THIS weekend sees the BBC’s annual Sports Personality Of The Year programme – this year’s show is guaranteed to be chock-full of acts of great British sporting derring-do.
The Olympic Games and the Paralympics were simply a triumph that lit up the country with a feeling of pride and joy as our sportsmen and sportswomen delivered medal after medal after medal.
For a brief period, the country was cocooned from some of the harsher realities of current life in a sporting bubble that brought a great sense of fun and joy.
And as late as last week, Britain’s sporting achievements in this extraordinary year continued with England’s latest Test victory in India – and the superb batting exploits of Alastair Cook.
In scoring his 23rd Test century for England he went ahead of some of the game’s greats in nailing ‘tons’ for his country.
I find this record delivered in such a relatively short time to be compelling – and whether it’s more matches, weaker Test opposition or better batting pitches, you still have to go out there and do it.
And he has – and for me, for the most time under the radar. And that English batting guru, Graham Gooch, reckons he can get better. Frightening.
I ran BBC’s big end of year show for several years in the 1990s and spent the front-end of December blanking people who asked me who would I like to win.
Well, free of those constraints now my top three on Sunday would be as follows; in third place Olympic golden girl, Jessica Ennis; in second-place, Olympic double-gold medallist long-distance star Mo Farah; and the winner, Bradley Wiggins, who scaled true sporting heights by claiming the Tour de France crown before coming home and clinching Olympic gold.
And the photograph of him sitting on a throne outside Hampton Court Palace remains an iconic image for me.
Anyway, I will sit in my armchair on Sunday and toast whoever is the worthy winner in a very worthy shortlist.