19.00 - LIVERPOOL! LIVE! DAVID MOYES! (not sure why, he won't win)
This opening montage is quite nice. Lots of Hugh Porter commentating, judiciously edited. Seriously, it's really not been a bad year for sport at all, has it?
BIG ARENA, very large floor, why Sue Barker & Gary Lineker are entering to the big guitar bit from "Live & Let Die" has yet to be determined.
Oh good, Tom Daley's turned up.
19.02 - Bradley Wiggins already regretting turning up.
And right on cue, here's Jake fucking Humphrey. He's with the orchestra, conveniently hidden behind a buncha trophies. Congratulations to Manchester United for keeping the Premiership trophy in Britain, yes.
19.03 - Big Joe Calzaghe's here to return the trophy. Refrains from slagging off Carl Froch. Good lad.
19.04 - montage of those up for the award. Just so you know, this blog is pulling for Nicole Cooke, who can be voted for on 09015 22 22 04. She was mugged for this in 2006 (year Zara Phillips won) - twice winner of the women's Tour de France, once winner of the women's Giro d'Italia, first person of either gender to win the world and Olympic cycling road race titles in the same year, if it weren't for Jeannie Longo she'd be the greatest of all time.
Plus Lewis Hamilton is a twat.
19.07 - Olympics/Paralympics montage introduced with the theme from Chariots Of Fire. Parade of gold medallists, starting with Cookie, then bunch of sailors, Ben Ainslie, Peter Norfolk and Sophie Christiansen, Christine Ohuruogu (Kelly Sotherton looks slightly blank, but who doesn't?), David Weir (the Paralympic track athlete, not the Rangers centre back), a cavalcade of rowers, Tim Brabants, James DeGale (David Haye looks on proudly), the boccia captain, then cyclists - Rebecca Romero, Vicky Pendleton (making up for not being nominated by looking like the exact midpoint between Fiona Bruce and Charlotte Church), various others, Wiggins, BEG CHRES HOYEEEE, then Becky Adlington and Eleanor Simmonds and now we cross back to Jake fecking Humphrey.
I thought they weren't allowed to mention Robinson's Soft Drinks' "support" of this event?
19.13 - Football montage, taking full advantage of the opportunity for lol Chris Iwelumo. "The Euros without the Home Nations was like Strictly without John Sergeant" - Gary Lineker, this may be the wrongest thing you've ever said. In so, so many ways. Euro 2008 montage has insufficient Fatih Terim, and we cross into Wimblingdon/tennis montage... with a special bit for the Federer-Nadal final at SW19. Which, to be fair, was awesome.
19.19 - Andy Murray montage, could accurately be summarised as "some Lord of the Rings bullshit". Jake Humphrey is now talking to Judy Murray. Sitting in the background is ex-England Rugby Union prop Jason Leonard. He is not impressed. Jake attempts to suggest that everyone wants Andy to win Wimbledon. Cut to Kelly Sotherton's completely expressionless face. Judy informs him that Andy reckons he has a better chance in the US or Australian Opens. Showed you, Hake Jumphrey (I am unsure if this qualifies as mockery).
19.21 - Young Sports Personality now, to be presented by Ricky Hatton and Theo Walcott.
19.22 - Ellie Simmonds wins. Ricky Hatton, not the most natural presenter in the world, manages to pronounce Eleanor as Helena. Worthy winner in any case - multiple Olympic champion, world record holder, 13 years old. Fairly incredible whichever way you slice it.
19.23 - Rugby union. Wales won the Six Nations, so encore de Lord of the Rings bullshit. And they take the stage to Duffy. "Please welcome various members of the Welsh Six Nations Grand Slam-winning team!" Jason Leonard is still unimpressed. So is Clive Woodward.
"What's the success secret of this team?"
At a guess, none of the Welsh team want to be here. Big curly perm dude conspicuous by his absence.
Ooh, I think Phil Brown is in the audience. Lock up yr daughters, etc.
19.28 - The Helen Rollason Award - not sure what precisely it's about, presumably triumph over adversity, since it goes to Five Live commentator Alistair Hignell. I had no idea that a) he'd retired, b) he'd played rugby for England, or c) that he has multiple sclerosis, so this is actually rather emotional. He takes the stage to an orchestral version of "Angels", so that's diminished. Clive Woodward gives him the trophy. It looks as though he may possibly also be upbraiding him for poor time-keeping.
19.33 - Gold-medal winning rower Zack Purchase is going to do a number on the saxophone for encore de salute to Olympic watersports heroes. Jake: "His saxophone - or should that be his Zack-sophone?" It dies so badly that you can't actually hear the groaning.
Well, that filled two minutes.
19.35 - Ben Ainslie. Jake: "When it comes to ruling the waves, Big Ben is definitely the daddy."
Ah, but this is narrated by Eddie Butler's Fantastic Voice. Evening now 20x better. Needs to be - of all the nominees, Ainslie completes in easily the least telegenic of all the sports. Seriously, I love Eddie Butler. This is actual bloody poetry. Tears in eyes etc.
And now back to Jake. Ainslie gets first proper laugh of the night. He's not actually being funny, but next to Jake. Second proper laugh also goes to Ainslie, as they show him hurrying to get out of the water following the shot for his montage where he falls backwards into the channel off a jetty.
19.41 - betrousered plonker Ian Poulter narrates the year in golf, pointedly mispronounces Padraig Harrington's first name. Lots of abstract adjectives said to camera in the Jazz Club style. Not sure why anyone assumued that might be a good idea.
19.42 - Michael Phelps montage, footage of Baltimore intercut with his wins.
19.45 - Becca Adlington montage, even as they're trying to make it all dramatic she refuses to stop giggling. The woman's charm is basically off the scale. Would take her winning as acceptable substitute for Cookie, to be fair.
19.48 - Adlington on stage now - still giggling.
19.50 - Unsung Hero award to be presented to deserving volunteer from around the country by "two Liverpudlian heroes" - Ian Rush and... Phil Neville. You sure about that last one?
Won by the 70-year-old bloke who runs Dorchester Amateur Boxing Club. He's not really sure what to do, and Lineker has to point him in the direction of the camera, but he comes up with an admirable acceptance speech off the cuff all the same.
19.53 - Horse racing - it's a sport. So, y'know.
19.53 - CYCLING! Crap montage is followed by cyclists riding down the ramp individually. Ed Clancy no longer has a first name, apparently.
Please don't let them fall off.
I suspect this amount of clapping is getting a little wearying for the majority of the audience. Weird thing, I think Bradley Wiggins gets the best reception of the lot of them. He still looks incredibly pissed off that he's there.
Cookie describing her win at the Olympics is not exactly doing her any favours in the voting stakes, I suspect. Also her smile kind of seems glued to her face.
Rebecca Romero really does not seem to have time for this shit, it must be said.
20.05 - Motorcycling - also a sport - leads into world's blandest man, Lewis Hamilton.
20.08 - OK, going off reception in the hall, Lewis Hamilton's name might as well be on this trophy already. "Good evening everyone, thanks for the warm welcome" - more applause. Spawny get. His car is suspended from the ceiling. Not very well, it must be said...
20.12 - Calzaghe montage. Not, strictly speaking, interesting, and nowhere near up to the footage of him surrounded by what appeared to be most of British boxing when he shocked everyone by pipping Lewis Hamilton to this title last year.
20.15 - the somewhat doomed campaign to get Britain to like Christine Ohuruogu continues. Lots of isolated abstract nouns. Again. Less Jazz Club, more godawful Hugo Boss advert. The cutting to Michael Johnson reminds me that he looked REALLY unimpressed when they cut to him during Lewis Hamilton being tedious, and given that he is basically the best damn pundit on British television right now, it feels like disagreeing with him would be a really bad idea, y'know?
20.19 - And a montage of the Paralympic athletes now. It's all a little bit too "there's a person behind the disability" for comfort. They all say "I am me" in a manner that's a bit heavy on the portent.
20.23 - club football round-up. More portent, this time with Rio Ferdinand's Gravitas.
20.25 - Sir Bobby Charlton gets the lifetime achievement award. Denis Law and Sir Alex Ferguson: They Reminisce Over You. Oh, and here's Big Jack. And David Beckham: "Every young kid should know something about Sir Bobby" quoth he, looking rather too pleased with himself if we're being entirely honest.
Sir Bobby manages to look hella dignified and be on the verge of bursting into tears at the same time. And now he's gonna receive the award from Jackie Charlton. Why they're playing The Feeling to introduce Jackie onto the stage I don't know, but this all feels fairly incredible.
20.34 - it kinda feels like I'm the only person on the planet Sir Bobby didn't personally thank there ("Thanks for the Polar Bear tip, Nick, they're marvellous"), but my contribution to the 1966 World Cup was fairly minimal, to be honest.
20.36 - Coach of the Year is between Dave Brailsford, Siralex, Warren Gatland... HARRY REDKNAPP? Get fucked.
Winner is... Brailsford, for basically owning all cycling that doesn't involve men's road racing. "Cycling is a small sport, it's not like the big sports..." - any word on whether feller's a Man City fan?
20.40 - Usain Bolt. Obv. His montage is intercut with All Other Significant Sporting Achievements Ever, with the exception of Bobby Stokes winning the 1976 FA Cup.
This, confusingly, does not lead into the awarding of International Sports Personality, but the cricket montage instead. Hmm.
20.43 - The Two Alans take the stage to present Team Of The Year to the strains of Gabriella Cilmi. Sport Relief raised £28m, a figure emphasised by being written in zoomy grey metallic numerals. Uh-huh.
So then, Team GB vs. Man Utd, the Welsh rugby union team, and the British cycling team... and the cyclists get it. Despite being part of Team GB. Man, Martin Samuel's column about this tomorrow is going to be insanely bitter.
But now they've given Vicky Pendleton the mike. And, y'know. Yes.
And from the sublime to Jake Humphrey, for a montage of Every Other Sport. Darts! Triathlon! Bowls! Paula! Ronnie! All Other Sports!
20.48 - Overseas award to be presented by Lord "I Hate" Sebastian Coe and Oscar Pistorius, taking the stage to, er, Girls Aloud.
Usain Bolt wins, obv., and can't be there tonight. They soundtrack his acceptance with some dub. Him being Jamaican and such.
20:51 - First-ever British Olympic Gymnastics medallist Louis Smith does his bronze-medal-winning pommel horse routine as Monkey makes possibly his last appearance on our screens. Louis has been body-painted but is lit so you don't notice it. Hmm.
Jake Humphrey introduces montage of all British Olympic medallists this year - "the performances that made us all - PROUD!" And yes, that's the cue for Heather Small. Sorry - Heather Small. Observe yr style conventions, boy. Tssk. If you can't guess how shit this is, I envy you so much.
Another plug for Robinson's. Hmm.
20.55 - IT IS TIME.
Award to be presented by Sir Steve Redgrave and Michael Johnson. They take the stage to... One Night Only? Really?
Becca Adlington is third...
LEWIS HAMILTON IS SECOND...
20.57 - BEG CHRESS HOYEEEEEEE IS SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 2008!!!
It has only just struck me how similar Beg Chress looks to Hamilton manager Billy Reid. But, y'know, bigger. And with thighs. Frankly, Beg Chress' thighs are probably bigger than Billy Reid all by themselves. Hamilton and Adlington both look at least moderately gutted. There is a shower of glitter. The audience collectively realises that they can go home now.