Sports Personality of the Year: Stars win style stakes by dressing to impress
The worlds of sport and fashion collided in spectacular style last night as the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards descended on the SSE Arena.
The first celeb I spotted early on was none other than Northern Ireland ex-pat, comedian Eddie Izzard. He was sporting a very fetching cobalt blue trouser suit with satin lapels which he teamed with fishnet stockings and sky-high stiletto spike heels.
But it was really the women who stole the show in terms of fashion panache. Lizzie Armitstead, the 26-year-old World Road Race cycling champion and SPOTY nominee, looked stunning in a vivid blue and purple maxi dress with lace inserts showing off her perfect figure.
Lucy Bronze, the 24-year-old footballer from Manchester City women's team who was also among the nominees, looked super elegant in a long-sleeved lace shift dress.
Special award-winner AP McCoy, our home-grown champion jockey from Moneyglass, looked smart in a navy suit but his lovely wife Chanelle sparkled in a jewelled and sequinned aquamarine dress by Hollie Dekyser which trailed off in a swishy fishtail when she strode in front of the paparazzi. With her blonde hair swept up into a high ponytail she looked like a spectacular mermaid.
Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington looked amazing and she was one of the nicest and most friendly celebs I met last night. She wore a full-skirted black crepe de chine gown with lace and ruching details at the bodice and it really suited her.
Graeme McDowell was, as always, smart and well-turned out and had traded his Argyll golfing sweaters for a smart midnight blue silk suit. His beautiful wife Kristin Stape just happened to be wearing the exact same colour, so I asked them was it intentional? She replied: "It's a total fluke to be honest but you can't go wrong with midnight blue can you?"
Runner Paula Radcliffe was also dressed in a classical-styled gown. In her case it was a figure hugging one-shouldered column dress by Ralph Lauren with flattering ruching at the bodice and a long, tiered train over the shoulder.
Denise Lewis bucked the trend for midnight blues by wearing a very shapely off-the-shoulder bodycon dress in white brocade.
Now, there were a few spoilsports who didn't have the time nor the inclination to talk to any of the press. Worthy of note in that category were Rory McIlroy (boo!) Andy Murray (boo!) and the evening's star performer Ella Henderson who swept past flanked by bodyguards and with a look of haughty disdain.
Eventually I got my wish as the Leeds Rhinos Rugby League team posed for a group photo at my request and I subsequently sent the picture to my two sons at home who are lifelong fans.
Last word though, goes to the inimitable Izzard. When I called out that classic red-carpet question "Who are you wearing, Eddie?" He looked down at his blue satin trouser suit and replied: "Steve. I'm wearing Steve! Don't you recognise him?"