Humbling, inspiring, moving... a night fit for heroes
Celebs pay tribute to our winners
IT WAS a glittering night of celebration and emotion as a galaxy of stars came out to honour everyday heroes who are the Pride of Britain.
More than 100 of our most famous faces were wreathed in smiles as they graced the red carpet in London last night for the awards bash that outdazzles them all.
The Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards, in partnership with TSB, was once again recognising the ordinary men, women and children whose extraordinary achievements embody the very best of the human spirit and what makes our nation great.
And, as the celebrity guests arrived to hear the truly amazing tales of heroism, courage, determination and devotion, their hearts swelled with pride and the tears began to flow.
Speaking for them all, rock legend Sir Rod Stewart said: “Pride of Britain isn’t like the Oscars or the Grammys where everyone is patting each other on the back.
“These winners are real people and they deserve the entire nation’s thanks. It’s going to be a real tearjerker.”
And actress Dame Joan Collins added: “I think these awards are so unique because the people are so special. They’ve have all done something amazing something we’ll all probably never do.”
Prince William was guest of honour at the 19th annual event which was also attended by Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
And the VIP guests came from all spheres of society – politics, pop, stage, screen, business, sport and science. But every one was more than happy to be eclipsed by the REAL stars of the night - the winners, aged five to 85.
There were courageous kids, fundraisers, a sky-diving pensioner, pioneers and victims of tragedies who refused to be bowed.
And, in a year that had the London and Manchester terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire, William had been determined to attend to honour our heroic emergency services.
The red carpet outside the Grosvenor House was lined with hundreds of cheering spectators desperate to get autographs and selfies with their favourite stars But the celebs were aware this would be a more emotional occasion than ever because of the awards honouring terror and fire victims and saviours.
TV presenter Christine Bleakley arrived with soccer star husband Frank Lampard.
She said: “Pride of Britain is one of those events that everyone knows is coming.
“And it’s also one of those events where you just can’t not cry. Tonight is going to be very tough after everything that’s happened this year, but uplifting, too.” Dame Esther Rantzen added: “It’s the event of the year.”
Singer Liam Payne said: “Our country has been through a lot this year and it’s important to celebrate these unsung heroes. Pride of Britain reminds us all we need to be nicer to each other and make the world a better place.” I’m A Celebrity queen Scarlett Moffat arrived with her mum. She said: “It’s such an honour to be here with such brave, inspiring people. We’ve always watched it on TV and I cry buckets, so I’ve packed my handbag full of tissues.” Former Strictly winner Ore Oduba said: “This has been an awful year, there have been real tragedies. But it’s a celebration really because these events could have
been so much worse if it hadn’t been for the emergency services.” Alesha Dixon added: “It’s amazing to see how resil- ient people are in a time when we all live in fear.” Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield were there to present the This Morning Emergency Services Award to the Grenfell firefighters. Holly said: “Most people run away from danger and these people ran towards it to save lives. It’s extremely humbling.” Co-host Phillip said: “This is a night of heroes. It’s all about saying thank you.” Loose Women’s Coleen Nolan said: “In today’s climate of fear to hear stories like this gives you faith in humankind again.” GMB presenter and Pride of Britain judge, Susanna Reid added: “It’s really important for Pride of Britain to celebrate those people we all rely on, all of us.” Pregnant TV presenter Katie Piper said: “I was on the judging panel and because it’s been such a difficult year it was particularly hard to choose the winners. Because all the nominees were incredible, inspirational people.”
MP Yvette Cooper who arrived with husband Ed Balls added: “The Pride of Britain is a really important celebration of the best of our country and also a tribute to immense bravery.”
Theresa May said: “I am humbled to be supporting these awards again this year. We celebrate unsung heroes of every age and background from all communities.”
Awards founder and Mirror editor Peter Willis added: “Their amazing stories are humbling yet life-affirming testaments to the indomitable British spirit which will inspire millions.”
GRINS Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne LABOUR DAY Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper last night JOY Amanda Holden outside
STARS Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster
GO WITH THE FLOW Holly arrives in stunning dress to present firefighters award GLITZ Paddy McGuinness with his wife Christine DAME GOOD Joan Collins FLORAL TWIST Susanna Reid TUM NIGHT Pregnant Billy Piper on red carpet PROUD Liam Payne in smart dark...