adlington are the latest to strut their stuff down the red carpet. Speaking of which, our pre-show live from the shag pile is about to begin here on the BBC Sport website and the Red Button.


    Amish Parmar on Twitter: "Major envy for an old mate Akhil Vyas who's at BBCSPOTY tonight...have a good one!"

    Emily Sherwin on Twitter: "Am I the only person not at bbcspoty this year beginning to feel left out."

    Stephen Hannah on Twitter: "Proud to be at bbcspoty"

    Frank Keogh, BBC Sport at the ExCeL

    "Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins, one of the 12 shortlisted award contenders, stopped for a chat. After walking swiftly past photographers on the red carpet, he told me: 'I find all the attention a bit hard. I'm nervous. It's an honour to be here. I grew up watching Sports Personality - it's a bit of an institution isn't it? And I don't think I'll be up for the award again.' Wiggins joked when stopped by a security guard: 'But I'm a nominee'."


    From Phil in Edinburgh, via text on 81111: "Still getting over the bitter disappoint of not receiving a nomination for this years awards."

    You're not alone Phil, I'm pretty gutted my part in Sandyford CC's third-place finish in NSSCL Division One hasn't been recognised. I mean, how hard is it to win Olympic gold? Pfffft.

    Elizabeth Hudson, BBC Sport at the ExCeL

    "For Paralympian Martine Wright, coming back to the ExCeL is an emotional return after she was part of the GB sitting volleyball team which played here at the Games. 'It's great to be back here,' said Wright who lost her legs in the 7/7 bombings. 'It was a bit warmer then," she said "but the support from the public is great again tonight.'"

  244. 1803: 

    Three-time Paralympic gold medallist (and Sarah's husband) Barney Storey: "One thing that I get to see that a lot of people don't is just how hard she works and how much she puts into it.

    "I think that the margin that she beat her rivals by was just down to sheer bloody hard work.

    "Some people may look at it and think 'oh, it was easy, she won by such a huge margin', but you never know in Paralympic year. People can step up massively and you have to be on top of your game."

  245. 1802: 

    The 35-year-old Storey's Paralympic career reached new heights in London as she added four cycling titles for a British record-equalling total of 11 gold medals. Her overall total of 22 medals is as many as the Olympic record held by swimmer Michael Phelps and come from two sports. She previously won five golds in swimming before switching to cycling for the 2008 Games.

  246. 1800: 

    15 minutes until the pre-show. Tick tock. Tick tock.


    Zoe Ross on Twitter: "V much looking forward to reliving a bit of the most amazing summer tonight watching."

    Matthew Elston on Twitter: "Looking forward to meeting a few sporting greats at SPOTY tonight!"

    Neil on Twitter: "Gonna sound like my Mum here, but all of the SPOTY nominees deserve to win."

  248. 1757: 

    The big hitters have started to arrive. Jessica Ennis looks stunning in a long, red dress (I could try and guess at the designer, but would rather not embarrass myself), while Ben Ainslie looks a bit like Sherlock Holmes in his coat and black scarf. Bob Champion is wearing a yellow shirt (yellow!), while Ian Poulter has turned his back on the wacky gold trousers in favour of a sensible black suit.


    England footballer Jill Scott on Twitter: "On way to #SPOTY only 4 Eniola Aluko to ask why they have left the "R" out! I thought it was abbreviated to say Sporty!"

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the ExCeL

    "Filling up fast with eager punters inside the auditorium. Some light dinner jazz soothing the nerves of punters whose carefully coiffured party-barnets suffered frustrating frizz issues en route through the heavy rain outside."

  251. 1751: 

    BBC Sport's Jonathan Jurejko: "Wales dominated the Six Nations to clinch their third Grand Slam in eight years - but that success seems almost a lifetime ago after they ended 2012 with a morale-sapping run of seven straight Test defeats. The autumn internationals were an unmitigated disaster for the Welsh, but offered plenty of encouragement for Stuart Lancaster's new-look England side, who earned an historic win over world champions New Zealand.

    Domestically, Harlequins were crowned English Premiership winners for the first time by beating Leicester in a thrilling final at Twickenham in May. And in the Pro 12 league, Ospreys clinched a record fourth title with a thrilling last-gasp success over Leinster. However, the Irish province created their own history by becoming the first side to win three Heineken Cup titles in four years."


    James Adams on Twitter: "Off to SPOTY awards.... Guessing the red carpet will be out. Sadly just missed the top 12. Unlucky 13th!!"

    David Collins on Twitter: "BBCSPOTY should have been won by Kauto Star."

  253. 1748: 

    As I mentioned earlier, the Team of the Year award is the second oldest to be given out, having first been presented in 1960. The holders are the England men's cricket team, who have won in three of the past seven years. The Europe Ryder Cup team have won three times since 1985, and they must in with a shout this year. Maybe Champions League winners Chelsea or Team Sky too? And what about TeamGB and Paralympics GB? Could they give the award to the whole lot of them?


    Gerry Watson on Twitter: "Wonder why Hannah Cockroft has not been nominated for SPOTY. 2 golds in London and only 20!"

  255. 1740: 

    Four-time Paralympic champions Marc Woods: "Ellie is absolutely a racer with that kind of steely nature to her when she walks out to compete.

    "She stands by the block and often faces those who she is about to race. Ellie has incredible focus and is really the complete athlete who leaves everything she has in the pool.

    "Ellie turns up and delivers every time she gets in the pool and it's fantastic how that inspires [not only] those in swimming but also outside of it."

  256. 1739: 

    Simmonds, 18, won two Paralympic swimming golds in London to add to the two titles she secured as a 14-year-old four years earlier. Simmonds broke her own world record to win the SM6 200m individual medley final, just two days after gold in the S6 400m freestyle. She also won silver in the S6 100m freestyle and bronze in the S6 50m freestyle.


    Bethany, via text: "For the past 30 years our family has had the tradition of watching SPOTY whilst eating KFC, starting when it used to happen on the second Sunday of December when we put our tree up so mum had no time to cook the usual Sunday lunch... Happy days :-)."


    Olympic bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo on Twitter: "I remember being 10 watching Michael Owen win SPOTY in 98, watched every one since. Bouncing off the walls that I'm here this year!"

  259. 1734: 

    The appearance of England rugby union captain Chris Robshaw on the red carpet has got me wondering if there's any sportsmen/women sat at home stewing because they haven't been given an invite. Lance Armstrong?

    Gary Lineker, BBC Sport

    Speaking on talkSPORT: "It has been such a wonderful year. There are so many stories to tell and we have had to lengthen the show by 30 minutes and I fear it may overrun somewhat. Any of those 12 contenders, and even some of those not on the shortlist, would win any other year. Whoever does win it, will really know they have deserved it.

    "It is great also to see a number of the Paralympians in our top 12. Every story will be told tonight. I have been rehearsing all day yesterday and today and some of the films are really beautiful and I think people will be moved on more than one occasion tonight. We also have some surprise guests tonight as well."


    Becca on Twitter: "Scandalous Laura Trott not nominated. Two gold medals- at her age! Not to mention the unbelievable style she won the omnium."

  262. 1724: 
    GOLF IN 2012

    BBC Sport's Rob Hodgetts: "What a 12 months of golf. First up at Augusta, Bubba Watson employed his unique 'Bubba golf' technique to clinch the Masters via an outrageous hook out of the woods against Louis Oosthuizen in a play-off. Bubba-style freewheeling didn't work in June's US Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco, where discipline and patience was the order of the day. Rising US star Webb Simpson emerged from the wreckage of the bigger names to capture his first major title.

    "The Open at Royal Lytham in July was Adam Scott's to lose until the final four holes, when he did just that. Ernie Els, meanwhile, had kept plugging away and four birdies on the back nine to Scott's four closing bogeys gave the "Big Easy" his second Open title and fourth major victory, 10 years after his last.

    "That brings us to Rory McIlroy, undoubtedly golfer of the year. The Northern Irishman strolled to his second major title with a record eight-shot victory in the US PGA at Kiawah Island in August, finished top of both the European and US money lists and played a starring role in the "Miracle of Medinah", where Europe's golfers fought back from 10-6 down on the final day to win Ryder Cup 14½-13½."


    Daffy'sSoulmate on Twitter: "Why no recognition of double gold medalist Charlotte Dujardin?"

    Is there anyone else who could be aggrieved at missing out? Laura Trott? Jason Kenny? Ian Poulter?

  264. 1718: 

    World number one Novak Djokovic: "To win his first Grand Slam title, in New York, and to win the Olympic Games which only come around every four years - it could barely be more satisfying for him.

    "Winning in London in front of his home crowd after reaching the final of Wimbledon a few weeks earlier - he has been playing the tennis of his life."

  265. 1717: 

    Murray, 25, ended Britain's 76-year wait for a British major tennis champion with victory in an epic US Open final against Novak Djokovic. Two months earlier, the Scot was beaten in the men's final at Wimbledon by Roger Federer, but reversed that result to win Olympic gold and also picked up a mixed doubles silver with partner Laura Robson.

  266. 1715: 

    Only an hour to go until the pre-show begins on the Red Button and this website. Got your frock on? Dickie bow done up?

  267. 1714: 

    After the main award, the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year and Team of the Year awards are the oldest to be given out, having first been presented in 1960. The current holder of the Overseas award is Novak Djokovic after the Serb's stellar 2011. Could Usain Bolt win his third title this year? Maybe Lionel Messi's record-breaking year will be honoured. Michael Phelps? Missy Franklin? Serena Williams?


    Raymond Lashley on Twitter: "Do the Games Makers count as a team? If so they should be the team of the year."

  269. 1708: 

    One of the first starts on the red carpet? Dickie Bird. You couldn't make that up.

  270. 1705: 

    Want more SPOTY stats? I've got them for you. Since the first award was handed out in 1959, 42 men and 12 women have held the famous trophy. One couple - Torvill and Dean - were winners in 1984.

  271. 1700: 

    Getting excited? We're only two and half hours away from getting under way at the ExCeL and our pre-show begins in an hour and a quarter. The pristine red carpet is about to be trodden on for the first time, and we'll be there to bring you all the shhhhlebrity chat. "Who are you wearing? You look fabulous," is the sort of thing I expect to be shouted. Or not.


    Amanda Barr on Twitter: "I was a Games Maker and went to many events eg Super Saturday but my fav moment was from USA v Japan women's football."

    Robin Cutler on Twitter: "I'm going to SPOTY and taking my 10 year old lad to witness a bit of history, this amazing year of sport will probably never be beaten!"

    Chris Whitaker on Twitter: "My highlight of the year would have to be the way the Paralympics came home & shone. Hope we can build on that now."

  273. 1658: 

    2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell: "He's the world's number one player, he's won two major championships at a very young age and very convincingly.

    "He's stamped his authority on world golf over the last couple of years. He's only 23 years old and he's just an incredibly talented kid with a great personality.

    "If you need a personality to win BBC Sports Personality - which I hope you do - he's certainly got a great one."

  274. 1656: 

    A stunning eight-shot victory at the US PGA Championship was the second Major of 23-year-old McIlroy's career and made him the youngest player to achieve that feat since Seve Ballesteros. He then featured in Europe's Ryder Cup comeback victory over the United States and also topped the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic, to secure the world number one spot.


    Junaid Mati on Twitter: "You know it's been a great year when it is pretty much impossible to choose one person over the other 11!"

    Luke Salmon on Twitter: "Looking forward to #BBCSPOTY tonight. Always a highlight of the year. Can't pick a winner…"

    Akshay on Twitter: "Inside London Excel ready for a glorious and emotional night of sporting triumph."

  276. 1652: 
    2012 IN SNOOKER

    BBC Sport's Michael Emons: "Australian Neil Robertson started the year well with a victory in The Masters, while there were also early successes for Ding Junhui (Welsh Open), Mark Allen (World Open) and Peter Ebdon (China Open).

    But, as in so many previous years, the snooker news was largely dominated by Ronnie O'Sullivan. He claimed his first full ranking title in 29 months when he won the German Open in February but then scooped the biggest prize of the year, beating Ali Carter 18-11 in the World Championship final at the Crucible in May. However, O'Sullivan then announced his retirement from competition and has not been seen in a major tournament since.

    The media attention turned to Judd Trump, who moved top of the world rankings when he won the International Championship, before being replaced at the top by Mark Selby, the winner of the UK Championship in the last major event of 2012. There have also been victories for Stephen Lee (Tour Championship), Ricky Walden (Wuxi Classic), Barry Hawkins (Australian Open), John Higgins (Shanghai Masters) and Stuart Bingham (Premier League)."

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer, BBC Sport

    "With the minutes ticking by until SPotY 2012, a few SPotY lifetime stats for you. The sport with the most wins? Athletics, with 17. Motor sport next with seven, then boxing and football with five apiece. Cricketers have won four times, tennis players and cyclists three times."


    Richard Abrahams, via text: "Sitting in a pizza restaurant in the centre of London with Ben Ainslie on the table in front of me. He didn't eat much of his pepperoni pizza - maybe he is getting nervous about later!"


    Jack Colman on Twitter: "Still holding some remote hope that Chelsea can win team of the year for winning the Champions League, got to be optimistic..."

  280. 1641: 

    Applegate is 16 years old. The Norfolk-born swimmer won gold at the Paralympics in London after setting a new Games record in the 200m Freestyle S14 final.

    Fifteen-year-old swimmer Craig was crowned the youngest Paralympic gold medallist at London 2012, after smashing his own world record in the 400m freestyle S7 final.

    Sixteen-year-old Tunney, the youngest member to represent Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics, is a British all-round gymnastics champion.

  281. 1640: 

    The first award to be given out tonight will be the Young Sports Personality of the Year, given to athletes aged 16 or under on 1 January this year. Previous winners include Wayne Rooney, Andy Murray and Tom Daley, so it's a top indicator of potential future success. There's three nominees - Jessica-Jane Applegate, Josef Craig and Rebecca Tunney.

  282. 1635: 

    Great Britain track cyclist Geraint Thomas: "The biggest thing with Chris is his ability to deal with how painful and also mundane sprint training can be.

    "You cannot slack off for a single session. Every day, every effort is really important, more so than for any other discipline.

    "Just being mentally up for getting to the track can be hard. For sprinters it can be lonely out there - on your own in the session, empty stands, maybe just one coach watching on.

    "Then, when he's riding, he has to give 100% every time he's on there. We might have some sessions that are easier than others, but he has to be at maximal effort every day he works. As a cyclist, that's the one thing I respect more than anything else."

  283. 1633: 

    Two cycling titles in London gave 36-year-old Hoy a British record six Olympic golds in all - one more than rowing great Sir Steve Redgrave. Having won on the first night of the track cycling in the men's team sprint, Hoy's emotional triumph in the keirin was the perfect velodrome finale for Team GB.

    Frank Keogh, BBC Sport at the ExCeL

    "Sue Barker, who will be presenting the programme alongside Gary Lineker and Clare Balding, is looking forward to her 19th BBC Sports Personality show. 'Everyone fell in love with sport this year. We could have had a programme that lasted six hours, rather than two-and-a-half,' she said. 'The shortlist of 12 contenders could have been stretched to 24 and still people would have been disappointed. 'To be at one of the Olympic venues is special - Clare, Gary and I are so excited to be here.'"


    Olympic bronze medallist Jonathan Brownlee on Twitter: "Shouldn't have followed Ali Brownlee and got lost running around Esher. On the way to SPOTY now. Hope Gary Lineker can wait for us!"

    Olympic gold medallist Alistair Brownlee on Twitter: "On way to SPOTY a bit late due to Jonny Brownlee navigational shockers in Epson common. Any other years I'd be considering a snooze..."

  286. 1627: 
    CYCLING IN 2012

    BBC Sport's Justin Goulding: "The crowning glory of a stellar year for British cycling saw Bradley Wiggins win the Tour de France, the first Briton to do so since the race's inception in 1903.

    Elsewhere, the issue of drugs dominated the agenda, with Lance Armstrong's record seven Tour titles wiped from the history books after the American was found guilty of the "most professional doping programme that sport has ever seen".

    Spaniard Alberto Contador returned from a two-year drugs ban of his own to win a thrilling Vuelta a Espana, the aptly named Ryder Hesjedal having become the first Canadian to triumph in the Giro d'Italia.

    On the track, Great Britain dominated the World Championships in Melbourne: there were world records and gold medals in the men and women's team pursuit, as well as golds for Chris Hoy (keirin), Ben Swift (scratch), Victoria Pendleton (sprint) and Laura Trott (omnium)."


    Fazal Khan on Twitter: "El Milagro De Medinah the sporting event of an incredible year. A continent united in tension, horror, joy and tear stained euphoria."

    It's a big call to single out one moment as the greatest of the year.

    BBC Sport's Andy Swiss, on the red carpet at the ExCeL

    "The red carpet is ready and waiting for the first sports guests to arrive in the next hour or so. The Sports Personality of the Year award is, as they say, too close to call. It has been a year of unprecedented sporting success, but there is a lot of interest also in the other awards, the team of the year, coach of the year and of course overseas athlete of the year. The anticipation is certainly building for tonight's show."

  289. 1621: 

    What's that I hear both of you cry? You want to see what's happening backstage? Well, Tina Daheley is on hand to show you around.


    Linsey Cole on Twitter: "Time to wear Gamesmaker uniform for one last time in 2012 though hat & gloves are much needed additions

    hannahbouckley on Twitter: "Very excited for spoty much like most of the summer, I will drink a little too much wine and get emotional and patriotic."

    Trev T on Twitter: "Looking forward to BBCSPOTY. I know who I am voting for but everyone has been amazing, such an awesome year."

  291. 1616: 

    Grainger's rowing partner Anna Watkins: "Katherine has obviously achieved the highest peak in winning Olympic gold, but she's explored the breadth of the sport and achieved longevity.

    "On top of that she's also a wonderful person and hugely inspirational to adults and children alike. She always takes the time to talk to them individually.

    "After winning gold at Dorney Lake she became a huge star, but the next day she made me a cuppa and we hung out. She's not changed, she's lovely."

  292. 1615: 

    It was a case of fourth time lucky for Grainger, 37, as she finally gained an Olympic rowing gold medal after three silvers at successive Games. She and Anna Watkins surged to victory in the final of the women's double sculls for their 23rd consecutive win. Grainger became the first female British athlete in any sport to win a medal at four successive Olympics.

  293. 1612: 

    Perhaps the most emotional moment of the night will come with the presentation of the Helen Rollason Award, named after the former BBC presenter and given to the individual that has shown outstanding achievement in the face of adversity. Last year's winner was Bob Champion, who rode Aldaniti to victory in the 1981 Grand National two years after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.


    George Banks on Twitter: "Early dinner is on, before heading into the shower and then suiting up for bbcspoty cannot wait!!"

    Uche Amako on Twitter: "Suiting up for BBCSPOTY."

    Love the idea that people all around the country are going to be dressed up in front of the telly. Now, where did I put my tux?

  295. 1602: 
    CRICKET IN 2012

    BBC Sport's Mark Mitchener: "England began the year as the number one-ranked team in Test cricket, but suffered a rude awakening to 2012 as they were whitewashed 3-0 by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, before battling to a 1-1 drawn series in Sri Lanka.

    As the summer dawned, Andrew Strauss's side comfortably beat West Indies 2-0, before being outclassed by South Africa who clinched a 2-0 series win at Lord's to replace them at the top of the Test ladder. However, hopes were rekindled when they came from behind to lead India 2-1 in the current series on the subcontinent, and back-to-back Ashes series in 2013 could yet propel England, now under Alastair Cook's leadership, back to the top.

    Meanwhile, England's women under Charlotte Edwards dominated all opposition for most of the year, winning series against New Zealand, India, Pakistan and West Indies, but a second World Twenty20 title proved a bridge too far as they lost an enthralling final to holders Australia off the last ball.

    Domestically, Warwickshire to the County Championship title, while Hampshire won both one-day competitions, beating Yorkshire in the Twenty20 final before edging out Warwickshire on the last ball of a thrilling CB40 final at Lord's in the last game of the summer."


    Heptathlete Kelly Sotherton on Twitter: "Good seeing all the games makers on the tube going to BBCSPOTY I bet they are the most excited people attending!"

  297. 1558: 

    Of course, there are other examples when the SPOTY winner reflected a truly great year for British sport. 1966 - Bobby Moore. 1981 - Ian Botham. 2003 - Jonny Wilkinson. You can't help but think that 2012 will provide us with the grandaddy/grandmummy of all winners, though.

  298. 1557: 

    Ade, I think you're being a little harsh there. At least our Zara had the courtesy to win a world championship when she was named SPOTY in 2006. I mean, in 1975, David Steele won the top gong when his main achievement seemed to be not being as useless as the rest of England's batsmen against Australia. In 1997, Greg Rusedski was our man for just reaching the US Open final. And has anyone figured out why Ryan Giggs won in 2009 yet?


    From Ade, via text: "Should be a tight race tonight. And to think, Zara Phillips won it not long ago. Zara. Phillips. Dark dark days."


    Andrew Corcoran on Twitter: "I imagine the rest of the world would find it odd to hear how stressed British sports fans get today, although I for one can't wait!"

    Maryro Mendez on Twitter: "So many British athletes deserve it & it is nice to see sports other than footy being recognised. So proud of team GB."

    James Morley on Twitter: "I think this is the first year I've looked at the BBCSPOTY contenders and thought in another year any of them could have won."

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Young Sports Personality

Young Sports Personality of the Year Three shortlisted for young SPOTY

Jessica-Jane Applegate, Josef Craig and Rebecca Tunney named as the three contenders for the Young Sports Personality of the Year.