CHARLES GRAHAM - Winning charisma was key

MOST thought it was too close to call, but it turns out that Bradley Wiggins won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year title by a country mile.

And while any one of the 12 contenders shortlisted would have been worthy winners for their sporting achievements, sometimes in the face of great adversity, perhaps what tipped it for Wiggo was the fact that he has winning charisma too.

I’m not sure that when the competition was established 59 years ago organisers were keen to put personality ahead of results.

After all, would it be right to fete someone who makes you laugh or intrigues you (even if he hasn’t actually won anything) over someone who has smashed records and conquered the world?

Certainly the voters over the years have plumped more for silverware than laughs and eccentricities.

How otherwise would Ryan Giggs and Nigel Mansell have picked up the coveted trophy?

I’m not decrying the personalities of some of the other Spoty contenders this year - who couldn’t be charmed by Ellie SImmonds for instance?

But the moment Wiggins came on stage, hand in the hip pocket of his Mod jacket and started teasing Sue Barker (calling her Susan: a reference, I believe to children’s TV puppet and Wiganer Hacker T Dog’s double act with the presenter), he had victor written all over him.

Playing guitar to post-party guests and vowing to put the trophy behind the bar of his two Eccleston locals was further evidence of his cheekier side (when there were no votes to be won).

And that sort of behaviour - the wit, the laid-back attitude, the fact that the morning after cycling down the Champs Elysees he was in the Grand Arcade shopping with his children - was perhaps what made the difference between Wiggins and the rest of the field.

Having said that, anyone who has clocked up four Olympic golds and become the first Briton ever to win the Tour de France does have a pretty formidable professional CV too!