Tissues ready for the Pride of Britain Awards

Sunday: Pride of Britain Awards; (ITV, 9pm)

The Pride of Britain Awards have come of age – the event is celebrating its 21st birthday this year and it’s perhaps more timely than ever before.

“The Pride of Britain Awards remind us of the courage which still exists in every corner of the land,” says Prince Charles, who has been a regular attendee over the years – and with that simple statement, he sums up the purpose of this annual event.

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The ceremony started life in 1999 with the express intention to celebrate acts of bravery and selflessness from people whose actions would otherwise go unsung; these are ordinary folk with extraordinary stories.

We’re living in troubled times, which has brought the best out in some people, and means that more such acts seem to have occurred this year than ever before – no doubt those sitting on the panel that decides who receives the trophies in each category have faced a tough time trying to work it all out.

But what each winner and nominee has in common is the fact that they did what they did while expecting nothing for it in return. In fact, they would probably claim they simply carried out a deed that anybody else would have done had they been in the same position.

Those receiving nominations have had their names put forward by members of the public, with a panel comprised of dignitaries from various fields charged with the difficult job of deciding who wins what – and there won’t be a dry eye anywhere as the results are made public.

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As for the famous faces taking part, well, there will be lots of them keen to show their appreciation.

We don’t see that much of Carol Vorderman on the box these days, but she’s hosted every Pride of Britain ceremony to date and she will be taking charge of this one too.

“Pride of Britain is a very important part of my life,” says the former Countdown number-cruncher. “I’m thrilled that it’s become a staple part of British culture. I never fail to be humbled by those who have often turned a tragedy into something pretty magnificent.”

Although the names of most of the winners in the eight categories are yet to be revealed, one person already has their award, and if you’re unaware of their identity, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that it’s Captain Sir Tom Moore.

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The trophy caps off an incredible few months in which the centenarian became a national treasure after raising millions for charity.

Vorderman presented him with his award via video link, saying, “Tom, you’ve raised a quite frankly ridiculous amount of money, you have inspired everyone, young and old alike, and you’ve given us all something to smile about in these difficult times.

“And the other thing I love is that you’ve shown us all that being a bit older doesn’t mean you have to be weak or vulnerable. You are the embodiment of what it means to be a Pride of Britain winner.”

And so say all of us.

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