Sports personality of the year has more recently become a bit of a non-event; recent winners have included Ryan Giggs (more for his career achievements than a particularly outstanding year), Tony McCoy for his grand national triumph and of course Zara Phillips for being a Royal who actually does something.
This year however, the competition has been brought to life with a string of outstanding sporting achievements which have all taken place over the last 12 months and left the public with thankless task of choosing a winner. By all accounts any of the following - Bradley Wiggins, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Andy Murray, or Chris Hoy would have walked it previously, but it just so happens that this is the shortlist that is swelling with genuine world class talent, which any country would be proud to have.
This was always likely to be the case this year with the Olympics taking place on home soil - but what's interesting is that not only the Olympians that have excelled, as this is the year that saw the country's first ever Tour de France winner and the first male British Major winner in 76 years. The current favourite at 6/5 is Bradley Wiggins with Andy Murray hot on his heals at 5/2. Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis come in at 10/1 with the rest considered outsiders at 25/1 +. This is probably due to the outstanding achievement of the pair in sports which we don't actually tend to do very well, and it's also worth noting that both earned gold medals in the Olympics alongside their other achievements this year.
I think it's an almost impossible task to separate the two but if I had to make a decision I'd probably have to go for Bradley Wiggins given the incredible amount of endurance required to excel in professional road cycling. I think it's also worth taking into consideration the relatively low profile of the tour in Britain currently and the potential knock on effects Bradley's win can have on the perception of cycling within the country. For that reason I'd give it to Bradley Wiggins - but isn't it nice to have a genuine shortlist of high achievers instead of trying to make up the number for once.