Pride of Scotland 2020
2020 was a year we’ll never forget.
And it came to an end with a joyful Hogmanay TV show we’ll never forget too.
With a unique blend of inspirational real-life stories, celebrity surprises and sensational musical performances, Pride of Scotland from the University of Glasgow Cloisters was the perfect way to say farewell to 2020 and ring in 2021.
The past 12 months were tough for all of us, but amid the grief of losing loved ones, and the unprecedented challenges we have faced, there is plenty to be proud of.
Scots young and old came together to look out for each other, and that’s the spirit at the heart of the incredible Pride of Scotland Hogmanay show on STV.
Hosted by Elaine C Smith and Kirsty Gallacher, and including a breathtaking fireworks display at midnight, The Daily Record Pride of Scotland Awards, in partnership with TSB, celebrated the nation’s unsung heroes.
Winners included brave lifesavers, inspirational kids, and members of Scots communities who have pulled together like nowhere else in 2020.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon summed that up in the show, when she said: “Over the past few months we've seen people all over the country come together, rally round and give support to people in need. I'd like to say a heartfelt thank you to everybody.”
Her comments were part of a special tribute to Charandeep Singh, the driving force behind the Sikh food bank, which delivered more than 80,000 meals across Scotland during lockdown.
Charandeep had already been surprised with his trophy by our host Elaine at the People’s Palace in Glasgow, and pop star Rita Ora and comedian Michael McIntyre also popped up with their congratulations.
Surprises came thick and fast throughout the show. Dame Laura Lee, the former nurse who has built Maggie’s Centres into a global cancer charity, was astonished when Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall told her she was a Pride of Scotland winner.
Camilla said: “What you’ve done is incredible and Maggie’s wouldn’t be where it is without you. You’ve given so many people hope and inspiration”
And from royalty to rock royalty, Sir Rod Stewart and Lady Penny Lancaster revealed the good news to another stunned winner.
Winners were surprised over the last weeks of 2020, and some of them were at the Cloisters to relive the moment with Elaine and Kirsty, including schoolgirl Katie Pake.
Music fan Katie had a double surprise when she met first Lorraine Kelly, and then Texas star Sharleen Spiteri, on a tour of the iconic Abbey Road Studios.
Jenny Cook, winner of the Young Fundraiser award, thought she was on a day’s work experience when first Gordon Ramsay and then chart-toppers The Vamps, turned it into a day to remember.
And football fan John Haughie couldn’t hide his delight when he was surprised by Ally McCoist. John was also at the Cloisters for the show, where two more of his sporting idols delivered a very special message.
Lifesaver John’s heroic rescue was one of the most dramatic stories of the night, along with an amazing clifftop effort by coastguard volunteer Jamie Newlands to save a stranded teenager when a helicopter and lifeboat had been beaten back by the weather.
And heroism has no age limit - Child of Courage Greg Galloway was just eight when he pulled his grandfather from an icy rive
At the other end of the age spectrum, George Parsonage saved more than 1,500 people from the Clyde over 40 years at the helm of the Glasgow Humane Society, the world’s oldest lifeboat service. He received a guard of honour from rowers, in one of the most striking award presentations in the show.
And in a year when we all rallied together to help, the TSB Community Heroes Award was a reminder that Scots have always cared for those in need. The people of Bute opened their doors, and their hearts, to Syrian refugees who have gone on to make Scotland their home.
With rugby legend Doddie Weir receiving the People’s Award, Pride of Scotland was a wonderful reminder of all the things that make you proud to be a Scot.
Add in dozens of stars, incredible music, an iconic location and dazzling fireworks and pyrotechnics, and it was the perfect way to celebrate Hogmanay.