Pride of Britain Awards Write UpÖ
Last night we went to the Pride of Britain awards after winning the Pride of Britain Fundraiser of the Year award for the West Country East.
We caught the train down to London where we were collected from Paddington Station by a car provided by ITV. We were taken to the Cumberland Hotel, which is opposite Marble Arch on the corner of Park Lane. We checked in and then had a briefing by ITV.
There were 17 Regional Pride of Britain winners and their partners so 34 of us in total. One of us was going to become the national winner that evening and we didnít know who! One of the top guys from ITV stood up and talked about each of us for a few minutes each. He knew who we were, what we had done, how much we had raised and spoke without using any notes. Very impressive and very emotional to hear all the stories.
We then had a couple of hours to get ready so we went for a walk up Park Lane and checked out the Aston Martin showroom
We met in the reception at 5pm and were taken to the red carpet at the Grosvenor Hotel by a rather posh minibus with leather bucket seats!
The red carpet was lined by photographers and film crews on one side and loads of school kids with autograph books on the other. We were told to take it slow up the red carpet and chat to people so I stayed on the opposite side to the cameras and took my chances with the school kids! About half way up a school teacher explained to me that they were on a school trip and the children were having a competition to see how many autographs they could get but they had been there for hours and no one was signing any so she asked me if I could sign some. I explained I wasnít famous but she said it didnít matter.
As soon as I signed one all these little hands shot up holding books and pens, it was a free for all and I was very embarrassed!! I just wrote ĎAlexí on as many books as possible and the school teacher looked really excited! On my left a cameraman arrived and started filming! So much for my plan to slip into the awards unnoticed! Further up the carpet Barbra Windsor was being interviewed on my left and one of the Dragons, Kelly Hoppen (the lady with the ginger curly hair) from Dragons Den was also close by.
Once inside, we grabbed a glass of free champagne and started to see loads of famous people, all looking quite old from how I remember them from TV. I didnít talk to anyone famous but loads of people were getting pictures with the stars.
We were called down to the main hall for dinner where loads of the more well known celebrities were arriving late, loads of people were jumping up and getting pictures but we just stayed seated and just spoke to people as they came over. Tom Daly came over for a photo and Chris Tarrant gave me the most massive hug ever! All the Dragons who were looking very frightening were sat about a table away and towards the stage were people like Richard Hammond and the Strictly dancers and celebs etc.
Once the awards had started I started to look at where the fundraisers were all sitting and then I realized that I was sat closest to the stage! Oh no!! what if Iíve won? What am I going to say? My mind went completely blank and I couldnít think of anything. It was about 10pm that the National Fundraiser of the year award was announced and when they opened the golden envelope I thought *&%$!!!... Paula was called out for bringing the Ice Bucket Challenge to the UK where it went viral and raised 4 million and actually broke Justgiving!! She really didnít think she was going to win! By this time I had actually started to breathe again!
After the awards I had to do a quick interview for the West Country ITV news and then drank a couple of free beers
I had my picture taken with Carol Vorderman and Jimmy Carr. I also spoke to the head of the Daily Mirror for a bit who was really nice.
It was a bit strange that nobody wanted to talk about Seariders but I got through the night ok
There were loads of pop groups and stars that I didnít recognize but lots of other people did. We went back to our hotel in taxi about 1am and had a cheeky beer before bed!
ITV were great at getting us from a to b and making us feel that we were all part of it. The people who won awards were absolutely amazing and it will be worth watching the awards on ITV this Thursday at 8pm.
Got home about lunch time today feeling very smug that we have now raised £58,500 which has provided a Macmillan Nurse for over a year, in fact we have provided care for 141 cancer patents from the point of diagnosis which is the best award that I can ever imagine!
A massive thanks to Andre who was the first to nominate and for everyone else who did as well. Also thanks so much to all those who raised this money and worked so had to get the job done.
Also a massive thanks to the Moderators on here who let us run riot for the last three years fundraising and moving all our posts about for us.
Pics to follow...