Aberdeen will host the 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year event, the corporation has announced.
It is the first time the north-eastern Scottish city has hosted the prestigious event, which takes place this year on Sunday, December 15. It has only been held in Scotland once previously, in Glasgow five years ago.
Cricketer Ben Stokes is odds-on favourite to win the main prize after playing a key role in England’s World Cup success on home soil earlier this summer and also producing one of the great Ashes innings of all time to help his country win the third Test at Headingley.
The event was held at various London venues between 1954 and 2005, before moving to Birmingham for the next two years.
The midlands city has hosted the awards ceremony on three further occasions, including last year when Geraint Thomas won the public vote after his success in the Tour de France.
The other cities to have staged SPOTY are Liverpool (2008 and 2017), Sheffield (2009), Salford (2011), Leeds (2013) and Belfast (2015).
The BBC’s director of sport Barbara Slater told the PA news agency: “SPOTY has a track record of going around different parts of the UK. This will be the eighth city.
“Aberdeen was visited by the team earlier in the year, it has a fabulous new arena and infrastructure around it. We’ve also been impressed by the enthusiasm of those we’re partnering with to stage the event over the next few months.
“We’ve been to Belfast and that was one of the best shows, with a great attendance and a really brilliant welcome in the city. Aberdeen was in our view the best and right choice for 2019.”
Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Gabby Logan are set to be the lead presenters at the P&J Live Arena, the BBC said.
The other names in the frame for the main Sports Personality prize this year include Stokes’ fellow World Cup hero Jofra Archer, Formula One world championship leader Lewis Hamilton, Manchester City and England footballer Raheem Sterling, England rugby union captain Owen Farrell and top jockey Frankie Dettori.
The BBC intends to keep the shortlist numbers down to allow more time to reflect on the story of the sporting year during the two-hour show. Last year six individuals were nominated, with those on the list only released on the night.
The other award categories are Greatest Sporting Moment, World Sport Star of the Year, the Helen Rollason Award, the Young Sports Personality of the Year, Unsung Hero, Coach of the Year, Team of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Award.