Sports Personality of the Year is an annual event organized by BBC. It was created by Paul Fox in 1954 with just one award and later, gradually, seven more awards were included.
Fox developed the idea of Sports Personality of the Year while being an editor of Sportsview magazine. The first award took place on 30th December in 1954 at Savoy Hotel and it was part of the Sportsview. The award was presented by Peter Dimmock. The show was of 45 minutes and Christopher Chataway won the title beating fellow athlete Roger Bannister.
In 1955 the show was named as Sports Review of the Year and it lasted for 75 minutes.
The original was BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. In 1960 Team of the Year award and Overseas Personality awards were added. Three decades later a Lifetime Achievement Award was introduced in 1995. The Coach Award, the Helen Rollason Award, and the Newcomer Award were added in 1999.
The Newcomer Award was renamed as Young Sports Personality of the Year award in 2001. In 2003 the Unsung Hero Award was added too to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the show.
BBC marked the 50th anniversary award by a five-part series and it was televised as BBC One titled as Simply The Best – Sports Personality.
Sports Personality of the Year Voting
In 1954 the Sports Personality of the Year voting system collected 14,517 votes. At the beginning of each programme the public could vote for their favorites. In 1999 things went interesting when Muhammad Ali received more votes from the viewers of BBC than combined total of George Best, Pele, Donald Bradman, Jack Nicklaus and Jesse Owens.
Sports Personality of the Year Tickets
The Sports Personality of the Year awards were held in London until 2006 when it was decided to take the event outside the city and then the tickets were made available to the public. In the first one hour around 3,000 tickets were sold. In 2007 the capacity of NEC was increased to 8,000 from 5,000, and the event sold out. In 2008 the organizer decided to take the event to Echo Arena in Liverpool where the seating capacity was more than 10,000. However, one thing was very sure about the event every year, all the tickets were sold out irrespective of increased capacity.
Sports Personality of the Year Venues
From 1954 to 2005 the event was held in London, but thereafter it went outside and was held in places like Brimingham, Liverpool, Glasgow, Belfast and more. Below are the details:
1954–1956 – Savoy Hotel, London
1957–1958 – Grosvenor House Hotel, London
1959 – BBC Television Theatre, London
1960–1964 – BBC Television Centre, London
1965–1976 – BBC Television Theatre, London
1977 – New London Theatre, London
1978–1988 – BBC Television Centre, London
1989–1998 – Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London
1999–2005 – BBC Television Centre, London
2006–2007 – National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
2008 – Echo Arena, Liverpool
2009 – Sheffield Arena, Sheffield
2010 – LG Arena, Birmingham
2011 – MediaCityUK, Salford, Greater Manchester
2012 – ExCeL Centre, London
2013 – First Direct Arena, Leeds
2014 – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
2015 – Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Sports Personality of the Year Current Holders
Below are the sports personalities who were titled last year with different awards of BBC at the SSE Hydro venue in Glasgow.
BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award – Lewis Hamilton
BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year – Cristiano Ronaldo
BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year Award – England Women’s Rugby Union
BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award – Chris Hoy
BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award – Paul McGinley
BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award – Invictus Games Competitors
BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year – Claudia Fragapane
BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award – Jill Stidever