Tickets for BBC's Sports Personality of the Year - which is to be staged at Birmingham's NEC - sold out in less than an hour yesterday morning.

A total of 3,000 tickets were made available following the announcement that the show is to be opened to the public for the first time in its 53-year history.

The event is being held at Hall 9 of the National Exhibition Centre on December 10, in what will be the first time it has been staged outside of London.

The BBC's executive editor of Sports Personality of the Year, Philip Bernie, said: "This is great news. We're delighted with the public response, and it shows the great interest and affection the programme has for viewers.

"We're now looking forward to putting on a good show both for the audience and viewers."

The NEC beat off competition from venues across the country to stage the event, which will feature the cream of domestic and international sports stars.