BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012: the nominations process


As I blogged earlier in the week, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012 will be announced on Sunday December 16th – and

five brilliant sportswomen are on the shortlist of 12.

The BBC, under tremendous scrutiny at the moment for other reasons, have paid close attention to the fairness of the procedure to create their shortlist. Director of sport Barbara Slater recently blogged:

We have decided to evolve the shortlisting process through the introduction of an expert panel. The panel will be asked to devise a shortlist that reflects UK sporting achievements on the national and/or international stage, represents the breadth and depth of UK sports and takes into account ‘impact’ within and beyond the sport or sporting achievement in question.

What she’s basically saying there is that the nominations process had to be overhauled after the ridiculous 2011 debacle in which no women made the final ten. That’s because the 2011

nominations were made by newspapers (national and regional) and rather unedifying magazines, comprising:

  • Sunday Telegraph
  • The Observer
  • Daily Mail
  • Independent
  • Sunday Times
  • The People
  • Irish News
  • Metro
  • The Herald
  • Evening Standard
  • Nuts
  • Daily Post
  • Sunday Express
  • Western Mail
  • Manchester Evening News
  • The Mirror
  • Mail on Sunday
  • The Times
  • The Voice
  • Sport
  • Daily Telegraph
  • Daily Star
  • Guardian
  • Daily Star Sunday
  • Zoo
  • Belfast Telegraph
  • The Sun

After the procedure was reviewed, the importance of BBC involvement as well as expert opinion was stressed; and the media still get a say as well. This year’s panel comprised:

  • Director of BBC Sport – Barbara Slater(Chair)
  • BBC head of TV Sport – Philip Bernie
  • Executive editor of BBC Sports Personality of the Year – Carl Doran
  • From BBC Radio 5 live – Eleanor Oldroyd (presenter, 5 live Sport)
  • Three newspaper sports editors (to be rotated annually) – in 2012, Mike Dunn (sports editor, the Sun), Lee Clayton (head of sport, Daily Mail), Matthew Hancock (sports editor, the Observer)
  • A pan-sports broadcaster/journalist – Sue Mott
  • Three former SPOTY nominees (to be appointed annually) – in 2012, Sir Steve Redgrave, Baroness Grey-Thompson and Denise Lewis
  • Baroness Campbell, chair of UK Sport

This panel have even had the sense to extend this year’s usual top 10 to a top 12, simply because of the number of exceptional sportspeople deserving recognition in 2012. It’ll be fascinating to see how the voting pans out on the night when it’s down to the public at large…