BBC won't remove Doncaster-connected Tyson Fury from award list despite legal threat

The BBC has said it won’t remove Doncaster-connected world boxing champion Tyson Fury from its list of Sports Personality of the Year Award contenders despite the fighter asking lawyers to get him taken off.

By Darren Burke
Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 10:03 am

Fury asked his lawyers to write to the BBC and request that he be taken off the six-strong list of athletes and removed from the show.

The WBC heavyweight champion first asked to be taken off the list last month but the BBC said he would stay on.

Yesterday, he revealed he had instructed lawyers to help him be removed from the shortlist, saying he was "the people's champion" and had "no need for verification or any awards".

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Tyson Fury met his wife Paris in Doncaster.

"Let's hope they listen and take me off," he told ITV's Good Morning Britain.

The BBC said it had received the letter but that the fighter would stay on the shortlist, reiterating the statement it released when Fury first called for his removal.

The BBC responded by saying the shortlist was drawn up by an "independent expert panel who choose contenders based on their sporting achievement in a given year".

It added: "On this basis Tyson Fury will remain on the list for Sports Personality of the Year 2020. As always the winner will be decided by the public voting during the live show and it is of course up to Tyson if he chooses to participate in the show."

Sports Personality of the Year 2020 will be shown on BBC One on Sunday, 20 December.

The programme is being broadcast live from Media City in Salford.

Fury grew up in Manchester in a traveller family but his wife Paris comes from Doncaster and the pair met at traveller gatherings in the town before becoming an item.

The pair tied the knot at St Peter In Chains Catholic Church in Chequer Road in 2008. The wedding attracted 400 guests. It was followed by a reception at The Stables in High Melton.

In December 2015, the fighter stunned shoppers in the Doncaster Church View branch of bargain store B&M when he popped in to do a spot of Christmas shopping.

He posed for photos with staff and was later spotted walking through Doncaster town centre, chatting and posing for selfies with fans.