Once more I commence the yearly review with the opener: ‘what a peculiar year this has been’, and 2021 is no exception. Peculiar is the new norm, as we stumble from public health disaster to the false dawn of a new hope, as we lurch into Covid strain 62 or 63: I can’t quite keep up…

But still, through the pandemic gloom, there have been shining lights who have elbowed their way out of the darkness and have forced their way onto the person of the year awards list. So, without further ado, your runners and riders are:

‘Just about made it’ award: January saw the desperate flailing about of the tango man who didn’t accept defeat graciously. The era of Trumpism is no more, for now, only to be replaced by a man who, at 79 years of age, is older than the average American. This year’s recipient is sleepy Joe Biden who finally scaled Capitol Hill and then seemed to not do very much of anything, except sniff hair, doze off at the drop of a hat, and withdraw troops with no support plan from Afghanistan, creating human misery that Trump himself could only aspire to.

‘Silence is golden individual’ award: Out of nowhere, a soap actress, Rose Ayling-Ellis, glided onto our screens in Strictly. It so happens Rose is profoundly deaf, and she captured the nation's hearts by the simply turning off of the music to give us a short taste as to the challenges she has had to overcome to own her disability, and not be defined by it.

Giovanni Prentice and Rose Ayling-Ellis during the silent dance. Photo: BBC

Giovanni Prentice and Rose Ayling-Ellis during the silent dance. Photo: BBC

‘Silence is golden group’ award: Despite lecturing relentlessly about the importance of equality and urging us to be intolerant of intolerance, the football community have collectively been struck dumb in their inability to criticise next year’s world cup in Qatar. LGBTQ icon David Beckham is facing a PR disaster after taking the cash in one hand whilst failing to appease minority communities with the other. He has remained schtum about human rights abuses inflicted by the Qataris on migrant workers, the criminalisation of homosexuals and pretty much anyone who fails to adhere to a regime that is as oppressive as it is archaic. Lineker, the FA and the England team have also been struck dumb, as they continue to publicly scream for a levelling up of the playing field while their morals seem be splintered by the prolonged time they spend sitting on the fence.

The ‘do as I say, not as I do’ award goes to none other than: Matt H-H-Hancock. Despite urging hands, face, space, he instead chose tongue, thumb, bum, as he flushed his political career down the pan.

The ‘what more can I do to make you like me?’ award goes to Lewis Hamilton who again has proven himself to be the greatest racing driver ever, which continues to stick in the craw of the establishment, as he surpassed a historic 100 F1 wins.

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton. Photo: PA

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton. Photo: PA

The ‘uncomfortable in his own skin’ award: Kier Starmer. Despite spending most of 2021 hidden away from public view when the Government were ripe for the plucking, he re-emerged in a strangely empty pub for Euro 2020 where, as a man of the people, he ditched the class of pinot and was pictured in a stage-managed pose with a pint in his hand as he ‘roared’ our boys on to penalty defeat.

The ‘so near yet so far’ award: The England football team who, through the dignified leadership of the pizza salesman Gareth Southgate, got to within a hair's breadth of winning the Euros, only for the penalty takers to let him down as we stood on the much-awaited threshold of glory.

The ‘COP out’ award goes to world leaders who, after telling us the time is 1 minute to midnight, proceeded to invade Glasgow with a glittering array of private jets, gas-guzzling diesel cars and little in the way of action, as the future of Planet Earth was predictably deferred to COP 27.

The ‘Nobody does it better’ award goes to Daniel Craig in his final outing as 007. Yes, the film went on too long and was as cliched as a cliched cliche, but the boy can act, broods menace, and can rock a pair of undergarments better than any man alive, myself included.

Daniel Craig attending the World Premiere of No Time To Die at the Royal Albert Hall Photo: PA

Daniel Craig attending the World Premiere of No Time To Die at the Royal Albert Hall Photo: PA

The ‘it’ll be alright on the night but we're not sure which night’ award goes to the UK government. The avoidable fuel and grocery shortages inflicted on millions of Brits became a staple of daily life, as the government continued to kick the only food vessel they could find, the can, down the road to the it’s not really a party, party.

The ‘how long can we get away with this before we are challenged’ award goes to China. Not content with refusal to attend COP26 despite being the world's biggest polluters, they continue to admit no wrongdoing after causing millions of deaths and altering lives for every citizen on earth through their scientific experiments gone wrong. They responded by kidnapping a star tennis player and continuing to imprison hundreds of thousands of Uighur Muslims in modern day concentration camps for the ‘crime’ of their faith. The world looks away as the rich man’s jokes are always funnier, and the bully continues to not be challenged by the global political status quo.

The ‘gone but not forgotten’ awards: 2021 has seen the light fade on many including Prince Philip, rock god Charlie Watts and Lionel Blair, who tipped tapped his way into heaven. Girls aloud’s Sarah Harding left us far too early, and was joined by the hilarious Sean Lock, actress Helen McCrory, actor Paul Ritter, F1 legend Murray Walker, Sir Tom Moore, and chatty Larry King. Gerry Marsden also departed as he proved he will never walk alone along with Corrie's Johnny Briggs.

The ‘hell hath no’ award goes to Tyson Fury who showed that, no matter what the stereotype of the background, dedication to one’s craft proves the harder you work, the luckier you get.

Tyson Fury. Photo: PA

Tyson Fury. Photo: PA

And now, the moment none of you have been waiting for: the hold them aloft and praise them in the street moment, where we announce the Brett Ellis person of the year award.

Finally, thankfully, this year’s award goes for the first time to a female, who has proved that hard work and dedication can provide excellence and longevity in your field, no matter what barriers are placed before you. Take a bow, Dame Sarah Storey who, an astonishing 29 years after claiming her first Paralympic gold, bagged her 17th in this summer’s games. Not only that, but she is multi-disciplined, having won golds, silver, and bronzes in both cycling and swimming, as she struggles under the weight of the astonishing 28, and counting, she has bagged so far….

Dame Sarah Storey on the red carpet prior to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2021 at MediaCityUK, Salford

Dame Sarah Storey on the red carpet prior to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2021 at MediaCityUK, Salford

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