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Pride of Britain Award Judges

The 2012 judges

They have won Olympic medals, reported in war zones, performed for millions and worked on the front lines of medicine and crime. But the Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain judges agreed that picking our winners was one of the toughest tasks they had ever faced.

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The 2011 judging panel

Victoria Cross winner Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry sums up the difficult task facing our Pride of Britain Awards judges.

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The 2010 judging panel

After thousands of nominations were whittled down to a short list our Pride of Britain judges were left with a daunting task, choosing our 2010 winners.

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The 2009 judging panel

It seemed like a near- impossible task. Nominations had arrived in their thousands and it had taken months to narrow them down to a shortlist. But now it was decision time as the judging panel – eminent figures from various areas of public life – met in the oak panelled library of the Marriott County Hall in Central London.

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The 2008 judging panel

London’s Dorchester Hotel was the scene for a lively debate over who were the most deserving winners from a shortlist of very special people. Most of this year’s finalists were chosen by a team of six researchers, who spent three months reading a record 25,000 tales of heroism, courage and selflessness.

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The 2007 judging panel

Simon Cowell exhaled deeply and shook his head in disbelief. "It's just incredible," he said. The prolific music producer - who is never usually lost for words when he appears on TV - was almost speechless at the judging panel for Pride Of Britain 2007.

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The 2006 judging panel

For TV presenter Sharon Osbourne, nine-year-old Ollie Cartwright summed up exactly what the Pride of Britain Awards are about. Despite his daily battle with pain, after having been born with a disfigured skull that left his brain no room to grow, his strong, happy character prevails.

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The 2005 judging panel

For Olympic rower James Cracknell there was one clear winner in the Pride of Britain Special Awards category. Jane Tomlinson, the cancer campaigner who has raised more than £1 million for charity through gruelling acts of physical endurance.

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The 20046 judging panel

Having been hauled out of the world's oceans more than most by brave helicopter search and rescue crews, Sir Richard Branson had a very personal reason for backing one of this year's winners. When he heard an RAF Sea King helicopter crew were among the nominations for an award for rescuing five sailors in perilous conditions, they soon gained his vote.

  Read more about the 2004 judging panel

The 2003 judging panel

She knew it was going to be tough but she never suspected it would prove so difficult to pick this year's winners. It was in mid-January when Niomi McLean-Daley - better known as singer Ms Dynamite - joined Sir Richard Branson and Joanna Lumley to pore over a mountain of nomination forms with the other judges - Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens, GMTV's Fiona Phillips, former Pride of Britain winner Michelle Lewis and the Chancellor's wife Sarah Brown.

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The 2002 judging panel

They knew it was going to be a tough challenge, but our panel of judges never suspected it would prove so difficult to pick this year's winners. It was mid-January when Cherie Booth QC and Sir Richard Branson sifted through a mountain of nomination forms with the other judges - heart surgeon Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, Olympic gold medal hero Sir Steve Redgrave, Omagh bomb survivor Donna-Marie McGillion and GMTV presenters Eamonn Holmes and Fiona Phillips.

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The 2001 judging panel

When IVF pioneer Lord Robert Winston, British track heroine Denise Lewis and Falklands veteran Simon Weston met in February to select the winners, they all agreed it was one of their toughest tasks yet. Along with the other judges, Sir Richard Branson, This Morning presenters Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan and The Mirror's agony aunt Dr Miriam Stoppard, they were overwhelmed by the extraordinary stories of courage, determination and personal triumph.

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The 2000 judging panel

It was mid-February when Mo Mowlam and Sir Richard Branson sat hunched over a mountain of papers with the other judges - ITN broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald, Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, George Medal winner Lisa Potts and Mirror agony aunt Dr Miriam Stoppard. All of them agreed they had been set mission impossible.

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The 1999 judging panel

It was never going to be easy. A Spice Girl, a business tycoon, a royal butler, a newspaper editor and an agony aunt huddled around the wooden breakfast table and scratched their heads over the seeming impossibility of the task ahead.

  Read more about the 1999 judging panel

I was blown away by the whole thing when i first went. I am always amazed by the winers they are extraordinary people... - Sir Paul McCartney

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