by Carol Vorderman
Welcome to the official Pride of Britain Awards website.
I must say it feels like only yesterday that I had the pleasure of welcoming guests to the very first Pride of Britain in 1999. I remember looking down from the stage at a youthful Tony Blair, an ageless Paul McCartney, a vibrant bunch of Spice Girls and a rising young footballer called Michael Owen.
How times change! Yet, more than a decade later, the magic of Pride of Britain grows stronger by the year.
Prince Charles says it's "unique" while former Prime Minister Gordon Brown called it "a highlight of the national calendar".
I'm not surprised it has become the biggest national event of its kind on British television, with around eight million viewers on ITV1 (more than watched either the Brits or the Bafta Awards). To me, it is the only awards show on TV that really matters. It's the most uplifting night of the year when we can all celebrate our country at its very best.
No winners are more deserving. Unlike most awards shows these days, they're not celebrities, but REAL stars - unsung heroes of all ages, whose inspiring stories take your breath away.
I am always in awe of them. And I have no doubt our viewers feel the same.
Who can forget the story of air stewardess Carol Miller who delivered and saved the life of a baby in a passenger plane 30,000ft above the ground?
Or brave six-year-old meningitis victim Lydia Cross being reunited with her dad who had been working in Iraq to pay for her rehabilitation?
Or teenager Megan Blunt who accepted her award from a clearly overwhelmed JK Rowling for writing a self-help book for children like herself who had to battle cancer?
And Sgt Michelle Cunningham, the army bomb disposal officer whose bravery was so impressive Ewan McGregor flew to Basra especially to honour her?
For me, it's those kind of extraordinary winners, mixed with such uplifting moments, that make these awards so very special.
Sponsored by Littlewoods.com, the Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards 2010 takes place at the Grosvenor House in London's prestigious Park Lane in the autumn.
HRH Prince Charles and the Prime Minister will join more than 100 of the nation's most famous people - including sports, showbusiness and political figures - in honouring the real Pride of Britain.
But we need your help to find them..
I know there are many, many heroes and heroines all over the country whose achievements deserve wider recognition - from courageous children and adults to tireless care workers, campaigners and charity fund-raisers.
We will honour the very best of them at Pride of Britain 2010. It will be even more special this year because Littlewoods.com are launching a new category, Littlewoods.com Young Fundraiser of the Year to recognise young people, aged 16 or under, for their inspiring charity work. Plus we will be celebrating ten years of the Prince's Trust Young Achiever award which recognises young people who, after overcoming major challenges in their own lives, have become positive role models.
The ITV Feelgood Factor award, which recognises those who go the extra mile in setting others on the road to wellbeing, fitness and sporting exellence, is again being run by ITV Regions and Nations. And Daybreak will be inviting viewers to vote for the winner of the Emergency Services award which goes to the members of the police, fire, ambulance or mountain or sea rescues who have put their own lives at risk to help others.
Find out more about all the categories and how to nominate your own unsung hero or heroine today by clicking on the Nominate Now button on the left.
Please nominate today. I can assure you that every nomination is considered extremely seriously by our research team.
Winners will be selected from a shortlist by a panel of distinguished judges which will be announced close to the Awards date. For more details on the nomination process, please click on Q and A in the blue panel on the top left corner of the screen. You can read about the judging process in the Judges section.
While you're on this website, I particularly recommend you take a look at the Winners section to read about some of the most inspiring people in our country today who have won our awards over the years.
You can get a flavour of the Awards night itself, both on the red carpet, the stage and backstage, by browsing through the brilliant pictures in the Gallery section. And, better still, there's a chance for you and a friend to join us as special guests at the next Pride of Britain - simply click on Win Tickets and enter our free competition. Good luck!
I hope you enjoy this website and can see for yourself what has made Pride of Britain such a unique national institution.
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