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.

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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.

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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...

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  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins with David Beckham (left) and The Duchess of Cambridge during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Idris Elba performs on stage during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Members of Team GB and Paralympic GB, Victoria Pendleton (left) Jonnie Peacock and Louis Smith (right) accept the Award for winner of team of the year which went to Team GB and Paralympic GB during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Members of Team GB and Paralympic GB, Victoria Pendleton (left) and Jonnie Peacock accept the Award for winner of team of the year which went to Team GB and Paralympic GB during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    Second placed Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Jessica Ennis during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins (centre) accepts his award onstage from The Duchess of Cambridge (left) during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge (left) and David Beckham during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    The Duchess of Cambridge (left) and David Beckham during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

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    Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge walks out to present Lord Sebastian Coe with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge (left) and David Beckham during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    The Duchess of Cambridge presents Lord Sebastian Coe with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge (left) and Jessica Ennis with her Second placed Sports Personality of the Year 2012 award during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins gives his victory speech during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    Winner of Overseas Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Usain Bolt is seen via video link on the large screen during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    Lord Sebastian Coe speaks during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

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    Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins kisses the trophy during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge (left) and David Beckham during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

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    Second placed Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Jessica Ennis receives her award from the The Duchess of Cambridge (right) during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge presents Lord Sebastian Coe with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins gives his victory speech watched by The Duchess of Cambridge during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    Third placed Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Andy Murray is seen on videolink accepting his award from Lennox Lewis (left) during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    David Beckham during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

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    Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins (second left) gives his victory speech watched by The Duchess of Cambridge and Second placed Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Jessica Ennis (right) during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    Sir Steve Redgrave (centre left) and Steve Cram (right) embrace Lord Sebastian Coe during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

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    David Brailsford speaks during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

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    Second placed Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Jessica Ennis with her award during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    Second placed Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Jessica Ennis with The Duchess of Cambridge (left) during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge (left) and Jessica Ennis after the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

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    Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins gives his victory speech watched by The Duchess of Cambridge during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge (left) and Jessica Ennis after the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge after the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

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    Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins accepts his award onstage from The Duchess of Cambridge during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

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    Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge (right) and Jessica Ennis during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London.

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    Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins (centre) accepts his award onstage watched by (left to right) Gary Lineker, Sue Barker, The Duchess of Cambridge, Second placed Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Jessica Ennis and David Beckham during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    Idris Elba performs on stage during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    The Award for winner of team of the year, Team GB and Paralympic GB, is presented by Sir Roger Bannister to Victoria Pendleton during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    Fabrice Muamba (right) talks to Gary Lineker during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    Members of Team GB and Paralympic GB, Victoria Pendleton (left) Jonnie Peacock and Louis Smith (right) accept the Award for winner of team of the year which went to Team GB and Paralympic GB during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    The Award for winner of team of the year, Team GB and Paralympic GB, is presented by Sir Roger Bannister to Victoria Pendleton during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    Winners of the Unsung Hero Award, Sue and Jim Houghton are presented their award by Fabrice Muamba (left) during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    The Award for winner of team of the year, Team GB and Paralympic GB, is presented by Sir Roger Bannister to Victoria Pendleton watched by Jonnie Peacock (right) during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Winners of the Unsung Hero Award, Sue and Jim Houghton with Sue Barker (right) and Fabrice Muamba during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    David Weir onstage during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    Jessica Ennis on stage with Sue Barker (left) during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

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    Jessica Ennis on stage with Sue Barker (left) during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL Arena, London.

The Arrivals
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  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Mo Farah does the Mobot with his daughter Rihanna as they arrive for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Mo Farah does the Mobot with his daughter Rihanna alongside his wife Tania as they arrive for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Chris Robshaw and girlfriend Camilla Kerslake arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Jessica Ennis arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Jessica Ennis arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Zoe Smith arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Jessica Ennis and boyfriend Andy Hill arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Helen Skelton arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Kevin Davies arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Dickie Bird arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Ben Ainslie arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

  • 50th BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards

    Former British athlete Sebastian Coe arrives for the 50th Sports Personality of the Year awards presentation at the BBC Centre, London. 20/05/04: Lord Coe was meeting business leaders today, in his first official engagement as chairman of London's 2012 Olympic bid team. The double Olympic gold medallist, who yesterday dramatically replaced American-born Barbara Cassani as board chairman, will visit Cornwall, Devon and Dorset to raise support for the bid. London was shortlisted as one of five cities that will vie for the honour of hosting the 2012 Games on Tuesday.

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: England rugby captain Chris Robshaw and Camilla Kerslake attend the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: England rugby captain Chris Robshaw and Camilla Kerslake attend the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Sailor Ben Ainslie attends the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Presenter Helen Skelton attends the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Heptathlete Jessica Ennis and Andy Hill attend the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Presenter Helen Skelton attends the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Presenter Helen Skelton attends the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Presenter Helen Skelton attends the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: England rugby captain Chris Robshaw and Camilla Kerslake attend the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Sailor Ben Ainslie attends the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Heptathlete Jessica Ennis attends the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Heptathlete Jessica Ennis attends the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Heptathlete Jessica Ennis attends the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Weightlifter Zoe Smith attends the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Heptathlete Jessica Ennis and Andy Hill attend the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • BBC Sports Personality Of The Year - Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Weightlifter Zoe Smith attends the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards at ExCeL on December 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Katherine Grainger arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Luke Campbell arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Jane Torvill arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Paula Radcliffe arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Ade Adepitan arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Steve Cram and wife Allison arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Rebecca Adlington arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Sally Gunnell arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Carol and David Hoy arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Andy Turner arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Martina Navratilova (left) arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Christian Horner arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Rebecca Adlington arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Mark Lawrenson and wife Susie arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Hannah Cockroft arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Beth Tweddle and boyfriend Steven Cryer arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Ian Poulter arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

  • Sport - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 - ExCeL Arena

    Hannah Cockroft arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Bradley Wiggins arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Alan Shearer arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Jade Jones arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Victoria Pendleton arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.

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    Roy Hodgson arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012, at the ExCel Arena, London.