Christine Lampard on why the Pride of Britain awards are inspirational

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The Pride of Britain awards celebrates the unsung heroes.

This year the awards ceremony is also celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Christine Lampard sat down with us to discuss the importance of the inspirational awards in such turbulent times.

The star-studded awards ceremony will air on TV on Tuesday, November 5 on ITV at 8pm.

What do the Pride of Britain Awards mean to you and why?

I’ve been going for several years now and every time you go, or watch at home, you think of the remarkable stories that are involved, and how on Earth can there be the same remarkable stories the following year?

Reading all of the nominees I couldn’t believe some of the tales and the achievements of people. It actually restores your faith in humanity – there is goodness out there. Some people do such selfless jobs and selfless acts.

It’s a really incredible, feel-good night and it’s a moment to say thank you, or a moment to say well done and what you do is appreciated. That’s why I think it’s such a special evening and why it’s appointment-to-view television for people as well.

To be part of it again this year is really a lovely thing for me, to be part of the judging panel is a big deal.



Pride of Britain judging panel debate the merits of the nominees
Pride of Britain judging panel debate the merits of the nominees

Was it hard picking winners?

I take it really seriously. You read every single one, every time you finish one breakdown of whatever the story is and you think it can’t get better than that and then you read the next one and the next one and they’re all brilliant.

There was a lot of deliberation on the day we all got together, all the judges around that huge table. It’s not done on a whim, because it is of a serious nature and these awards mean a great deal to people.

You do [get emotional] backing them. I sat next to Dermot O’Leary and we agreed on a lot of the awards.

Why do you think Pride of Britain is an important event?

Particularly this year – [it is] every year – but this year in terms of Britain and where we’re at, how we’re constantly talking about the one ‘B’ word [Brexit], you sort of think to yourself actually, we’ve got to be reminded that there’s other stuff.

There are other things happening in the world. People have still got to go to work every day and we’re talking about doctors, nurses, police… you think, hold on a second, life has to continue, irrespective of all this terrible negative stuff we hear in the news all of the time.

So I think this is a wee moment of reflection. And it is the best of people, it is the Pride of Britain.



Pride of Britain judging panel

Do you have a stand-out winner from past years?

There are so many. I do remember breast cancer doctors Professor Ray Powles and his twin Professor Trevor Powles. I loved them.

Is there a stand-out moment from sitting in the audience at the event?

Ella Chadwick last year, with her beautiful smiley face, she had David Beckham come in on the VT and surprise her. She was trying to raise money and said, ‘Is there anyone in the room that wants to start?’.

Simon Cowell started with however many thousands of pounds, and basically buckets went around.

How would you describe Pride of Britain?

It does exactly what it says in the title, for me it truly is the Pride of Britain and the great people that live in this country. People we need to be proud of, people we need more of, actually.

Reading a lot of the contenders this year, there were various names where you think, everyone needs that person in their life. Just because of the selflessness of their personalities and what they’re willing to do for other people.

It shows humans in the best possible way and it’s not what we’re used to hearing on the news anymore.

Which winner has caught your eye this year?

All of them… But Margaret Walker [a speech therapist who invented Makaton, a language programme
of signs, symbols and speech] for me. It’s because Makaton has come into my life because of my little girl watching Mr Tumble on CBeebies. Mr Tumble does Makaton signing… I’m learning it!

I was fascinated by this programme doing it and all the little children following. In this show it’s ‘time to sign’.

The signing is the one uniting force amongst a lot of these young people who have difficulties communicating. I didn’t know anything about this story but I had been talking about Makaton at home and then suddenly this [nominee] popped up. I went, ‘Oh my god’.

I didn’t know who this woman was, but here was her whole story. I love the idea that she knew it was the lack of the ability to communicate that was causing anger and frustration for so many people. There are more than 40 countries now that Makaton is used in – I think that’s a great story.



Pride of Britain 2019

Does the night make you feel your problems aren’t worth worrying about?

Loads! Every single winner that you see will make you feel like you’re inadequate and, ‘What are you moaning about?’

Every single story will do that for you this year, without a doubt. It’s a little kind of reboot, makes you reassess things.

Are you and your husband (Cheslea manager Frank Lampard) going together this year?

Hopefully. Football depending. But yes, certainly the intention is he’ll be coming with me, yes.

POB is where you met, so there’s a personal connection…

It’s 20 years since Pride of Britain this year and we met there 10 years ago this year. It always has a very special, personal connection, not that that has anything to do with these incredible stories, but there is a bit of a story for us, anyway.

Do you think Pride of Britain will be going in another 20 years?

Absolutely, it’s down to the people. I don’t think that’ll ever change or stop. There is goodness out there. In spite of what we’re always being told. People will always go above and beyond what they should do.

The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, in partnership with TSB, will be broadcast on ITV on Tuesday, November 5 at 8pm



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