Pride of Britain Awards: Stars come out to support UK's true heroes


David Beckham, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell were among the stars who took to the red carpet at the Pride of Britain Awards to give their support to some of Britain's bravest people.

Former England football captain turned style icon Beckham flew in from New York to present an award at the event in central London, while Fernandez-Versini arrived arm-in-arm with former Girls Aloud bandmates Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts.

They were joined by celebs including singers Peter Andre and Pixie Lott, television presenters Holly Willoughby and Susanna Reid, EastEnders' Barbara Windsor, Dragons' Den businessman Duncan Bannatyne, Olympians Tom Daley, Rebecca Adlington and Nicola Adams, England cricketer Stuart Broad and boyband Rixton.

London mayor Boris Johnson also attended, and the Prince of Wales and Prime Minister David Cameron recorded messages to be shown on a big screen.

Cowell told 11-year-old Danial Sayani, who won a First News competition to interview stars at the ceremony, that he liked the awards because they went to normal people.

"I go to a lot of these (other) award things so I see the same people picking up the same awards, it gets boring," the pop svengali said.

The awards will recognise everyday heroes in the UK, plus British aid workers who risked their lives to save thousands of Ebola victims and emergency medics who scaled a rollercoaster to rescue the victims of the Alton Towers crash.

The Daily Mirror awards recognise courage, selflessness and achievement against the odds with nominees voted by members of the public.

Eight-year-old Bailey Matthews was presented with his Child of Courage award by a quartet of London 2012 Olympic medal winners.

The schoolboy from Doncaster, who has cerebral palsy, captured the nation's heart when footage was put online in July showing him crossing the line at the Castle Howard Triathlon in North Yorkshire in July without his walking frame after completing a triathlon consisting of a 100 metre swim, 4km bike ride and 1.3km run.

He was given his award by diver Tom Daley, swimmer Rebecca Adlington, cyclist Victoria Pendleton and long jumper Greg Rutherford.

Adlington praised what he had done, and said: "He's an inspiration and I like the fact that swimming is his favourite as well. He gets extra points for that."

Pensioners Fred and Vivienne Morgan picked up a Special Recognition award for turning their home into a school for bullied children, despite being 94 and 72 respectively.

They were given their awards by former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and TV legend Sir Bruce Forsyth.

Halliwell said it was an "absolute privilege" to meet such "amazing people", adding: "How inspiring are they to give up their time to help other people and change their lives.

Mrs Morgan, who with her husband used to run a hotel, praised their staff and said: "Winning an award was the last thing we wanted when we started. We just wanted to do something to stop children taking their lives in despair about their futures."

The special recognition award for the British Ebola aid effort recognises that the dedication and care of British support workers helped to contain the outbreak and reduce the number of deaths.

It notes that doctors, nurses and support staff willingly went to the worst affected areas to set up treatment centres even though they risked catching Ebola as they lived and worked alongside victims.

British nurses Will Pooley, 30, of Suffolk, and Pauline Cafferkey, 37, of Glasgow, and British Army medic Corporal Anna Cross, 25, of Cambridge, have all recovered after being treated for the contagious disease.

:: The ceremony will be broadcast on ITV at 8pm on Thursday.