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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 December 2006, 09:12 GMT
Who will land the BBC accolade?
Sports Personality of the Year contendersJenson ButtonJoe CalzagheDarren ClarkeNicole CookeRicky HattonAndy MurrayMonty PanesarZara PhillipsPhil TaylorEnter alt textBeth Tweddle

Ten contenders are in with a chance of being named 2006 BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday night.

Equestrian star Zara Phillips, golfer Darren Clarke, tennis player Andy Murray, plus boxers Joe Calzaghe and Ricky Hatton are on the shortlist.

Cyclist Nicole Cooke, cricketer Monty Panesar, gymnast Beth Tweddle, darts champion Phil Taylor and Formula One's Jenson Button complete the candidates.

A public vote during the show, which starts at 1900 GMT, decides the winner.

Viewers can vote by phone or text throughout the programme, which is being broadcast from the NEC in Birmingham for the first time, and is live on BBC One.

Frank Keogh - BBC Sport

Seven men and three women are in the line-up, which boasts representatives from all four nations of the United Kingdom.

Clarke is the favourite with bookmakers after his emotional victory with the European Ryder Cup team just weeks after the death of his wife Heather.

But the Northern Irishman has said he does not want to win the award on a sympathy vote, and the contest is expected to be one of the closest for years.

At various stages of the last four months, Murray, Phillips and Panesar were rated favourites for the prize, which was won last year by England Ashes hero Andrew Flintoff.

The shortlist was drawn up from a combination of online and postal public votes, newspaper and magazine editors and a BBC Sport panel of experts.

Sports Personality of the Year
When: 1900 GMT, Sunday
Where: NEC, Birmingham
Channel: BBC One
In a year in which the England's national football and rugby union teams flopped, neither sport is represented. Comedian and cross-channel charity swimmer David Walliams, another former favourite, also misses out.

The show, presented by Sue Barker, Gary Lineker and Adrian Chiles, will feature the BBC Concert Orchestra.

It is taking place outside London for the first time in the event's 53-year history.

Some 3,000 tickets went on sale to the public in October and sold out in less than 50 minutes.

In addition to the main honour, there will also be several other awards including the top team prize.

Listeners of BBC Five Live voted for thir favourite from three shortlisted contenders - Europe's Ryder Cup team, the St Helens rugby league side and Sussex County Cricket Club.

Other winners announced on the night will include coach of the year, overseas personality, young personality and lifetime achievement.

The Helen Rollason Award will be given to someone judged to have shown courage in adversity, while the unsung hero honour goes to a volunteer who has made a real difference to a sports club or team.

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