Our Jimmy to present FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala in Zurich

James Nesbitt  attends the  Red Carpet for the SPOTY awards at Titanic Belfast on Sunday evening ,The BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015 is held at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

James Nesbitt attends the Red Carpet for the SPOTY awards at Titanic Belfast on Sunday evening ,The BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015 is held at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

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James Nesbitt lists Pat McAllister, Dessie Dickson and Terry Cochrane among his sporting heroes.

The Coleraine fan is a regular visitor to The Showgrounds on his visits home, but next month he will be rubbing shoulders with some of the game’s footballing royalty.

The star of Cold Feet and The Hobbit has been announced as one of the hosts of this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala. The Coleraine man, who is more used to receiving awards, will turn master of ceremonies as he presents the prestigious ceremony in Zurich next month.

He’ll be handing out the prizes to some of the biggest names in world football, including the Ballon d’Or or ‘golden ball’ for player of the year.

The title has been held by Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo since 2013, but he will face tough competition from the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar.

James Nesbitt is set to co-host this year’s awards alongside last year’s host, English presenter Kate Aldo.

She said: “When I got asked to do the Ballon d’Or last year I thought it was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

“Knowing that I’ll be a part of it for the second time is a real privilege.”

Speaking to UTV recently, James Nesbitt said he’s looking forward to reprising his role in Cold Feet when it returns after a 12-year break.

The Ballon d’Or Gala will be held on 11 January.