Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Professor Catherine Green and the team behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will be given the heroes of the year award at the 2021 GQ Men of the Year Awards.
The team was recognised on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, with Prof Gilbert made a dame after helping mastermind the new vaccine and Prof Green awarded an OBE for services to science and public health.
The annual award ceremony, taking place on September 1 and held in association with Boss, will be hosted by actor and musician Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina.
The married couple will jointly host the 24th edition of the awards at an in-person ceremony which will also see Sir Anthony Hopkins receive the legend award.
Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Prof Green told of the “emotional moment” when she received her first dose of the vaccine in April.
She said: “It was an emotional moment for me because I’m there along with other people receiving the AstraZeneca jab. And that meant a lot, because it was the culmination for us of the project that started back in January the year before.”
Dame Sarah, who co-designed the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, has had a Barbie doll created in her honour by toy company Mattel and she was among the medical staff and other “inspirational individuals” who were given a standing ovation at this year’s Wimbledon tennis tournament while a guest in the Royal Box.
She told GQ of the moment: “I didn’t know it was going to happen and would rather not have been filmed when it suddenly, unexpectedly did.”
Welsh actor Sir Anthony, 83, won his second best actor Oscar this year and told GQ he was asleep when his name was called at the end of the ceremony earlier this year.
He told GQ: “The Academy had stipulated that the nominees would have to go to either London or Dublin and, at my age, the risk of Covid and all that, I had no intention of going.
“I went to bed, then at about five o’clock in the morning, my buzzer went off on my phone. My agent said, ‘Tony, you’ve just got the second Oscar.’ I couldn’t believe it. We were all up and celebrating.
“So then I made a little speech and a tribute to Chadwick Boseman, sadly gone so young in his life.”
The GQ Men of the Year Awards 2021 in association with Boss take place on September 1.