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Daily Record
Daily Record
Heather Greenaway

Pride of Scotland 2023 judges meet to choose winners

Inspirational, remarkable and extraordinary are just some of the words our judges used about the nominations for the Pride of Scotland Awards.

The panel, chaired by Editor in Chief of Reach (Scotland) David Dick, met in March to deliberate over the shortlisted finalists for our People’s Oscars.

From acts of kindness and selfless bravery to raising thousands of pounds for charity and changing the lives of others, choosing the winners was extremely difficult.

It took three hours for the panel, which included Judy Murray and award hosts - actress and comedian Elaine C Smith and TV and radio star Sanjeev Kohli - to narrow down the field.

Eleven winners were chosen in seven categories - Child of Courage, TSB Community Hero, Emergency Services, Lifetime Achievement, Prince’s Trust Award, Special Recognition and Outstanding Bravery.

Hours of deliberation around a table in the DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow Central ended in the selection of a group of incredible unsung heroes, whose stories will gladden hearts and make us proud to be Scots.

Chair David said: “Judging was an incredibly emotional experience and having to choose between the shortlisted finalists was a difficult and heart-wrenching task which took hours.

“There are so many people doing great things in communities across Scotland. These awards are the perfect opportunity to give them the recognition they deserve and celebrate the people who make this country great.”

Elaine C Smith, who will take to the stage for the third time as host of The Daily Record Pride of Scotland Awards, with TSB, said: “I was greeting like a baby when I was reading the finalists’ stories. Each and every one has gone the extra mile for someone in need.

“Many have overcome adversity and others have dedicated their lives to making a difference to the lives of others. I was lost for words and that doesn’t happen often.

“I can’t wait to celebrate all the winners on the night and will definitely have a wee box of tissues tucked away as I know I’m going to be a blubbering wreck.”

Her co-host, Still Game’s Sanjeev, added: “We may be a wee country but when it comes to heroes we are one of the mightiest on the planet. I can’t wait to celebrate their extraordinary achievements.”

Author, TV personality and former tennis coach Judy, said: “This was my first time on the judging panel and I was blown away by all the finalists. Their compassion and dedication to changing the lives of others is awe-inspiring and deserves to be celebrated.”

Also on the distinguished judging panel were: Bobby Hain, Managing Director of Broadcast at STV; Gary Jones, Customer Delivery Director, TSB; Shiraz Lalani, Pride of Britain’s Editorial Director and Sunday Mail Editor Lorna Hughes.

TSB’s Gary Jones said: “I am delighted to be involved in this brilliant event. Being a judge was humbling. It makes you proud to be Scottish.

“Judging one person’s bravery and courage against another’s was a near-impossible task. We are so lucky to live in a country where so many go the extra mile for others.”

STV’s Bobby Hain was equally impressed. He said: “Incredible - any one of the shortlisted nominations could have been a winner. It was an honour to be involved in the judging process again but as in other years it was no easy task and there was a lot of debate.”

Sunday Mail editor Lorna Hughes added: “The awards are aptly named - the finalists all make me proud to be Scottish. When it comes to compassion, selflessness and determination the Scots cannot be beaten.”

Shiraz said: “I’m involved in all the Pride events and Pride of Scotland is one of my favourites due to the calibre of the finalists - so many ordinary people achieving the extraordinary on a daily basis. Amazing.”

Our 11 incredible unsung heroes will be celebrated at a ceremony at Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms on Thursday, June 22 and will be attended by a myriad of stars from TV, sport and music.

Winners of the red carpet event, which is in its fourth year, will be announced in the Daily Record on June 22, with coverage continuing that week.

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