Mixing with the stars on the red carpet at the emotional Pride of Britain Awards
Every year around this time we are reminded that here in the UK we have some wonderful selfless people who deserve to be thought of as heroes .... And for one night they are treated as such.
The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards is aptly named because there is an enormous amount of pride and admiration in that room for the winners.
It was a particularly inspiring night at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Park Lane where the awards are held, as we listened to stories of bravery, often against the odds and in circumstances which are hard to believe.
I am, of course, lucky enough to be invited every year as Carol Vorderman’s guest and this year was a particularly poignant one for her.
It was the 20th anniversary of the awards and, as you will see when the show is aired on Tuesday night, Carol is thanked for her 20–year contribution in a very special way.
The celebrities were all out in force as usual but like no other star-studded occasion I can think of, it’s not about them at all.
They have to sit there for hours listening to the real stars in the room tell their stories.
Remember the evening is a lot longer than the edited version that appears on our screens.
We get there around 6pm and after the red carpet, a champagne reception and dinner, the show begins. The final award is handed out around 11pm.
It’s a long time for some of these celebs to have to concentrate but concentrate they do and they sit there with cameras watching every expression on their faces for all that time. I won’t spoil the stories for you but there are some incredible ones.
Make sure you tune in on Monday to watch.
Of course, the outfits are never a surprise for long,
Best dressed, worst dressed and barely dressed are singled out for critiques and in the world of celebrity, as long as you are being talked about, the choice of outfit has done its job.
Carol sent me photos of her dress fittings during the week but, even so, I was absolutely bowled over to see them in the flesh.
She is nearly 60! It doesn’t seem possible. She looked absolutely stunning.
I loved her pewter and gold show dress, but her red ball gown which she wore on the red carpet stole the show in my opinion.
Other fabulous dresses were worn by Susanna Reid and Holly Willoughby.
Susanna’s flouncy pink gown made her look like a petite little Disney princess, while Holly’s sexy red figure-hugging number was demure enough for the occasion but showed off her fabulously figure perfectly.
Lovely Jenni Falconer stood out in an electric blue number which looked stunning against her blonde locks and Megan Mckenna, celebrity X Factor’s county singing front runner, looked so elegant in a floral gown with a mesh over skirt.
All in all it was the usual mix of glamour, tears, and inspiration.
Speaking of Megan McKenna, I enjoyed listening to her own song which she was brave enough to sing on the first live X Factor show last Saturday.
She was, in my opinion, most definitely one of the better acts.
Megan and I go back a long way though so I might be a bit biased .
Eleven years ago I coached her on Britain’s Got Talent when she and her friend jumped out of a giant birthday cake singing ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’.
I thought Jenny did really well too but I was very glad Nicole gave her a safe seat.
After the drama of being sent home then brought back, she deserved a bit of safety.
I’m going to be controversial here and say I agreed with Simon’s choice to save Martin Bashir instead of Oliva Olsen even though the public have been a bit outraged by his decision.
Her version of “Anyone Who Had A Heart” – made famous by Dionne Warwick and “our Cilla” – was horrendous in my opinion.
A thumping base line which resembled a club track has no place in that song. It was just painful to listen to.
Although it’s not Olivia’s fault what version of the song she is given, the vote is on who was best on the night.
To me, Martin was entertaining and fun. He can’t really sing but it’s the X Factor not The Voice.
He has likeability and I wanted to hear him and see him again, unlike Olivia who made me shout at the TV.
Simon knows what he is doing, let’s face it.
Wagner, Jedward and Chico weren’t the best singers but they are now household names.
Keep in the fun ones Simon – it’s Saturday night entertainment after all!
Have a good week,