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Gabby Logan: Belfast's in for a treat at sports personality awards

By Laura Abernethy

Published 12/10/2015

Show time: sports presenter Gabby Logan
Show time: sports presenter Gabby Logan
Previous winner: AP McCoy with wife Chanelle
Looking forward: Dame Mary Peters, Darren Clarke and Barry McGuigan celebrating that BBC Sports Personality of the Year will be in Belfast
Northern Irish golfer Rory McIroy

Sports presenter Gabby Logan has revealed that Belfast fans are in for an incredible night at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards this December.

Tickets go on sale this Thursday for the annual ceremony, which will take place at the SSE Arena on Sunday, December 20.

Since 2006, the show has been visiting different cities across the UK and this December it will come to Belfast for the first time.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Gabby explained: "We've been on the road since 2006 and it's really important that we share this show through the nations. We've been to Scotland and we've been all over England, and I think it was time."

"It's been a great sporting few years for Northern Ireland. There's been great success, with Rory McIlroy and Carl Frampton and the footballers now qualifying for next summer's European championships.

"There's a lot of heritage of sport in Northern Ireland as well and it's very much about embracing the place that we are in."

Northern Irish golfers Rory McIroy, and Darren Clarke have been awarded second place in the prestigious accolade in recent years and champion jockey AP McCoy secured the most public votes to grab the top spot in 2010.

The shortlist for this year's coveted prize has not been determined, but Gabby said there are already plenty of people in the running and there may even be some home-grown Northern Irish talent on the list.

She said: "I think there have been some great shouts from the likes of Chris Froome, who won the Tour de France for the second time.

"You have Wayne Rooney now becoming England's top ever goalscorer. The Ashes obviously came as a surprise victory for England, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a cricketer on there.

"The Davis cup will be interesting at the end of November, because Andy Murray is kind of going to win that on his own if they win that.

"We'll see how the rugby players do, as well. Ireland were my outside bet for the Rugby World Cup , so let's see what happens. Certainly, there aren't going to be any England rugby players on the list. There are some fantastic sporting moments so far. There's a lot still to be determined but it's going to be an interesting list."

But for Gabby, she said that an international star is her sporting idol this year: "I've always loved Usain Bolt, but what he did this summer to back up three world championships and then to come away with 12 golds at world championship level?

"He is a phenomenal athlete and he did it under such global pressure. He just kind of transcends sport."

Although Gabby said she couldn't reveal much about the show, she said guests are in for a fantastic night.

She said: "I can't say much about what the show will be like, but like previous shows, there will be live music and it will be from fantastic artists. We had John Newman two years ago and Jess Glynne last year. And the films that we show are always of the highest quality.

"There will also be some fantastic sportspeople and people that pop up that you just don't expect - Prince Harry presented an award last year. Who knows who will be on the show this year?

Tickets for BBC's Sports Personality of the Year can be purchased online at www.ssearenabelfast.com, by calling the box office on 028 9073 9074, or in person from the box office in the SSE Arena from 9am on Thursday, October 15.

Belfast Telegraph

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