Last week I was lucky enough to be asked to photograph a large event called the Sunday Mail, Great Scot Awards 2013. The event is an annual awards anual awards ceremony to celebrate and honor the incredible achievements of unsung heroes and community champions from across Scotland. Covering events like this can be challenging thanks to varying light sources and the unpredictable nature of live events. My job for the night was to cover everything that was happening on stage. News reader Jackie Bird and comedian Kevin Bridges were hosting the event and each award was presented by a VIP and a sponsor.
I have copied the following words from the Sunday Mail.
Great Scot 2013: Country’s biggest stars outshone by amazing winners of the People’s Oscars at glittering awards bash
WHILE appearances from well-known faces – including Scotland boss Gordon Strachan, Duncan Bannatyne and the River City cast – added some showbiz sparkle, it was the winners who were they real stars of the night.
IT was a night when every winner got a standing ovation and the biggest stars were outshone by some extraordinary people who showed what being a Great Scot really means.
From immense bravery, millions raised for charity and humbling acts of kindness to changing other people’s lives, the Sunday Mail’s 23rd Great Scot Awards have proved themselves worthy of being called the People’s Oscars.
And while host Kevin Bridges’s side-splitting gags and appearances from well-known faces – including Scotland boss Gordon Strachan, I’m A Celebrity’s Christopher Biggins, TV dragon Duncan Bannatyne, X Factor star Jahmene Douglas and the River City cast – added a showbiz sparkle to the event, it was our winners that left them star-struck.
None more so than Dr Nadeem Siddiqui, our overall Great Scot, whose incredible story had many of the audience wiping away tears. A cancer specialist, he spends his life helping others as his nine-year-old daughter waits to find a bone marrow transplant to halt her rare leukaemia. In his fight to find a match, he’s also raised more than £180,000 for the Anthony Nolan cancer charity and added 500 names to their donor register.
Community Champion, voted for by our sponsor Lidl’s thousands of customers, went to Harry Nunn. The 91-year-old won over the whole room at Glasgow’s Thistle Hotel as he collected his award as the country’s oldest volunteer, helping out three days a week at The Brae Riding for the Disabled in Dundee. He told Gordon Strachan he was available if he needed another player.
The Scotland manager said: “It’s different from the usual dinners I attend. Tonight, I have met real people who have shown real bravery and commitment. It makes you feel insignificant.”
Unsung Hero awards went to Frank Delaney, who’s run a boxing gym in Shotts for 35 years, and Lorna Dempsey, who raised £250,000 for charity after her best pal died from breast cancer. Soldier Andy Peat, who saved six lives by covering a Taliban booby-trap with his body, was also a winner.
Folk music giants Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham – who have been entertaining the nation every Hogmanay with Sunday Mail columnist and BBC anchorwoman Jackie Bird – picked up our Lifetime Achievement Award.
As they collected the award, Phil joked to event co-host Jackie: “Happy new year!”
Sport Award winner Judy Murray was close to tears when her two Wimbledon champion sons, Andy and Jamie, appeared on big TV screens to congratulate the coach on her award for the years she has spent helping promote Scottish tennis.
Andy said: “This is well-deserved, mum. We love you and have a great night.”
Judy said: “It’s a huge honour to win. I always come to events to pick up awards for the boys, so to get something for myself is amazing.”
X Factor runner-up Jahmene Douglas, who presented the award to Judy, said: “My mum means a lot to me so to see someone else’s mum inspire other children is really moving.”
Newsnight host Kirsty Wark picked up a special Entertainment Award on behalf of writer Iain Banks’s widow, Adele. She said The Wasp Factory author, who died earlier this year of cancer, would have been thrilled so many Scots voted for him.
She said: “If he was here, he would be having a malt whisky to celebrate.”
The Charity Award was picked up by Ann Maxwell, founder of the Muir Maxwell Trust, who has raised an eye-watering £8million for research into childhood asthma. And the Business Award went to textile firm Pringle, who are about to celebrate their 200th anniversary.
Sunday Mail executive editor Jim Wilson said: “We can’t remember a more inspiring set of finalists. Every one of them is a Great Scot and it was a privilege to share their evening.”
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