IN front of her largest ever domestic audience and a galaxy of sporting stars, gymnast Beth Tweddle nervously chalked her hands before giving the shortest and perhaps most nerve-wracking performance of her career at Birmingham's NEC.
Britain's greatest ever gymnast really began to feel the nerves as she demonstrated part of the uneven bars routine that won her the nation's first ever world gold medal in Aarhus, Denmark, in October.
But it wasn't the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show's 7.2 million viewers that were causing butterflies - it was the knowledge she was to perform before the eyes of true legends of sport, including Dame Kelly Holmes.
'Kelly Holmes is my inspiration,' said Beth. 'It was great to meet the amazing sports stars who attended the event but to me Kelly is my icon.
'She has had to contend with and beat some major injuries. I can relate to that and to see what she managed to achieve through sheer grit and dedication after everything she went through is a great encouragement for me.'
The world and European champion from Bunbury received 12.9% of the public vote on Sunday to come third in this year's sports personality contest behind Ryder Cup hero Darren Clarke and winner Zara Phillips, the equestrian world champion and daughter of the Princess Royal.
'It was nice just to be around so many people who had achieved such great things,' said Beth. 'I spoke briefly to Zara and Darren after the programme ended and I also met Amir Khan and Kelly Holmes.'
When the time came for her demonstration, Beth had a very special outfit - a gymnastic leotard with a dinner jacket and bow tie design.
A slightly embarrassed Beth explained: 'That was my coach Amanda Kirby's idea. I was really nervous because normally the crowd are further away and you are among competitors and people you know well.
'This time I felt like the audience was right on top of me and I knew the great sports people who were in the crowd and that is quite nerve-wracking. But at least I didn't fall off and I think I was able to show a wider audience how difficult the sport is.'
And the former Chester Queen's School pupil told how proud she was to be nominated.
'I was honoured to even be on the list,' she said. 'To be voted third was definitely a surprise. I would like to thank The Chronicle and its readers for their support and votes.
'All the money goes to Sport Relief which is a very good cause so thank you again.'