The British Broadcasting Corporation Sports Personality of the Year dates back to 1954 when Paul Fox came up with the idea while he was editor of the magazine show, Sportsview.
Chris Chataway received the award in its inaugural year, with voters adjudging him to be the British sportsperson whose actions most captured the public’s imagination.
Overall, there have been 58 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards handed out. In terms of sports, athletics has dominated with 17 victories. The other sports that have had more than one win are Formula One (six), football (five), boxing (four), cricket (four), cycling (three), figure skating (three), tennis (three), eventing (two), golf (two) and swimming (two). And athletics has dominated the places as well, with 13 runner-up finishes and 15 third positions.
Only three people have been named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year twice. Boxer Henry Cooper achieved the feat first by virtue of his 1967 and 1970 victories, with Formula One drivers Nigel Mansell (1986 and 1992) and Damon Hill (1994 and 1996) emulating Cooper’s accomplishment. Snooker star Steve Davis, who in real life is far more interesting than his nickname, holds the record for the most podium finishes. The six-time world champion was first in 1988, second in 1981 and 1987 and third in 1984 and 1989.
Following criticism of the all-male short list for the 2011 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, the BBC introduced an expert panel to determine the 12 sportspersons for this year’s prize. The dozen stars who made the short list are, in alphabetical order, Nicola Adams, Ben Ainslie, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Katherine Grainger, Chris Hoy, Rory McIlroy, Andy Murray, Ellie Simmonds, Sarah Storey, David Weir and Bradley Wiggins. The British public will vote during the live show on the night of 16 December 2012.
Bookmakers think that the 2012 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award will end up on the mantelpiece of Tour de France winner Wiggins but surely the first-ever British winner of the world’s most famous bicycle race does not deserve to be trading at around the 4-11 mark ahead of the public vote.
First, there is the case against Wiggins. While there is no doubt that Wiggins is a superb cyclist, there is a feeling that he won the Tour de France because of his all-powerful team and its reluctance to let Chris Froome ride away from his compatriot in the mountain stages. Also, Wiggins is a prickly character whose personality is not to everyone’s liking. And finally, it may be asking a lot for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year to go to the same sport in consecutive years. Not since the early 1980s has a sport taken out the prize two years in a row. Wiggins may win, however he does not make any appeal whatsoever at 4-11.
For BBC Sports Personality of the Year betting purposes, Farah is the contender on which to focus. As big as 17-2 to win the award, Farah ticks a helluva lot of boxes.
First, Farah’s became the first Briton to win a distance gold medal and, by adding the men’s 5,000 metres to the 10,000m, he joined an elite international club.
Second, Farah’s two gold medal runs were the most memorable moments of the London 2012 Olympic Games for the majority of British viewers. Not even Andy Murray winning gold in the men’s singles at Wimbledon topped Farah’s thrilling wins.
And third, Farah endeared himself to the British public with his humility, heart-warming personal story and, of course, the Mobot, a dance that it has taken Psy’s Gangnam Style to usurp. Britons will remember the Mobot long after South Korea’s one hit wonder has returned to anonymity.
Farah is worth backing in a range of BBC Sports Personality of the Year markets. As well as being overpriced at 17-2 to win the prestigious award, he stands out at around 13-8 to win without Wiggins and, also, at around 8-15 to make the top three. The 8-15 really looks like buying money.
The presence of such a short-priced title favourite in Wiggins limits the BBC Sports Personality of the Year betting offers that bookmakers can frame. Meaningful BBC Sports Personality of the Year betting offers are likely to be in short supply so simply make sure that you are taking the best possible odds about your particular fancies. We do recommend betting on the entertainment markets on the bookmakers listed below.
Oppose the favourite
Wiggins is bidding to become the third cyclist to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in five years and he is up against some very stiff competition in Farah, Ennis and Murray, any of whom would be a more than worthy winner.
Support the Mobot
Inexplicably, Farah has drifted steadily since the London 2012 Olympic Games even though the vote to determine this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner will take place during the live broadcast on BBC Television so there is no way that anyone has got an unassailable advantage yet.
Lock in Coe
Sebastian Coe is certainty at around 1-5 to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement award for his contribution to the London 2012 Olympic Games.