Bradley Wiggins wins Sports Personality of the Year award

Tour de France winner the shining light in sea of stars at BBC awards

Even in this year of all years, it wasn't really in much doubt, from the moment he was sat in his throne outside Hampton Court Palace, after becoming our first ever Tour de France winner. The event is still called Sports Personality of the Year and the personality of the mod with the sideburns has certainly never been in doubt.

Bradley Wiggins won, with 1.5 million votes registered, in a year when, without doubt, it's never been harder to do so. "Wiggo! Wiggo!" the crowd chanted, as the man took to the stage in a velvet suit. "I'm just going to say thank you very much to those who picked up the phone and voted. Nan, the cheque's in the post – she must have pressed redial a hundred times. There's a free bar round the back paid for by the BBC, so I hope you're all going to go to that," he joked.

Andy Murray was third. Jessica Ennis second. Mo Farah didn't even finish in the top three.

David Beckham was on hand to introduce the Lifetime Achievement award, given to Seb Coe. Beckham said of Coe's work with the London 2012 team: "He has run the Olympics and won the Olympics."

"You only have to tip-toe through the names of previous winners to know just how flattered I am," Lord Coe said.

The show began with Gary Lineker, Sue Barker and Clare Balding flying over the Olympic Stadium in a helicopter on their way to the Excel Centre, a nod no doubt to a similar journey made five months ago, back when we didn't know quite what treats awaited us.

Within 15 minutes of the show starting, Wiggins had already picked up the trophy, when he jokingly lifted it when was invited on stage to have a chat with Sue Barker, whom he called Susan throughout.

Coach of the Year went to Dave Brailsford, the cycling coach who masterminded Britain's phenomenal success in this Olympics, the last one, not to mention that famous victory for Wiggins on the Champs-Elysées. "It's about the athletes, it's about the riders," he very modestly said, his contribution arguably far greater than anyone else's.

"Everyone laughed when we said we'd win the Tour de France within five years, with a clean British rider." They're not laughing now.

An absent Usain Bolt, who ran his way into the record books in London this summer, was unanimously awarded the Overseas Sports Personality Of The Year Award and gave a modest acceptance speech on video.

The Team of the Year award was given, predictably, to TeamGB and ParalympicsGB, with the trophy being presented to Victoria Pendleton by Sir Roger Bannister.

The Helen Rollason award, named after the former BBC presenter who died from cancer in 1999 and awarded for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity, was won by Martine Wright, who lost her legs in the 7/7 bombings, the morning after London won the bid, and competed in the sitting volleyball in the Paralympics.

"I will never forget the 52 people who lost their lives," she said. "This is definitely for them as well."

Of many moving moments during a memorable night, perhaps Katherine Grainger, who finally won a rowing gold in London to add to three painful silvers from the three previous Olympics, summed it up the best. She said: "Sport ultimately is about spirit and challenge and heart. Getting knocked down and coming back up. Having a fight and having a dream."

Suggested Topics
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Morrissey pictured in 2013
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Robyn Lawley
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine