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Jonathan Rea for Sports Personality of the Year is 'niche' and 'regional' argument, says Gabby Logan on BBC's Fighting Talk

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Jonathan Rea was left off the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist for the third year in a row.

Jonathan Rea was left off the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist for the third year in a row.

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Jonathan Rea was left off the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist for the third year in a row.

BBC journalist Gabby Logan has threatened to rile Jonathan Rea's legion of supporters all over again with comments on Five Live on Saturday morning.

The presenter was hosting popular show 'Fighting Talk', when she invited her panel of guests to suggest a potential supplementary nomination for BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Boxer Tyson Fury has asked to be taken off the list, where he joins Lewis Hamilton, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Stuart Broad, Jordan Henderson and Hollie Doyle, although the BBC later confirmed he would remain among the nominees.

On the show, which has a generally light-hearted, teasing vibe as the panel battle for points over a series of talking points, Logan asked her guests to suggest a potential stand-in.

Irish comedian Neil Delamere, who joined Richard Osman, Chelcee Grimes and Jake Wood on the show, suggested that World Superbike champion Rea was the obvious choice.

"What does that man have to do on a motorbike to be nominated?" said the County Offaly man.

"He has won six world superbike championships in a row, he holds the highest number of race wins, he can do things on a motorbike that nobody else can do and he is constantly overlooked.

"If Guy Martin bought a moped, Channel 4 would do a documentary on him for about an hour. He was nominated in 2017 after he won three world superbike championships. I'm not a mathematician but I think six is better than three so I think Jonathan Rea is a cert."

Despite recognising Rea's 2017 achievement, when he came in as runner-up, just 2,957 votes behind winner Mo Farah, Logan rejected Delamere's sentiment.

"He got on the podium, didn't he? He was very close, dangerously close to winning it that year," she said. "It's a good answer, it's a niche answer though. It's a very, very local answer I feel. It's kind of regional."

Although, given the nature of the programme, not too much stock will be given to Logan's comments, fans had already reacted angrily when, for the third year in a row, Rea was left off the shortlist.

When Fulham fan Richard Osman later suggested his team's left-back Joe Bryan be nominated for scoring twice to win last season's Championship play-off final against Brentford, Logan replied: "It's almost as niche and regional as Jonathan Rea."

Delamere jokingly followed up with: "Who do you really want to annoy, the people who support Fulham or Belfast? I'll let that sit with you for a while."

Belfast Telegraph


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