Hum­bling, in­spir­ing, mov­ing... a night fit for heroes

Celebs pay trib­ute to our win­ners

Daily Mirror - - NEWS - BY RACHAEL BLETCHLY rachael.bletchly@mir­ror.co.uk

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.”

SPEC­TA­TORS

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...

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