The Sherlock actor took over from last year’s host Morgan Freeman, introducing presenters and guests include Eric Cantona, Lewis Hamilton, Sir Bobby Charlton, Lord Sebastian Coe, and Tony Hawk.
Winners this year included four-time Olympic Gold medal swimmer Missy Franklin from the United States, who won Sportswoman of the Year; Sebastian Vettel, who in 2013 won his fourth straight Formula One World Championship, and was named Sportsman of the Year; and British BMX star Jamie Bestwick who was Action Sportsperson of the Year.
The show started with a tribute to the passengers of flight MH370 and a moving speech from Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Benedict then took over, paying tribute to Laureus Patron Mandela and the journey he took to change the world through sport.
Rush star Daniel Bruhl then took to the stage to announce Missy as Sportswoman of the Year, and later Benedict asked Sebastian to reveal his superstitions – which involve putting coins in his shoes, one in the left, one in the right.
Later in the show, Jamie Foxx arrived on stage in his guise as Ray Charles, who he played in the 2004 film Ray, and performed for the sports stars in the audience.
This year’s Sport For Good award went to Magic Bus.
Founded by Englishman Matthew Spacie and based in Mumbai, the initiative aims to take children out of poverty through a programme of mentoring and coaching.
Since 2001, the Magic Bus programme has grown to embrace over 300,000 children in 12 states each week, and Spacie’s ambition now is to reach out to one million children each week by 2016.