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
Life and Style
life
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Life and Style
Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
health
News
Joan Rivers has reportedly been hospitalised after she stopped breathing during surgery
people81-year-old 'stopped breathing' during vocal chord surgery
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
Life and Style
fashion

Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, UI, JMX, FIX)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, U...

Structured Finance

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - An excellent new instruction w...

SQL Server Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Server Developer SQL, PHP, C#, Real Time,...

C#.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, Win Forms, WPF, WCF, MVVM...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone