Carol: ‘I cry lots before the Pride awards!’

Prepare to shed tears, as it’s that time of year again when Carol Vorderman presents the glittering Pride of Britain ceremony. Celebrating the very best of British, by honouring the nation’s most selfless, brave and inspiring citizens. But how does Carol feel about making the nation cry every year?

Pride of Britain gets better ratings than Brits, Baftas and Oscars. Does it add to the pressure?

“No, not at all, other than we’re all trying to produce as wonderful an event as possible – and that requires a hell of a lot of work from everybody. It’s just worth it when you see the winners’ faces. Honestly that’s what makes it… You can see, they’re always completely overwhelmed by the reception they get from the audience, which is just wonderful.”

Do you find it hard to keep your emotions in check?

“I do actually. The only thing is by the time it comes to the night, I know the stories, I’ve met them and I’ve met the families so it’s not a big surprise to me, not like it hits you the first time. I’ve probably sobbed about five times on each story by the time the night comes!

“But even then it’s still… It got to me last year particularly.”

How do you feel about making the nation cry?

“I know! It’s because the stories touch us, almost like a beautiful song can, there’s a physical resonance within us. There’s a goodness you can see on the stage. It’s honest courage and it’s a bit like the story of the sun and the wind. I know every one says these things and it sounds like a cliche, but it really is a privilege to do it.”

Do you feel there’s a reason it gets more popular?

“When you see Pride of Britain you see how things could be. People being kind to each other or being brave, they are all very selfless individuals. I think the awards become more significant every year really. The extremes between the selflessness and the selfish become more.”

What do you think of Bob Woodward, 77, who is being honoured with the Pride of Britain Lifetime Achievement Award for founding charity CLIC Sargent, which helps children with cancer and their families?

“CLIC Sargent is incredible. The emotional support they give to families is very important. Bob’s done so much for decades. His perseverance and endurance is extraordinary. His lifetime dedication is remarkable. With lifetime achievement winners, it’s never for self-glorification, they never forget why they went into it, and they are exceptional people.”

What about Ann Timson, 71, who made national headlines when she single-handedly foiled armed robbers with her handbag? She’s being given an Outstanding Bravery Award…

“Ann’s absolutely fearless. Incredibly brave. She’s of a generation where if that happened, you did something! She’s wonderful. We’ve got such a great selection of winners this year.”

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