Vote for your 2022 Celebrity Hero now!
From a shortlist of ten, you can select the famous person from the worlds of show businesses, sport and politics who you believe has demonstrated “Best of British” qualities in the last 12 months to either triumph over adversity or help others in a truly significant way. You can vote below now.
The top four and winner will be announced at a ceremony hosted by Radio 2 Breakfast Show presenter Rachel Burden and Falklands War hero Simon Weston on Tuesday, October 11.
Other categories in the Amplifon Awards are: Act Of Courage, Against All Odds, Active Agers, Charity Champion, Young Hero and Hero Pet, to be decided by a panel of judges.
Every story is heart-warming and inspirational. Now all you need to do is vote above for your celebrity hero.
The ten finalists are:
Actor Lewis got NHS staff free meals during the pandemic
Homeland star Damian Lewis and his late wife Helen McCrory raised more than £1.2million to feed NHS staff during the pandemic while she was ill.
During coronavirus lockdowns Damian, 51, and Helen supported University College London Hospital’s charity Feed NHS – which Damian co-founded – as a fundraiser to give food from high street restaurants to NHS staff. Working with the restaurant chain Leon and others, they helped provide daily healthy meals for frontline NHS workers.
Helen, who starred in Peaky Blinders and the Harry Potter films, died of breast cancer in April last year aged 52. Father-of-two Damian is also patron of the charity HvH Arts which is dedicated to supporting talented youngsters without access to resources, training or support to fulfil their dream.
He launched the charity’s McCrory Award as part of his wife’s legacy and presented it to three young HvH Arts Foundation members.
Lewis presenting the McCrory Award to talented young performers
DAME DEBORAH JAMES
Dame Deborah James was an inspiration for those suffering with cancer
Even in the last weeks of her life, Dame Deborah James was a shining beacon of hope as she bravely battled bowel cancer.
With days to live, she raised an incredible £6million for her Bowelbabe Fund and selflessly and cheerfully went out of her way to raise awareness of the cruel disease and encouraged people to check for early symptoms.
Following her death on June 28, aged 40, there was a ten-fold increase in one week – from 2,000 to 23,274 – in visits to the NHS bowel cancer web pages. NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “Dame Deborah was an inspiration to us all”.
Diagnosed with stage four cancer in 2016 when she was just 35, she joined two other cancer patients on Radio 5 Live to start the BBC podcast “You, Me and the Big C”.
She spent her last days receiving care at her parents’ bungalow in Woking, Surrey, where husband Sebastian Bowen and children, Hugo, 14, and 12-year-old Eloise, were with her.
DR ROSENA ALLIN-KHAN MP
Labour MP Allin-Khan went to Ukraine to offer medical assistance
MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan put her life on the line when she went to trouble-torn Ukraine to train medics in war zone medicine and ended up coming to the aid of a fleeing family whose vehicles had been shot up by Russian troops.
Dr Allin-Khan, 44, Labour MP for Tooting, travelled to Lviv with humanitarian charity MedGlobal to deliver 170 crates of urgent medical supplies and to help train 250 doctors.
When leaving the war-stricken country she gave urgent medical treatment to two cousins, boys aged 10 and 12, who had been injured by bullets and shrapnel.
During the Covid pandemic Dr Allin-Khan, who is married with two children, also worked on the frontline as an A&E doctor at St George’s Hospital, London
She said at the time: “It’s a privilege to have a platform where I can share the experiences of families who’ve gone through unimaginable trauma.”
Page raised fund for The Children’s Trust charity during the pandemic
Singer Elaine Paige came to the aid of The Children’s Trust during the Covid-19 crisis by recording a special single – a cover of “Sing A Rainbow” – to replenish some of the charity’s lost revenue during the pandemic.
Britain’s first lady of musical theatre has been involved with the trust since it was launched in 1984. She has been a faithful supporter, ambassador and also vice-president.
The West End star has visited many fundraising and awareness events and has hosted her own bi-annual Elaine Paige Clay Pigeon Shoots in aid of the charity.
Raised in Barnet, Hertfordshire, Elaine played Eva Peron in the first production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita in 1978 and went on to star in Cats and Chess before making her Broadway debut in Sunset Boulevard in 1996.
The 74-year-old singer, actress and Radio 2 presenter was joined on the cover of Sing A Rainbow by children who have been supported by The Children’s Trust which helps children with brain injuries and neurodisability across the UK.
DJ North rowed from London to his hometown of Burnley for Comic Relief
Radio 1 DJ and I’m A Celeb star Jordan North, 32, rowed 100 miles between London and his hometown Burnley to raise more than £700,000 for Comic Relief despite saying he felt “broken physically, mentally and emotionally” during the challenge.
Hundreds of fans cheered him home as he completed his Red Nose Day row in a one-man canoe on the final stretch on the Leeds Liverpool Canal that passes through the centre of Burnley.
He completed the 100-mile row in five days wearing the claret and blue colours of Burnley. His journey took him from the London canal system to Market Drayton and Wolverhampton in the Midlands before heading to Liverpool in the North West and then on to the finish line in Burnley.
Sales of a specially-made Happy Place T-shirt raised more than £10,000 for Pendleside Hospice in Burnley for which Jordan is a proud ambassador.
JUDGE ROBERT RINDER
Judge Rinder received an MBE in March
TV judge and criminal barrister Robert Rinder, 44, helped 52 orphans flee war-ravaged Ukraine while working with the charities Save A Child and Dnipro Kids.
The dangerous rescue mission came only a short time after he had located the family of former Strictly Come Dancing partner Oksana Platero who had escaped from Ukraine into Poland.
While Ukrainian-born Oksana, 33, was in the US working, he tracked down her 95-year-old grandmother Zoya and aunt Lidya, who had been displaced by the war. He sourced a wheelchair for Zoya and medical supplies for them.
In an episode of BBC One’s Who Do You Think You Are? Rinder traced his Jewish family’s tragic history and made new discoveries about his grandfather, Morris Malenicky, a survivor of both Schlieben and Theresienstadt concentration camps.
London-born Rinder was made an MBE in the 2021 Birthday Honours for services to Holocaust education and awareness.
KATE GARRAWAY and DEREK DRAPER
Garraway stood by her husband Derek (right) during a spell of poor health
Bright and breezy Good Morning television presenter Kate Garraway has stoically stood by her husband Derek Draper as he battled to survive life-threatening Covid-19 infections while using her profile to raise awareness of the condition.
Derek, 54, was put into an induced coma while doctors treated serious complications, including blood clots on his lungs, heart problems and diabetes.
When she appeared on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, Kate, 55, said Derek had been “devastated” by the disease “from the top of his head to the tip of his toe”.
The couple married in 2005 and have two children, Darcey, 16, and Billy, 12.
While Derek was ill, his psychotherapy company, Astra Aspera, went under despite Kate’s valiant efforts. She had kept her financial worries a secret despite making two emotionally charged documentaries about life with her husband, including Caring For Derek which won critical acclaim.
Recently Derek was readmitted to hospital after a kidney infection developed into life-threatening sepsis.
Former Rugby star Sinfield received an OBE in January for services to charity
Rugby legend Kevin Sinfield, 41, has raised more than £4million for Motor Neurone Disease research by carrying out challenges individually and by working with other fundraisers.
Kevin, a Leeds Rhino rugby league player who won 26 caps for England and who is now Leicester Tigers rugby union defence coach, was inspired by the fight his former Leeds teammate and friend Rob Burrow has put up since being diagnosed with MND in 2019.
Kevin ran seven marathons in seven days and later took on the challenge of completing 101 miles in 24 hours in his Extra Mile quest – running between Leicester Tigers’ stadium and Leeds Rhinos’ Headingley HQ to financially support Rob and to help fund research.
During the last 12 months, Kevin was the mainstay of a group of rugby league internationals and Super League stars who raised money for MND by paddling along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.
Kevin received the MBE in 2014 for services to rugby league and the OBE in 2021 for services to rugby league and charity fundraising.
SIR LENNY HENRY
Sir Lenny carried the Commonwealth Games baton on its final leg through Birmingham
Comedy legend and actor Sir Lenny Henry co-founded Comic Relief, and donations this year saw the charity’s Red Nose Day fundraising total soar past £1.5billion.
Sir Lenny, 63, who has helped host the TV spectacular since its launch in 1985, was chosen to carry the Queen’s Baton on its final leg through Birmingham ahead of the Commonwealth Games to celebrate Sport Relief – which shares the fundraising from Red Nose Day.
Sport Relief, a charity partner of the Commonwealth Games, hopes to raise money towards tackling inequality, improving mental health and helping young people survive and thrive.
Sir Lenny was knighted in 2015 for his services to drama and charity. He has also championed diversity and inclusion across the creative arts.
SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH
A national treasure who needs no introduction – Sir David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough, 96, has devoted his working life to saving the planet by inspiring others to tackle the causes of climate change.
In April he received the UN’s most distinguished environment award – the Champions Of The Earth Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his efforts.
Inger Andersen, UN Environment Programme executive director, said: “Sir David’s work will continue to inspire people of all ages to care for nature and to become the restoration generation.”
The award recognised that for more than seven decades Sir David has kept his finger on the pulse as a broadcaster, natural historian, author and environmental advocate. His BBC documentaries such as Life on Earth and The Blue Planet series have educated millions on the perils of climate change.