TV preview: Sports Personality of the Year

Clare Balding, Gary Lineker and Gabby Logan will host the Sports Personality of the Year programme live from Glasgow.
Clare Balding, Gary Lineker and Gabby Logan will host the Sports Personality of the Year programme live from Glasgow.
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Choosing the host city for this year’s Sports Personality of the Year event was simple.

With Scotland having provided the backdrop for many of the year’s most memorable sporting achievements thanks to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles, where Europe’s golfers excelled in their win over the USA, it was natural that it should also stage the annual awards ceremony.

Voting for the main award will take place on the night with footballer Gareth Bale, equestrian star Charlotte Dujardin, boxer Carl Froch, Paralympic Alpine skier Kelly Gallagher and her guide Charlotte Evans, Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton, golfer Rory McIlroy, distance runner Jo Pavey, swimmer Adam Peaty, gymnast Max Whitlock and skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold all hoping to secure public support.

Gary Lineker said: “We had such a fantastic time in Glasgow over the summer at the Commonwealth Games and can’t wait to be back to celebrate, not only the Games, but also the many other sporting achievements that have taken place over the year. It’s the perfect way to end what has been an outstanding year in sport and we know that Scotland can certainly host a great celebration.”

The event will include eight awards, which will be presented and received by some of the biggest names in sport, both past and present. There will also be live music from Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne, Nicola Benedetti and Simple Minds. It will also be a magical moment for some of the remarkable volunteers. Comedian Eddie Izzard, who ran 43 marathons in 51 days, will be on the red carpet with a phone box, where he will be surprising them with a phone call from one of a host of British sports stars.

Izzard, who is patron of sports volunteer charity Join In, will join the sports stars to say thank you to the volunteers for the time and commitment they put into sport.

“There are so many unsung heroes across the UK who are motivating others to get involved in sport,” Izzard said. “Whether it’s an enthusiastic parent driving a team to training or a dedicated coach who gives their time to help out – it’s these super-volunteers that make sport happen. Every athlete will tell you how grateful they are to volunteers throughout their careers.

“With each volunteer creating capacity for 8.5 additional participants in sport, 
it’s vital that we keep the volunteering spirit of London 2012 alive and help to develop the sports personalities of the future.”

Director of BBC Sport Barbara Slater said: “It is great the BBC has the chance to recognise the powerful service that volunteers provide for everyone taking part in sport across the UK.

“To be able to give something back to the volunteers after all their hard work is really important and we hope they will enjoy the fantastic show that is being organised for BBC Sports Personality of the Year.”

Sports Personality of the Year, Sunday, BBC1, 8pm

Victoria on ITV.

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