THE time has come to pension off BBC Sports Personality Of The Year.
After 64 years this once-great institution has become a national embarrassment on several levels and must be put out of its misery.
PA:Press Association The BBC believes Spoty should have ‘balance’ so everyone should be included, even if they are not worthy of being recognised
First of all, some statistics. This year 545,033 votes were cast — barely a third of the number of people who took part in 2012’s poll.
Why is this? The programme — first shown in 1954 — has drifted a long way from its origins. A gem in the BBC’s Christmas schedule has been sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.
Top professional sport is more about winning, less about taking part. But if you watched BBC1 on Sunday night you’d be pushed to agree with that assessment.
Insiders say the Beeb’s focus on “balance” and “demographics” is partly responsible for the noticeable slip in quality.
PA:Press Association Superbike ace Jonathan Rea came second place in the vote with 80,657 overall votes
A certain number of women must be among the nominees and, preferably, all four regions of the UK must also be recognised.
Yet, from the dozen names put forward, the public firmly put men above women. The leading female, cricketer Anya Shrubsole, won less than a fifth of the votes given to Sir Mo Farah.
Look at the presentation. A gushing film about cyclist Chris Froome, one of the 12 nominees, abandoned its integrity altogether by not mentioning that he had failed a drug test.
The film was recorded before the news emerged last week, but there was plenty of time to correct this oversight.
PA:Press Association BBC wanted numerous women as part of the nominees as well all four parts of the UK PA:Press Association Cricket ace Anya Shrubsole, pictured right, won less than a fifth of the votes that winner Mo Farah received
As for the awards themselves, there was only one all-female side in the Team of the Year category. Guess what? The women won.
I have great admiration for women’s cricket but, last time I checked, it was considered a minority sport — albeit one to which the BBC holds the rights. It looks suspiciously like they were picked to tick a box.