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Last Updated: Friday, 1 December 2006, 16:03 GMT
New vote for Sports Personality
Sports Personality of the Year
Nominations have now closed for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

For the first time, a shortlist of 10 contenders will be drawn up, from which viewers will be able to vote during the show on Sunday 10 December.

The shortlist will be announced on 4 December - six days before the event, which takes place at Birmingham's NEC.

Nominations made by the public via the BBC Sport website, newspaper and magazine editors and an expert panel will decide the shortlist.

The new nominations system ran for more than a fortnight until 15 November.

The public will decide the winner on the night with voting by phone and text during the show.

We want to have the best possible shortlist - and ultimately, the public will decide the winner
Carl Doran,
Sports Personality editor

Programme editor Carl Doran said: "This will, we believe, be the fairest and most transparent way of running the competition.

"For the first time ever, the public will have a choice of 10 contenders on the night - more choice than ever before."

In recent years, there has been a shortlist of six from which to choose.

"We want to have the best possible shortlist made up of the sporting achievers of the year - but ultimately, it's our audience who will decide the winner," added Doran.

Bookmakers rate the leading candidates for the award as golfer Darren Clarke, equestrian star Zara Phillips, tennis player Andrew Murray, gymnast Beth Tweddle and cricketer Monty Panesar.

For the first time in its 53-year history, the star-studded event is being held outside London, and with members of the public attending.

Nearly 3,000 tickets for the show were snapped up within an hour of going on sale.

The 2005 award was won by England's Ashes cricket hero Andrew Flintoff.

Several other awards are presented on the night including Overseas Sports Personality and Coach of the Year.

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