BBC set to announce changes to Sports Personality of the Year awards

 

The BBC will announce changes to their Sports Personality of the Year awards process later this month following last year's outcry at no women being included on the 10-strong shortlist.

Changes are expected to be made to the shortlisting panel and it appears unlikely that 'lads mags' Nuts and Zoo will retain their votes.

Other changes are also likely, possibly expanding the number of sports stars on the shortlist and having a panel of experts to then reduce the size of the list ahead of a public vote.

It follows a lengthy review of the process announced last November after Earlier, a group of women MPs wrote to the BBC director general, Mark Thompson, complaining that this year's shortlist undermined efforts to encourage female participation in sport.

A BBC spokeswoman insisted the changes would not be dramatic, saying: "It will be evolution rather than revolution."

That means there will be no move towards having a separate award for men and women - there have been three female winners in the last 10 years - nor of giving the Paralympics any special status, both of which changes have been suggested.

This year's awards will be held at the ExCeL centre in London on December 16 - the BBC want to reflect the importance of the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012 and it was one of the major venues for the Games.

Bookmakers rate cyclist Bradley Wiggins the favourite ahead of Andy Murray, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis.

Wiggins won the Tour de France and Olympic gold, while Murray has come into contention after his equally historic US Open victory to go alongside his Olympic gold and silver.

Farah and Ennis are ranked as the most likely candidates from the rest of Britain's Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

PA

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