Subscribe to the daily newsletter.

BBC keeps voting numbers secret for SPOTY

Geraint Thomas

Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas was named the 65th BBC Sports Personality of the Year last night – but for the first time in recent years viewers did not know by how much.

In previous years, the BBC has released details of the voting breakdown for the main award shortly after it is announced. However, this year the Corporation decided not to reveal this information, bringing the show in line with other programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing.

There were also only six nominated candidates, when in previous years there had been 10 or 12 –  and these names were only revealed after the programme had started. Previously the shortlist was announced about three weeks in advance.

Thomas, 32, is the fifth cyclist to win the accolade and the fifth Welshman, after Joe Calzaghe, Ryan Giggs, David Broome and Dai Rees.

Voting for Thomas was boosted by a Twitter campaign led by Rob Brydon, the Welsh comedian, and fellow cyclists Froome and Mark Cavendish.

Lewis Hamilton, who won a fifth Formula One world title, was second, with Harry Kane, the bookmakers’ favourite, third.

The ceremony in Birmingham included a performance of England football anthem Three Lions by comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner.

England’s netball side won Team of the Year after defeating Australia in the final at the Commonwealth Games in April. The last-second goal scored by Helen Housby was voted by the public as the Greatest Sporting Moment of the Year.

Coach of the Year award to England football manager Gareth Southgate, while Francesco Molinari, the Open champion, was voted World Sports Star of the Year.

Racing driver Billy Monger was given the Helen Rollason Award by his hero, Hamilton, for his remarkable recovery from a crash at Donington Park that resulted in the amputation of both his legs.

Less than a year later, in March, the teenager finished third at the British F3 Championship’s first race of the season.

Viewers expressed dismay that Monger was prevented from completing his speech by Clare Balding who later explained that she had thought he had finished speaking and the BBC invited him back towards the end of the show to complete his thanks to his parents for encouraging his fightback.

Related News