Shortlist expanded in SPOTY revamp
The BBC will increase the size of the shortlist to 12 for the 2012 Sports Personality of the Year award to reflect Britain's astonishing year of sporting success.
A new expert judging panel has been set up to draw up the shortlist, after last year's controversy when there were no women among the 10 names selected.
The 'lads mags' Nuts and Zoo, who had previously had votes on the shortlist, have been dropped from the panel and the winner will once again be decided by a public vote and announced at the event on December 16 at London's ExCeL centre.
A BBC statement said: "With an increased shortlist of 12, in recognition of the unprecedented success of UK athletes in 2012, this year's contest for the coveted title will be one of the most hotly contested in the show's history."
The 2012 panel will be chaired by the BBC's director of sport Barbara Slater, and include Sir Steve Redgrave, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Denise Lewis, presenter Eleanor Oldroyd, three newspaper sports editors (to be rotated annually) from The Sun, the Daily Mail and The Observer plus UK Sport chair Baroness Sue Campbell.
Slater said: "This year's sports personality of the year will be a celebration of what has been a truly unique year for sport in the UK. We are incredibly proud to be hosting the sporting grand finale for such a remarkable year."
The panel will also choose the team of the year, overseas award and coach of the year.
Cyclist Bradley Wiggins is currently the bookies' favourite for the individual award following his triumph in the Tour de France and Olympic success, closely followed by tennis star Andy Murray after his historic win in the US Open, gold and silver medals at the Olympics and reaching the final of Wimbledon.
Mo Farah, double gold medallist at the London Games in the 5,000m and 10,000m, is ranked third by the bookmakers.
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