Carol Vorderman will be hosting a star-studded ceremony that recognises Britain’s ordinary unsing heroes once again on Tuesday (ITV, October9) , so we caught up with her to find out about her love for The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards … and Benedict Cumberbatch!
This is your 16th year hosting The Pride of Britain Awards – what keeps you coming back?
“It’s like the granddaddy of that sort of awards ceremony and people have really taken it to their hearts. But what’s not to love? Anyone who doesn’t love the Pride of Britain Awards must be pretty cynical. Personally, I try to keep my emotions in check on the night, but when the show’s transmitted I sit at home in my onesie with a bottle of wine and sob!”
It must have been difficult for Susanna Reid, Ben Shephard and the rest of the judging panel to choose the winners from all the nominations you’ve received this year…
“It’s not been an easy process. This year we had a record number of nominations – 20,000 in just 48 hours! All of them are deserving, so it’s been a very difficult debate to have and occasionally things have got very heated! The Lifetime Achievement Award has been particularly difficult to judge this year.”
Over the years Prince Charles, Bill Clinton and the Beckhams have attended the night. Who’s coming this year?
“So many celebrities that we’ve even had to reject a few! I’d really like Benedict Cumberbatch to be there this year, though. And having just seen the film Guardians of the Galaxy I’d like Chris Pratt, too, for no other reason than I’d like to look at him!”
It must mean a lot for the winners to have the stars out in support…
“I think it’s just the icing on the cake. But one year we had Robbie Williams present an award to a little girl and when he came on he gave her a kiss. Afterwards I asked her if she’d like another kiss from Robbie and she said, ‘Eurrggh, no!'”
You’ve met so many deserving people since the show began, but is there one winner who sticks in your mind?
“The one I particularly loved was a lady called Jean Forrest back in 2000, who’d fostered an incredible 636 children over 37 years. We ended up renovating her home for Carol Vorderman’s Better Homes and when we did the reveal, the whole crew – even the cameramen – were in tears!”
The Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards, Tuesday, 8pm, ITV