Pride of Britain 2016: the winners

An incredible mix of bravery and dedication marks out the amazing people who have saved lives, raised money, fought against adversity and inspired the nation


Billy Muir – Community Partner 


Over the past five decades, 68 year old grandfather Billy has helped keep the remote Orkney Island community of North Ronaldsay running, doing up to 20 jobs including airport baggage handler, electrician, builder, rubbish collector, shepherd and firefighter. He’s also been the lighthouse keeper for 47 years and leads guided tours, which means getting up the 176 steps to the top, because he’s so aware of the importance of tourism to the island.

Karen Johnson – Special Recognition

Having lost two young sons to the debilitating genetic disease Hunter Syndrome and seen her daughter fight her way through leukaemia, Karen has raised more than £2.6 million with her GEM Appeal to fund research that has helped to reverse symptoms in patients with genetic disorders.

Nikki Christou – Child of Courage

At the age of six, schoolgirl Nikki was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition that left her with a facial disfigurement that has since seen her undergo 28 operations. But instead of shutting herself away, she turned herself into a YouTube star, sharing her experiences of her condition, and giving make-up tips and words of support to others struggling with chronic illnesses.

With her parents, she started The Butterfly AVM Charity, and has so far raised £400,000 for research at Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College London.

Rhea Kara – GMB Young Fundraiser

Rett Syndrome affects mostly young girls, preventing them from speaking, walking or using their hands and often leaving them with lifelong disabilities.

When schoolgirl Rhea Kara heard about the disorder she dedicated herself to painting a picture a day for 100 days and selling them to raise money for the charity Reverse Rett. Continuing her project for a second year she has so far raised £13,500 to help fund research into the condition and is now an ambassador for the charity.

Team GB

Adam Peaty, Laura Trott and her fiance Jason Kenny, the women’s hockey team, Dame Sarah Storey… the list of Britain’s Rio Olympic and Paralympic gold medalists goes on… and on… with the final Olympics medal table seeing Team GB an incredible second behind the US – and above the enormous China – having inspired a nation, and generations of athletes to come…

Francesca Brown – Prince’s Trust Young Achiever

Having battled through depression and family difficulties, Francesca Brown set up Goals4Girls, a football based development programme aimed at helping young girls tackle issues such as low self-esteem, bullying and body-image as well as giving them a chance to follow a career in the game.

Groves Family – Special Recognition

After schoolgirl Lillian Groves was killed by a speeding driver who had been smoking cannabis, her heartbroken family decided something had to done to prevent further such tragedies. Collecting over 22,000 signatures they lobbied MPs and Prime Minister David Cameron resulting in Lillian’s Law. Police must now carry the testing kits that allow them to show whether a driver is under the influence of cannabis before the drug leaves their system, while the offence now carries an automatic driving ban.

Tilly Sawford – Child of Courage

When Tilly Sawford was just 15 months old she fell into a bath of scalding water. She suffered 86% burns, had one leg amputated and spent six months in intensive care. Seven years later, and after over 500 operations, she is inspiring everyone who meets her with her positive attitude to life.

William Edwards – Outstanding bravery

William Edwards risked his own life to rescue pensioner Anne Wade who was trapped inside her burning car unable to open the doors or windows due to an electrical failure. With the car on fire and threatening to explode, William finally managed to smash open the window – severing two tendons in his hand in the process – and dragged her to safety.

Simon and Tedd McDermott – Special Recognition

Former club singer Ted McDermott suffers from dementia yet has word-perfect recall of the lyrics to hundreds of classic tracks. He and his son Simon have become YouTube sensations with their Carpool Karaoke-style videos, recording over a million views in a matter of weeks for their version of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Quando Quando Quando, and raising almost £130,000 for The Alzheimer’s Society.

Dr David Nott – Special Recognition

Every year for over two decades, Dr David Nott has taken unpaid leave from his NHS job to perform life-saving surgery on victims in war torn countries around the world, including Syria, Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Bosnia and Nepal.

In his day job, he also performed a life-saving operation on Pride of Britain host Carol Vorderman, who had an emotional reunion with him at the Pride of Britain awards ceremony.

Emergency services  Dr Simon Walsh, Dr Samy Sadek and paramedics Bill Leaning, Sam Margetts and Dean Bateman

Split-second decisions, an incredible ability to remain calm and amazing medical skills enabled the team of doctors and paramedics to prep and perform a roadside procedure that saved the life of 24 year old cyclist Victoria Lebrec, who had been knocked off her bike by a lorry and dragged under its wheels.

Dylan Graves – Special recognition

When a driverless car mounted the pavement, 12 year old schoolboy Dylan pushed his friend James out if its way, and was dragged under the vehicle himself, resulting in injuries to his back, ribs and pelvis. And yet his first question in the ambulance was about what had happened to James.

Professor Stephen Hawking – Lifetime Achievement Award


Professor Stephen Hawking has inspired people the world over with both his mind-expanding theories of the universe and his determination to survive the debilitating motor neurone disease, which has left him unable to move but has never stopped him for striving for more – or cracking jokes.