Gay celebrities, business leaders and ‘straight allies’ were recognised at the British LGBT Awards at London's Landmark Hotel on Friday 24 April.
The event saw poignant speeches from Lifetime Achievement Winner, Stonewall's former Chief Executive Ben Summerskill, who was clearly moved as he expressed his gratitude to a standing ovation and Michelle Collins brought the audience to tears when she took a moment to raise a toast to the late Paul Cottingham.
Lorraine Kelly, who has covered LGBT issues on her programme and who has a large gay fan-base , was “shocked and overjoyed" when named Celebrity Straight Ally of the Year. The queen of breakfast TV shared the honour with Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe who himself has been a strong advocate of LGBT rights. BBC broadcaster Graham Norton scooped the Broadcaster of the Year gong, saying how fantastic it was to be part of this event.
Tom Daley won the Sports Personality of the Year Award while Kylie Minogue secured the Global Gay Icon accolade. Both stars sent video messages that were broadcast to over 400 attendees.
NSPCC’s The Safe Network was presented with Charity of the Year. This year the judges also decided to recognise the outstanding achievement of the Army's Captain Hannah Winterbourne with a Judges Special Award. Marriott won Brand, whilst Destination of the Year went to Stockholm.
Britain's business leaders who have been at the forefront of promoting equality were also recognised. Amir Kabel, the Global Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Vodafone, was named Corporate Rising Star while Squadron Leader Sarah Maskell from the RAF was recognised as this year's Corporate Straight Ally and Alison Berryman from Barclaycard was the Inspirational Role Model.
The awards show, dubbed Britain’s ‘Gay Oscars’, was also broadcast live to the public and saw an array of celebrities grace the red carpet. However the celebrations were marred by the attendance of Katie Hopkins, who was not invited by Square Peg Media, the organisers, and was asked to leave during the ceremony.
Sarah Garrett, British LGBT Awards organiser, said: “The awards are held to shine a light on those who help promote equality. Our focus is on celebrating those shortlisted, the deserving winners and supporting our charity partners.”
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