Pride coming before a bawl
HAVE you ever cried so hard watching TV that people walk into the room and wonder if you’ve injured yourself? Not many shows leave me looking like a panda but the Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards on ITV on Tuesday broke me within eight minutes. An all-time record. By the time Carol Vorderman was interviewing the first winner, Teenager of Courage Joe Rowlands, I was drafting a letter of complaint to L’oreal because my waterproof mascara had failed dismally. If you didn’t see the epic sobfest – and you should and still can on the ITV Hub – 14-year-old Joe rescued his dad from the sea after their kayak capsized and Paul lost consciousness through hypothermia. “I think we’re going to die,” he told dad Paul before they tried to swim to safety. I barely had time to recover before we saw 11-year-old Ella Chadwick, the Child of Courage winner, who has kidney disease yet wrote 250 get well cards for fellow patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
A grinning Ella met David Beckham – she’ll appreciate that even more when she’s older – while her mum and dad tried to remain casual. Staff at GOSH must have been briefed to the hilt because nurses were not screeching or flinging themselves at him. I MAY have behaved this way.
Later we met ten-year-old Max Johnson, who had a heart transplant and became the face of the Mirror’s opt-out organ donor campaign for Max’s Law.
“Thank you for making the law go through and all that,” said Max to Theresa May. Possibly the politest boy on the planet.
But it was the sight of his donor’s brave parents in the audience that floored me. Tragic nine-year-old Keira Ball was killed in a road accident – but her heart lives on in Max.
Other tear-jerkers included the Thai boys who were rescued from a cave by British divers, walking on stage bowing, hands clasped, full to the brim with gratitude.
And then there was Lifetime Achievement winner Eddie O’gorman, whose voice cracked as he spoke of losing both his son and daughter to cancer.
“I couldn’t stop crying,” said the 83-year-old, who founded Children With Cancer UK. I wasn’t the only one left a mess. “If you need me I’m just here having a breakdown watching Pride of Britain!” tweeted actress Sian Gibson.
But despite the emotional toll, it was a mega-dose of goodness.
In a world of Trump and anti-semitism and terrorism and all those other scary things, it restores your faith in humanity.
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