Amanda Holden: ‘I’ll cry in the privacy of my own home’

Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden tells us why she’s determined to hold back the tears when she presents The Sun’s Military Awards (ITV, Monday, December 16), recognising the sacrifice of our Armed Forces…

This is your fifth year presenting A Night Of Heroes alongside Phillip Schofield. What keeps you coming back?
“It’s an absolute cliche, but it’s such a humbling night. I get to go to so many lovely award ceremonies, but they’re fluffy in comparison to this. When I hear about the people who’ve got the awards, my heart breaks and it just puts everything into perspective.”

Ten awards are being presented on the night. How do you feel when you hear the winners’ stories?
“War is something I’ve always been quite angry about, but this show has helped me come to an understanding about it. It’s not just about politics, money and weapons, but about helping other people live better lives. And these people who give up their lives and limbs for other people – it’s just such a selfless attitude. It takes a special type of person.”

The show’s very emotional. Do you find it difficult not to cry?
“I get any emotion out of the way beforehand. I just think, ‘you’ve got to hold it together, Amanda, and do them proud!’ I can cry in the privacy of my own home, but this is so serious that if I cried every time someone came on to collect an award, it would be awful!”
It’s such a glamorous event. How do the winners cope in front so many famous faces?
“Some of their speeches, considering they’re off the cuff, are amazing! But I think if somebody has gone through hell and back, they have this inner confidence. They don’t sweat the small stuff any more.”

What about you? Do you still get nervous?
“Yes! I stand up there every year and think, ‘oh my God, there’s Kate, there’s William, there’s Christian Bleakley, Frank Lampard…’ and it’s really nerve wracking! But Phillip’s the silver fox of showbiz and he knows what he’s doing, so I’ll just cling to his coat tails!”

A Night of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards is on Monday, December 16 at 9pm on ITV