Mix­ing with the stars on the red car­pet at the emo­tional Pride of Bri­tain Awards

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - CONTENTS -

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,

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