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Sport on TV.

Byline: Mark Langdon

Sports Personality of the Year 2003

BBC1, 8pm tomorrow

IT'S that time of year again and the suspense is nearly killing me, writes Mark Langdon.

No, not the winner of the Sports Personality of the Year - everyone knows Jonny Wilkinson has already won - but discovering how the BBC plans to show two hours of action from the past 12 months when all they own the rights to is athletics and swimming.

I'm going 1-100 the Beeb spends ages getting sporting stars to attempt the Jonny drop goal from the final against Australia and I'm going no offers Emile Heskey successfully manages to put the ball over the bar.

It always amazes me when people reckon Heskey's nickname is Bruno. What a disgrace that is to the one and only Frank Bruno.

Do you remember when the BBC arranged a penalty shoot-out and the real Frank Bruno forgot his trainers? Classic TV, particularly when Des Lynam asked Bruno if he would like to take his shoes off for his penalty. "Nah," said Frank "My feet smell."

But the biggest shame of all is the fact Bruno never won this award. Big Frank was not the best boxer of all time but he has been harshly criticised by some sections of the media. He lost only four bouts in his pro career and three of those were world title fights.

However, he was adored by a nation and deservedly became world champion in 1995 after bashing Oliver McCall around Wembley Stadium, yet was ridiculously overlooked by BBC viewers, who went for Jonathan Edwards, probably because they didn't have access to the fight.

Jonathan who? Oh yeah, that's right. The bloke who used to do the hop, skip and ruddy jump. He had a personality only a wet lettuce would be proud of.

Despite having problems in his personal life, Bruno will always be a sporting legend.
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Dec 13, 2003
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