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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 December 2007, 21:19 GMT
BBC Sports Personality 2007 as it happened
By Tom Fordyce

606: DEBATE
To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

2107 GMT: So there we go - they'll be dancing in the streets of Newbridge tonight, not to mention the aisles of the NEC.

Our night together is over, unless anyone fancies a quick pint.

No?

Green chartreuse?

2103 GMT: How's about that? Over in Vegas, Lennox Lewis lifts a replica of the famous old trophy and hands it to a beaming Calzaghe.

Here's Joe's reaction: "I'm shocked. It's a massive honour, and it caps off a wonderful year for me."

"Congratulations Joe. It's about time you got the recognition you deserve."
Ade via text on 81111

2100 GMT: Here we go. Sir Steve Redgrave's got the result of the big one.

In third - it's Ricky Hatton.

In second: Lewis Hamilton. Now there's a shock.

Joe Calzaghe
And the 2007 BBC Sports Personality of the Year is... Joe Calzaghe!

2055 GMT: We're nearly there. But what's this? As predicted by our own Frank Keogh, it's Mark Ramprakash - in a spangly jumpsuit! To the sounds of Booker T and the MGs' Soul Limbo, he prances around the stage with a lady in a fluttery pink number. Ramps, that is, not Frank.

2047 GMT: Sir Bobby Robson takes a bow as he picks up the Lifetime Achievement award. The NEC rises to the old boy and gives him a standing ovation.

Sir Alex Ferguson presents the award. "The reception he's received tonight tells you everything," says Fergie. "A fantastic man."

Bobby steps forward. "I'm totally honoured," he says. "This is an opportunity for me to say thank you to everyone who's played with me and for. Without the players, I wouldn't be here."

Sir Clive Woodward nods approvingly. "The winning performance mindset made flesh," you can almost see him thinking.

"I couldn't be happier for Sir Bobby Robson. I joined in standing with the ovation on my own at home!"
spoondeluxe via 606

From BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Birmingham's NEC: "Am I seeing things? Ramprakash appears to have changed from smart casual shirt and jeans into what can only be described as an Elvis-style sparkly jump-suit. Yowzer."

2037 GMT: Here's Michael Johnson, gliding onto stage to the sound of Mika's smash-hit Grace Kelly. He's going to tell us who's won Overseas Sports Personality.

"Roger Federer," he says.

Boris Becker is there to pick up the award. "Roger - this is for you," he announces, somewhat unnecessarily.

From BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Birmingham's NEC: "This is getting plain weird. I'm at my laptop and spot quick-stepping cricketer Mark Ramprakash and an incredibly glamorous lady backstage. I'd ask for the pair to show me a few moves, but I'm a little shy. And I haven't brought my dancing shoes."

2030 GMT: Des Lynam's back to present Coach of the Year - and it's Enzo Calzaghe who's bagged it.

He gives Sue a peck on both cheeks as Joe pays tribute to him from Vegas.

"I wish I could be with you in London," says Joe. "I mean Birmingham."

Ricky Hatton
2023 GMT: Here we go - Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe join us from Las Vegas via satellite.

"I'm a little bit sore, mate," Ricky tells Gary. "It makes you feel proud to be British when you see so many fans come over."

He then pays tribute to SPotY rival Calzaghe and Britain's other boxing world champs. "I think this is the best period British boxing has ever had."

Joe Calzaghe
Now it's Joe's turn. "I've got a pain-in-the-bum Dad to thank," he says, paying tribute to coach and papa Enzo.

In the background we can see Lennox Lewis, sporting some new beaded dreadlocks. He looks like a larger version of Hotter Than July-era Stevie Wonder.

2019 GMT: Tim Henman's back, and he presents Margaret Simons with the BBC Sports Unsung Hero award, supported by Robinsons. That's the award that's sponsored by Robinsons, not Tim.

85-year-old Margaret is far from overwhelmed by the occasion. "I think I might apply for the England manager's job," she says.

Lewis Hamilton
2011 GMT: Hello - it's Lewis Hamilton! And his car is on stage too!

"It was an amazing season. I can't believe I was actually there, and I can't believe I'm actually here," he says. Take it from me - he is.

Adrian Chiles has a chat with Damon Hill, whose hair is twice the size of the nearby Stirling Moss. "His talent was immediately obvious," says Damon. "The way he's going he's going to have every record tied up."

For the sticklers for old-fashioned virtues among you, I should warn you that Lewis is not wearing a tie.

2004 GMT: Team of the Year time - and the award goes to... the England rugby union team. Here's Martin Corry: "The over-riding memory of it all is the support we had, both over in France and in the pubs of England," he says. My over-riding memory of it all is being stuck in a campervan with Ben Dirs, but that's another story, and one that almost no-one cares about. Bryan Habana watches on with a big smile smeared across his chops.

From BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Birmingham's NEC: "I've just met the most pleasant man - a certain Sir Alex Ferguson. The Manchester United boss is on the sidelines calmly watching a TV monitor, and he's been marvelling at the Oscar Pistorius story. And he agreed it was a nice set of weekend results for his side. I'd wager we might be seeing Sir Alex later..."

James Toseland
1959 GMT: World Superbikes champion James Toseland cruises onto the stage astride his roaring Honda. He then strolls over to a grand piano and bashes out a Jules Holland boogie-woogie number. The camera cuts to Des Lynam, who's tapping a polished toe and twitching his snowy moustache.

1955 GMT: Shane Warne presents a charming review of the cricketing year, shoe-horning in at least nine digs at England. Jelly-beans this, World Cup that, 5-0 Ashes thrashing etc etc. Funnily enough, he doesn't mention that Murali's just nabbed his Test wickets record.

1950 GMT: Seb Coe is here to present the Helen Rollason Award - and it goes to South Africa's blade-runner Oscar Pistorius.

"This is a great honour," he says. Compatriot Bryan Habana puts palm to palm in appreciation.

Paula Radcliffe
1947 GMT: Now it's Paula's turn. She strides onto the stage to the theme from Wonder Woman. "I've been to three Olympics, and hopefully (daughter) Isla will bring me some luck next time," she says, to heart-felt applause.

Christine Ohuruogu
1943 GMT: Here's Christine Ohuruogu. She's looking forward to the Olympics next year. "I can promise you that, if I get to the line fit and healthy, I'll give it everything I've got," she says. Good work.

1938 GMT: Frankie Dettori chirps away about winning his first Derby, and apologises for swearing on air after he won. Sue accepts.

"If Calzaghe doesn't win it would be an absolute travesty."
Anon via text on 81111

Gary Lineker
1933 GMT: Gary cues up a tribute to the British sports stars who retired this year - Tim Henman, Tanni Grey-Thompson and Jason Robinson. Tim's hair is exactly the same shape as when we saw him at his first SPotY back in 1996. Now that's consistency.

1926 GMT: Time for our first award of the evening: diver Tom Daley has won Young Sports Personality of the Year. Speaking via a recorded message - the lad's busy training - he says he'd like to win a gold at the London Olympics. You and me both, Thomas.

From BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Birmingham's NEC: "Lewis Hamilton is hot favourite for the main award, but could a long-shot cause an upset? Let's bring in the BBC betting guru Angus Loughran. He gave me his view to affectionate cries of 'Statto, Statto' from a few boisterous passers-by.

'There was an almighty gamble on Ricky Hatton to claim the award before his defeat in Vegas, and now Hamilton is long odds-on with the bookies to win,' said Loughran. 'But you only have to look at last year - a surprise can happen. Zara Phillips was an 8-1 chance. It will be interesting to see how the public votes.'"

Sue Barker
1923 GMT: Here come Jamie Murray and Jelena Jankovic. Jamie's hair is huge - like an explosion in a bed-spring factory. Sue asks them if they flirted their way to the Wimbledon mixed doubles title.

1917 GMT: Jonny W has a chat with Gary Lineker. The main gist: he'd like a pop at the next World Cup. Brian Ashton takes the opportunity to ask for his contract to be renewed. Habana brushes off a Lineker crack about the possibility of him one day racing a hippo.

1912 GMT: Jonny Wilkinson and Bryan Habana have joined us for a look back at the rugby year. To the sounds of Kenny Rogers' The Gambler, the England World Cup squad lumber onto the stage.

1905 GMT: We're now seeing a line-up of the former winners. Linford Christie takes the award for Longest Frock Coat of the night.

1901 GMT: The big question of the night is answered - Sue is wearing silver. That's not even a pastel, as far as I'm aware.

1855 GMT: Right - we're nearly there. Hold onto your seats. No screaming at the back, please.

1850 GMT: Andrew Castle is now wandering round, interviewing random sports stars in that strange mid-Atlantic accent of his. Was he born on Tristan da Cunha?

1845 GMT - from BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Birmingham's NEC: One of the intriguing things about Sports Personality is seeing who's sat next to who. I had a cheeky peek round at the names on chairs earlier, and can tell you Olympic legend Michael Johnson will be near the front, exchanging pleasantries with record-breaking Paralympian Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson.

1840 GMT: 20 minutes to go until kick-off, and Andrew Castle is on stage asking former winner David Broome what happened to his horses when they were retired. He seems to be hinting that they were made into glue, which is rather off-colour if you ask me.

1835 GMT: Extraordinary scenes inside the venue - England rugby star Matt Stevens is entertaining the huge crowd with a live version of Mack The Knife, backed by the BBC Concert orchestra. Never got that from Billy Beaumont, did we?

1820 GMT: From BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Birmingham's NEC: "This is only the second time the awards have been held at the NEC (the show was previously staged at a studio in BBC Television Centre in west London). Thousands of ordinary punters have bought tickets to be in the audience and it's quite a pleasant surprise to see both Joe Public and well-known guests wandering around backstage.

"I've separately spied a couple of former Sports Personality winners in relaxed mood - Linford Christie (1993) and Kelly Holmes (2004). Dual Olympic gold medallist Holmes was cutting a dash in a backless scarlet dress."

1815 GMT: "Boris is on his way!" shouts a Scottish man excitedly, and sure enough Boris Becker steps out of a gleaming 4x4 and poses for photographs on the red carpet. "Boris! Boris! To me, Boris, to me!" scream the massed ranks of snappers.

1810 GMT: And here's Christine Ohuruogu, wearing an ankle-length silver dress paired with a golden silky jacket. And lip-gloss. Move over Jeff Banks - I've got this one in the bag.

"There can only one winner: Joe Calzaghe. He is the only one who has beaten all opponents and has been a champion for 10 years."
M Edwards via text on 81111

1805 GMT: And here's Lewis Hamilton, in a dark burgundy suit, with his brother Nicholas alongside him. The crowd at the entrance to the NEC are going loopy - I haven't seen scenes like this since the 2005 British Soap Awards, sponsored by Take A Break magazine.

1800 GMT: It's all happening now - Paula's just arrived on the red carpet, wearing a fetching black dress and with her hair swept back in a style reminiscent of Cameron Diaz in There's Something About Mary.

"Lewis Hamilton will win because that is who this year's hype has been about."
dansh2006 via 606

1740 GMT: From BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Birmingham's NEC: "Famous names from the world of sport are coming down the red carpet on a crisp night in Birmingham and among the early arrivals is smartly-dressed England Rugby World Cup star Jason Robinson, who is on the shortlist for the Sports Personality of the Year award. A healthy crowd has gathered to cheer the celebrities as they arrive to a tunnel of camera flashes."

1720 GMT: A year ago, the famous old trophy went to Zara Phillips. Should you want to re-live that special moment and you're accessing this via the website rather than your mobile, simply bounce your cursor on the link below.

"Hamilton WILL win. Calzaghe, Robinson, or even Radcliffe SHOULD win."
Emre's left boot via 606

1700 GMT: From BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at Birmingham's NEC: "There's a musical vibe developing around motorcyclist James Toseland, one of 10 names on the Sports Personality shortlist.

James Toseland
"Off the track, the dual World Superbikes champion plays piano for a band called Crash, which is fronted by a Billy Joel impersonator, who's not an uptown girl. Don't be surprised if downtown man Toseland does a turn during the show..."

Sue Barker
1650 GMT: No news yet on what colour pastel Sue Barker's outfit for the show will be. She's currently resting in her dressing-room, but the odds are favouring pale yellow over fuchsia by a small margin.

"It's certainly a better line-up than last year, as many of them would be worthy winners. However, Hamilton will win and deservedly so."
Svensson248 via 606

1635 GMT: Two former winners among the contenders at the NEC, Paula Radcliffe and Jonny Wilkinson. The bookies have got Paula around third place, with Jonny way out of contention. Seems a bit harsh on Wilko, but Paula's heart-warming display in New York could well get her into the top three. I reckon.

"I don't think it matters that Hatton didn't win. He has still got a chance as he did beat Castillo earlier in the year and he lost last night to a great boxer."
Callum07 via 606

From BBC Sport's Frank Keogh in Birmingham: "Presenter Sue Barker is nervous before the show, and had an early start after getting up at 0400 GMT to watch the Ricky Hatton fight.

Sue Barker
She says: 'I saw the first five and a half rounds, although watched more from outside the room than in. Ricky's been a guest captain on A Question of Sport, I'm a big fan and didn't want to see him get hit. We all get nervous before the show - it's such a big programme, and there's a who's who of sport in the audience.'"

1620 GMT:
Adrian Chiles
As the living legends of BBC Sport begin to arrive at the venue, here's a little something to get website users in the mood - a glimpse behind the scenes at the NEC with Adrian Chiles.

1600 GMT: Good day to you all, and welcome to our live coverage of the 2007 BBC Sports Personality of the Year show.

What a night we have in store - two hours of the live BBC TV show itself, presented by the holy trinity of Sue Barker, Gary Lineker and Adrian "Voodoo" Chiles, plus the inside track on everything that's going on at the venue as the stars of British sport gather.

From BBC Sport's Frank Keogh in Birmingham: "A surreal picture is unfolding behind the scenes at the NEC in Birmingham. The main trophies are in place on the huge stage, a member of the BBC Concert Orchestra taps bongo drums as the programme's iconic signature tune is belted out, and a huge glitter ball casts silver shadows around the largely empty hall which will welcome an audience of 8,000 people later.

"Just a stone's throw away, in a separate part of the scattered complex, the cries of hormonal fashion-conscious girls can be heard to the backdrop of Motorhead's rock anthem the Ace of Spades. Teenage cheers ring out as another model saunters down the catwalk at Clothes Show Live."



SEE ALSO
Calzaghe wins Sports Personality
09 Dec 07 |  Sport Homepage
Sports Personality photos
09 Dec 07 |  Sport Homepage
Robson humbled by lifetime award
09 Dec 07 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality contenders
30 Nov 07 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality nominations
30 Nov 07 |  Sports Personality


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