Sporting heroes lined up on Wednesday, December 22, to wait for the result of 2022's Sports Personality of the Year. With hosts Alex Scott, Clare Balding, Gary Lineker and Gabby Logan at the hosting helm, the show provoked some tear jerking moments as well as pride in the athletes at the top of their game. However, not everyone was singing the praises of the show and some said they were looking for their remote just minutes into the programme.
Presenting the BBC awards show from MediaCityUK in Salford, the presenters revisited some of this year's key sporting moments while also showcasing unsung grassroots heroes in local communities. There was also a slot for Rob Burrow's former teammate, Kevin Sinfield. The coach and former Rugby Union professional has raised funds for MND causes, and was recognised with a special BBC Sports Personality award. While this year's Helen Rollason award went to Rob Burrow.
Lifting the trophy though was Lioness Beth Mead, who was named Sports Personality of the Year 2022. Sarina Wiegman walked away with the Coach of the Year and the Lionesses claiming Team of the Year.
Gary, Gabby, Alex and Clare stepped onto the stage to welcome the studio audience and viewers to the show. Introducing the awards, and an 'incredible 12 months' of sporting achievements, Gary kicked off the show saying: "There's so much to relive tonight from the Winter Olympics to the Winter World Cup."
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Gabby joined in: "And for the first time in three years, I am thrilled to say we'll be looking back on it all in the company of some of the finest sports stars in the world. Welcome back to our incredible audience."
As the show got underway, Clare added: "Tonight, we will be finding out who will take this famous trophy, as well as celebrating our Team and Coach of the Year, Young Sports Personality, World Sports Star and Unsung Hero. We will also be giving out our very special Lifetime Achievement and Helen Rollason awards."
Alex then encouraged: "Wherever you're watching from tonight we want to hear from you," giving out the hashtag SPOTY for viewers to tag the show in. However, some responses were probably not what the hosts were expecting. According to the Express, just minutes into the programme, some viewers claimed to "reach for the remote".
Others felt that it was strange the programme was being held on a Wednesday, rather than a Sunday.
One social media user fumed: "BBC Sports Personality of the Year used to be worth watching. No longer. And a pretty poor selection of candidates this year #SPOTY." Another said: "Against my better judgement I started watching #SPOTY, and they are showing ice sweeping ffs... Where's the remote..." While a third joined in with: "The BBC ruining another Xmas tradition! Always the last Sunday before Xmas, not a frigging Wednesday evening."
The complaints continued: "Won’t bother with #SPOTY again, short list is poor, seems to be aimed at kids nowadays." And another said: "#SPOTY on a Wednesday night whatever next, the FA Cup Final on a Thursday morning?"
Others highlighted missing sports. "Used to be a great night this now bores me to tears! Never a mention of Ice Hockey and does it need 4 presenters?! Shan't be watching! #SPOTY." (sic). And "#SPOTY is far too corporate now. Terrible list this year as well. Not for me tonight. Off to the darts channel instead," Paul argued.
However, not everyone shared the view. Others loved the line-up and format. One person said: "Nothing beats Sports Personality of the Year and the darts. Christmas is officially here #SPOTY #DartsWorldChampionship."
BBC Sports Personality of the Year is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
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