When I were a lad, one of the highlights of my year around Christmas time was the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year programme, which, back in those far-off days, gave us the chance to relive all the great sporting moments of the year gone by.
Sadly, it is now but a shadow of its former self, the absense of real sport on the BBC leaving the programme reliant on gimmickry, chat, and occasional off-colour remarks by the presenters.
The BBC won't even show clips of the sport it still has - notably Wimbledon, football and snooker - presumably for fear of highlighting what it doesn't have.
In short, the programme, and the oddly-named award itself, has become one of those great annual television non-events that we somehow still feel compelled to watch, second in this respect only to the even more meaningless Eurovision Song Contest.
And yet the national press seemingly remains obsessed with the show. Over recent weeks, national sports coverage appears to have turned into a running commentary, (c) all newspapers, into whose name is on the award this year.
Here's a sample from the national media following England's cricketing triumphs over Pakistan, which has propelled spinner Monty Panesar (pictured) into the status of bookies' favourite.
"As the wickets fell at Headingley yesterday so too did the odds on Monty Panesar winning the 2006 BBC Sports Personality Of The Year." - The Guardian.
"Confirmation of Panesar’s place in the national consciousness came with the news that William Hill, the bookmakers, had last night made Panesar their 7-2 favourite to become BBC Sports Personality of the Year." - The Times.
"With so many other big names floundering across the English sports spectrum, the popular Panesar could even be bowling himself into contention to succeed Andrew Flintoff as BBC Sports Personality of the Year." Daily Mail.
"With Andrew Flintoff on the sidelines, Panesar has taken over as the focus of affection for England fans. Now Panesar is one of the top five contenders to follow Flintoff as BBC Sports Personality of the Year." - The BBC.
I don't want to take anything away from Panesar. He looks like the best spin bowling prospect in English cricket since Phil Tufnell and possibly even Derek Underwood. But his achievements and talent should speak for themselves without the addition of this pointless bauble.
It's doubtless too much to expect the BBC to knock their wretched award on the head. But it's surely high time the rest of the media ceased their obsession with it.