Wiggins voted best of British
Bradley Wiggins is the winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, with Jess Ennis and Andy Murray second and third respectively.
Wiggins' remarkable year came to a perfect conclusion on Sunday night as he picked up the prestigious gong in the city where he cruised to Olympic glory this summer.
Having clinched gold in the time trial at London 2012 just 10 days after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France, Wiggins was always the strong favourite to win the prestigious award at the ExCeL Arena.
And the cyclist duly won Sunday night's public vote, beating Ennis and Murray on an evening which paid tribute to Britain's Olympic stars.
The Duchess of Cambridge and David Beckham presented the top award.
The affable Wiggins, 32, has enjoyed the finest year of a glittering career, winning the Tour, Olympic gold, Paris-Nice, the Tour of Romandy and the Criterium du Dauphine.
Wiggins caused huge laughter in the auditorium when he referred to host Sue Barker as "Susan" during the opening stages of the ceremony, and again enthused the crowd with his acceptance speech.
To cheers of "Wiggo, Wiggo", the cyclist, beamingly proudly, said: "I am not going to swear tonight. I will just say thank you to every who rang up and voted.
"We have had all that jungle stuff and X Factor stuff in the last couple of weeks, so...
"For people who picked up and paid £1.50 to vote, thank you very much, and thanks to my nan. Your cheque's is in the post because I know you will have pressed redial so many times.
"What a year. To be standing on this stage with the likes of these people next to me is incredible."
Wiggins paid tribute to fellow riders plus the performance director and coach who have guided British cycling to a new high.
"I'd like to thank my team-mates, Dave Brailsford and Shane Sutton," he said. I'd like to thank British Cycling and Sky for paying me."
Wiggins was born in Ghent, Belgium, but was raised in London with his mother Linda after she separated from Wiggins' father Gary, who was also a professional rider.
He went on to win several junior titles after learning to ride in and around London before taking up professional racing.
He won six world championships and three Olympic golds on the track under British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford's guidance, and then turned his attention to the road, where he provided London 2012 with one of its greatest moments.
With over 300,000 fans lining the route, Wiggins pedalled to glory on August 1 and then slumped in a grand throne in front of Hampton Court Palace with his medal around his neck.
His greatest achievement came earlier in the summer, however, when he became the first Briton to win the Tour de France in its 99-race history.
British Cycling president Brian Cookson hailed the result, saying: "Bradley's win is a high point of what has been the greatest year in British Cycling's history.
"To win the Tour de France and gold in the Olympic time-trial in the same year is a feat that has anchored our sport in the mainstream of British life.
"The fact that three out of the 12 nominees this year are cyclists [Sir Chris Hoy and Sarah Storey were the others] is recognition of the hard work and dedication of not just our amazing athletes but of everyone who works in cycling.
"Dave Brailsford's win as Coach of the Year and BMX rider Quillan Isidore making it on to the short list for Young Sports Personality shows the success cycling has enjoyed across all disciplines.
"A cyclist has been crowned Sports Personality three times in the last five years, proving that cycling is the sport that has redefined our national sporting identity."
Wiggins was always the favourite to land the award after his exploits this summer, but bookmakers had slashed Ennis' odds by the start of the programme, suggesting the heptathlete was a major contender to win after her golden year.
Murray, who received his third-place award in Miami from Lennox Lewis, can count himself unlucky, having ended Britain's 76-year wait for a men's grand slam singles victory in September when he beat Novak Djokovic in the final of the US Open.
That win came just a month after he beat Roger Federer in the final of the men's singles at the Olympics, avenging the heart-breaking defeat the Swiss inflicted upon him in the Wimbledon title match in July.
But the final say of the night belonged to Wiggins, who rounded off by addressing the crowd with: "There's a free bar around the back that's paid for by the BBC so I hope you all go around there now."
The night became a glowing tribute to Britain's Olympic and Paralympic stars. Team GB and Paralympics GB, who won 65 and 120 medals respectively at London 2012, jointly claimed the Team of the Year award.
Brailsford was rewarded with the coaching award after overseeing Wiggins' Tour win and taking charge of the British cycling team at London 2012.
An emotional Lord Coe won the Lifetime Achievement award, for his role in securing and delivering the Games as well as his own stellar track career.
The fastest man on the planet, Usain Bolt, claimed the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year trophy after winning the Olympic 100 metres, 200 metres and the 4x100 metres relay with Jamaica.
Fifteen-year-old South Shields swimmer Josef Craig was the first winner of the night, picking up the Young Sports Personality of the Year award for his victory in the S7 400 metres freestyle at the Paralympics at the age of just 15.
Martine Wright, who lost both her legs in the July 7 bombings, won the second prize of the night - the Helen Rollason Award for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity.
Wright, 40, competed in the sitting volleyball competition at London 2012 just seven years after being seriously injured during the deadly terrorist attack on London in 2005 at Aldgate station.
Fabrice Muamba, who suffered an on-pitch heart attack during Bolton's game at Tottenham in March, handed out the third award of the night to Sue and Jim Houghton, who won the Unsung Hero honour having spent 25 years converting a derelict field into a thriving community sports centre in Desford, Leicestershire.