Bradley Wiggins was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012, with HRH Duchess of Cambridge appearing live on stage to present the award.
The popular cycling great, winner of this year's Tour de France as well as the Olympic Individual Time Trial, pleased the packed audience with his typically just-this-side-of-cheeky speech...
"I'm not going to swear tonight," he announced before thanking all those who had voted for him. "Nan, the cheque's in the post, because you hit redial god knows how many times.
Sports Personality winner Bradley Wiggins, flanked by David Beckham and HRH Duchess of Cambridge
"What a year, to stand on this stage with the likes of these people next to me, it's incredible.
"... Thanks to everyone. There's a free bar round the back paid for by the BBC so I hope I'm going to see you all there, thanks very much."
Runner-up was fellow Olympian great Jessica Ennis, who confounded all the pressure on her this year to become champion in the heptathlon.
Andy Murray, winner of the US Open and runner-up at Wimbledon, came third.
It was an evening celebrating the very best of the year's sporting events, seen from a proudly British gaze, and unsurprisingly dominated by the London Olympics.
Among the shortlist of 12 athletes, golfer Rory McIlroy - celebrated for his solo wins as well as his part in Europe's Ryder Cup victory - was the only non-Olympian/Paralympian named.
HRH Duchess of Cambridge presents Bradley Wiggins with his award for Sports Personality 2012
The pregnant duchess was also on hand to give the Lifetime Achievement Award to Lord Sebastian Coe, for his sporting career all the way from his rivalry with Steve Ovett of 1980, his defence of his 1500 metre title during the Los Angeles Olympics, and culminating in his supreme handling of the London Games 28 years later.
Team of the Year Award was shared by all those who competed in both Games at London 2012, with the Award being decided unanimously by the judging committee. Victoria Pendleton, who accepted the trophy, was quick to thank all those working behind the scenes as well as the huge numbers of supporters who turned out during the happy four weeks.
Dave Brailsford was named the Coach of the Year, for his tireless efforts steering the British cycling team to their many victories in the velodrome - with such success that, as he pointed out, the French team even complained that "our wheels were rounder than theirs".
Usain Bolt, who ran into sporting history with his Olympic victories in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, was named the Overseas Sports Personality.
Viewers got to enjoy all those golden Olympic and Paralympic moments again, including the triumphs of Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah on the track and field of the now-fabled Middle Saturday.
The ExCel Arena in London - which had played host to many of the Olympic events - was filled to capacity with a 15,000 crowd, making it the biggest show in the history of the 59-year-old.
Swimmer Josef Craig became the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year after becoming GB's youngest gold medallist at the Paralympics.
The Unsung Heroes Award was shared by Jim and Sue Horton, for their untiring work in their local village of Desford's leisure centre.
There were plenty of moving moments alongside the evening's celebrations.
And Sarah Storey, one of the shortlisted athletes may have gone home without the big prize, but she had some good news of her own, taking her turn on the stage to announce that she is 13 weeks pregnant - "so who knows, maybe the next generation of cyclists is on its way".
Premiership footballer Fabrice Muamba appeared on stage to thank several members of the medical team who saved his life after his heart stopped for a frightening 78 minutes, following his cardiac arrest on the pitch during a game between his team Bolton Wanderers and Spurs.
And arguably, the most moving part of the night was the presentation of the Helen Rollason Award, an award given annually "for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity". This year, the prize went to Martine Wright, who was horribly injured in one of the bombs that exploded in London in July 2005 and, seven years later, was representing her country in the London Paralympics.
Pictures: As many sporting stars as it's possible to squeeze under one roof...
More:Sports Personality Martine Wright Sports Personality Of The Year 2012 Jessica Ennis Ellie Simmonds
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