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Page last updated at 21:14 GMT, Sunday, 14 December 2008
Sports Personality 2008
Liverpool Echo Arena, 14 December 2008


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

By Chris Whyatt

2110: That's the evening over for us folks, though I'm sure there'll be some corks popping up in Liverpool if you want to head on after this? Seriously though, Chris Hoy is an outstanding sportsman and he's just been given the ultimate British pat on the back. A great night. Ciao.

"Well done Chris Hoy, fully deserved." CrushyPete on 606

"It just goes too show what an amazing year it's been for British sport if a record-breaking world champion and unprecedented double gold-medallist are runners up." Torresque on 606

2102: "This means so much," says cyclist Hoy, who goes on to point out what an incredible year it has been all-round for British sport. None of his family are there as his sister has just given birth up in Scotland! They will certainly be there in spirit.

"This is a culmination of 12 year's hard work for me," finishes the proud new uncle and SPOTY 2008 winner.

2058: Triple Olympic gold medal-winner Chris Hoy is BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2008. What an incredible reception he is getting. Lump in the throat stuff. Everyone is still clapping feverishly.

2057: Deep breaths... here we go.

Third place goes to swimmer Rebecca Adlington. Second place is F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton...

2055: "They've got the name of the winner. I saw the envelope handed over to the TV production team. Did they tell me who it was? No." BBC Sport's Saj Chowdhury in Liverpool

2054: "What have you done today to make you feel proud?" warbles Heather Small as we enjoy a musical interlude. She's really got the crowd going. Check them funky moves. Getting closer now...

2049: Sweaty palms? Thumping heart? Clock's rapidly ticking down to the big one but, for now, here's the Overseas Award.

Cooller that a frozen cucumber that's resting on a hammock near the South Pole, Usain Bolt (via videolink) tells Liverpool Arena and the TV audience: "It's been a long season and I've worked hard. It feels good to be given this award and it means a lot to me." Brilliant stuff.

2047: Your friends and mine Shearer and Hansen are here to present the Team of the Year award. Alan and Alan announce that the British Olympic cycling team win it. What did you expect? The stunning gold rush they produced in Beijing was truly Klondike-esque.

2043: Sublime? Seminal? No words in the world can describe what sprint sensation Usain Bolt produced at the Beijing Olympics in August. The facts - 100m and 200m golds with two world records to boot - don't even tell the story. We hear from the inspirational Jamaican via video...

2039: Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan and British Olympic legend Kelly Holmes are here to present the Coach of the Year. Team GB cycling coach David Brailsford is adorned with the crown as the orchestra blasts out some recent Coldplay number.

Can't argue with that, can you? The award I mean. Not Coldplay.

2035: "Football was easy, I could never understand it why people could not play this game," jests Sir Bobby who, just to remind you, lifted the World Cup in 1966 and the European Cup two years later.

After the crowd laugh, he pays tribute to all the assorted athletes and stresses that it bodes well for the future of British sport. Lovely.

2032: A Munich survivor who went on to become a Manchester United and England legend after winning it all with a bewitching left foot that could peel a grape and smash through the Hoover Dam?

Glassy-eyed Sir Bobby Charlton proudly accepts the fully-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award as 9,000-plus admirers give him a standing ovation.

2027: Still amazing to think it was nearly 0130 local time in Moscow when Manchester United eventually saw off Premier League rivals Chelsea in the Champions League final back in May. That incredible occasion is being evoked in the Liverpool Echo Arena as we build up to the Lifetime Achievement Award...

2023: "The Paralympics were incredible this year, even better than the main Olympics I thought," Paralympic dressage star Lee Pearson tells Sue. Swimmer-turned-cyclist Sarah Storey, sat next to him, pays tribute to the spirit in the GB Paralympic camp in Beijing.

2018: Sue has a quick chat with SPOTY 2008 contender Christine Ohuruogu, who coolly claimed Olympic 400m gold for Britain in Beijing during those heady August days.

2014: Boxing now. Some great early footage of Welsh wonder Joe Calzaghe, SPOTY winner in 2007 and also a contender this year. Victories over Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr have been his highlights of 2008 but, as Gary jabs forth with questions about possible retirement, Joe easily swats them away.

"I'm just going to enjoy my Christmas and see what's what," he purrs.

2008: The last-gasp drama of Lewis Hamilton's 2008 Formula One world championship-winning finale in Brazil is being relived in Liverpool. No giggling at any geographical contrast. Both sporting hot-beds.

The pride of Stevenage (and the youngest F1 world champion in history) is very composed and confident as he chats with Gary.

2001: "None of us expected to lose," says Bradley Wiggins, looking like a young Paul Weller in a cycling helmet, with trademark honesty.

1959: Smoothly does it as Britain's all-conquering 2008 Olympic cyclists cycle, one-by-one, down a ramp (with a fairly challenging gradient) onto the stage. Tension fills the air. And exhale. You can almost hear the sighs of relief from Liverpool; they all made it down safely. Very entertaining too.

What else did anyone expect from such talent?

1956: "There are obviously a number of big-name guests here. But the arrival of former super-middleweight champion Chris Eubank saw a frenzy of flashes and autograph hunters inside the venue. Eubank, keeping to tradition, was decked in his finest attire and carried an elaborately-designed cane." Saj Chowdhury in Liverpool

1952: What a combo! Merseyside footballers present and past Phillip Neville and Ian Rush are here to present the Unsung Hero Award. The winner is Ben Geyser, a veteran Dorchester amateur boxing coach. He's very moved and jokes about his advanced age. Ricky Hatton and a large boxing contingent give him a warm reception.

1947: Demolisher of world records and unstoppable Olympic gold medal-winning US swimmer Michael Phelps is lauded via video. Here's Mansfield's finest, resplendent in a stunning red dress and skyscraper-tall gold shoes, British double gold medal-winning swimmer Rebecca Adlington... and she's incredibly down to earth.

Chides Ainslie for accusing her of training in warm water. "It's always freezing, Ben!" she shouts from the stage.

1944: "Superb to see all our sporting stars together tonight, who ever wins will totally deserve it." Darrell Allen on 81111 text

1941: SPOTY big one contender and British sailor Ben Ainslie is being interviewed by Jake. Funny clip of him in Weymouth falling into the English Channel and rapidly swimming out with a candy floss-soft reaction that screams: "I cannot handle cold water." Perhaps that's why he's so good?

1935: What's this? The new James Toseland, that's what. Multi-talented gold medal-winning Olympic rower Zac Purchase unleashes a silky number on his saxophone. Nice. Jake, introducing, called it a - snigger - 'zaxophone'. Fair enough Humprey, it was on a plate.

1932: Recently-retired BBC Radio 5 Live rugby commentator Alastair Hignell, who is battling multiple sclerosis, has just been handed the Helen Rollason Award. His voice is utterly synonymous with the roars that greet kick-off at the greatest rugby stadia on the planet. Makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you hear it.

1928: 4,765 tonnes of muscle strolls on to the stage, retired footballer Gary is dwarfed. Yep - it's Wales' Grand Slam + Six Nations-winning squad of 2008. IRB World Rugby Player of the Year Shane Williams humbly accepts Lineker's praise.

1925: First award of the evening has just been presented by boxer Ricky Hatton and Arsenal winger Theo Walcott: Beijing Paralympic gold medal-winning swimmer Eleanor Simmonds is the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year! She's absolutely beaming with pride.

1922: If you are not watching on BBC1 but wish to follow the action in pictures, UK users can watch the show live on this website. There was a minor problem as it started, but it's fixed now. Just restart the application. Live video - BBC Sports Personality

1915: Hushed silence in the arena as we look back on some of this year's greatest sporting moments. One of them could be about to happen on Monday should England win the first Test in India. On the Liverpool waterfront BBC Sport's Saj Chowdhury has managed to collar former captain Michael Vaughan. This is what he said:

"It's hard to think that two weeks ago they would have thought of coming back to India and playing, but not only that, they are playing well. The one-day defeats and the Mumbai attacks didn't put them off their strides.

"The ability to play well is always with you if you're a good player. Look at Andrew Strauss, he had not played for about three months and now he's hit two tons in two innings. This Test is a must-win for England and will help them build up momentum for next year's Ashes."

1910: Gary Lineker and debutant Jake Humphrey are sharing presenting duties with Sue tonight. Both the lads looking pretty slick. Gary's gone for a classic cut black suit-tie combo with crisp white shirt. Jake's donning a natty sky blue tie.

Olympians and Paralympians are being welcomed/ reunited on to the stage as the orchestra builds to a crescendo... it's a bit like a huge soft-rock concert. Wild applause.

"I'm in the production room at the moment and the video feed we have includes the voice of the BBC's Paul Davies who is quite literally directing all the shots. Sue Barker, Gary Lineker and Jake Humphrey have to concentrate on presenting and at the same time listen to Paul's directions. True pros."
BBC Sport's Saj Chowdhury in Liverpool

1903: Talking of which, if you want to follow the action in pictures tune in now to BBC1. We'll have fun here though, don't worry.

The show has started and here's the big news I know you've all been waiting for: presenter Sue Barker has shunned pastels for the second year running and is wearing... ivory.

1858: Duffy's retro smash of 2008 "Mercy" is blasting out of a packed Liverpool Echo Arena as 9000 guests, and some of the most talented sportspersons in the world, stand and clap along. Smiles all round. A fantastic atmosphere. The TV show is about to go live.

1852: Yes, forget red. The carpet upon which the great and good of world sport make their grand entrance is purple. Here's BBC Sport's Saj Chowdhury in Liverpool with more on the build-up:

"Great names rolled up to the red carpet (although it looked more purple to me). Sir Bobby Charlton arrived shortly after 1700 GMT, looking very dapper, for his deserved Lifetime Achievement award.

"I managed to catch up with Sir Bobby's former England and Manchester United team-mate Nobby Stiles, who said: "He was an exceptional player. Like a thoroughbred to me. Great striker of the ball and had a great temperament. I was fortunate to play with him both both club and country." Fantastic."

1845: Evening all. Welcome to our live coverage of the 2008 BBC Sports Personality of the Year show.

Hurry along now and get settled - kick off's in 15 minutes. A bewildering array of sporting stars have already taken their seats after negotiating their way past the flashbulbs from an army of photographers on the purple carpet...

see also
Sports Personality photos
14 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
Hoy named BBC Sports Personality
14 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
GB cycling team secure BBC double
14 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
Boxing club hero wins Unsung 2008
14 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
BBC award for commentator Hignell
14 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
Simmonds named Young Personality
14 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
Charlton given BBC Lifetime award
14 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
BBC Sports Unsung Hero 2008 winners
11 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
Countdown to Sports Personality 2008
13 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality presenters
21 Oct 09 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality 10: Rebecca Adlington
02 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality 10: Ben Ainslie
02 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality 10: Joe Calzaghe
02 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality 10: Nicole Cooke
02 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality 10: Lewis Hamilton
02 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality 10: Chris Hoy
02 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality 10: Andy Murray
02 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality 10: Christine Ohuruogu
02 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality 10: Rebecca Romero
02 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality 10: Bradley Wiggins
02 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality