The 2017 Pride of Britain Awards

30th October, 2017.

To start off with a certain level of honesty, I am neither British, nor Proud (of being/not being British). I consider myself Australian, and I have an EU passport. I live in London and think it's an awesome city, but last year at some point I kind of discovered that London was actually surrounded by Britan, and that the people of Britain don't necessarily think the same way as people in London. Nice people, I'm sure, but in the "me"-dominated world I prefer to live in, voting against my best interests isn't cool!

So anyway, they had the Pride of Britain awards, and you didn't have to salute the flag or hum the national anthem so after I passed my bag-check and sniffer dog test I was allowed in. Here's how it went down, and here's how embarrassingly little I know about (non-film) British culture:

The last (and only) time I've photographed the Pride of Britain Awards was in 2012, where it was not only considerably smaller but I was actually feeling a bit of post-Olympic patriotism for Britain. That's passed more than somewhat in the intervening years.

The last (and only) time I've photographed the Pride of Britain Awards was in 2012, where it was not only considerably smaller but I was actually feeling a bit of post-Olympic patriotism for Britain. That's passed more than somewhat in the intervening years.

"New 12-sided dual-metal hybrid pound coin for your thoughts, ma'am?"

"New 12-sided dual-metal hybrid pound coin for your thoughts, ma'am?"

"Okay... who here didn't know that white belts clash with navy uniforms?" - not only were we first loaded into the incorrect pen at this event, but once we'd settled, a full third of the length of the red carpet was subsequently blocked by people in uniform forming an honour guard.

"Okay... who here didn't know that white belts clash with navy uniforms?" - not only were we first loaded into the incorrect pen at this event, but once we'd settled, a full third of the length of the red carpet was subsequently blocked by people in uniform forming an honour guard.

Amazingly, our first arrival is a pseudo-Australian! I'm a bit hazy on how Peter Andre is famous in this country (or in Australia back in the day) but his tie is sharp, the hairstyle is excellent, and he seemed friendly as well.

Amazingly, our first arrival is a pseudo-Australian! I'm a bit hazy on how Peter Andre is famous in this country (or in Australia back in the day) but his tie is sharp, the hairstyle is excellent, and he seemed friendly as well.

"Brits only on the red carpet, Peter!". I meanwhile still have to pick up my replacement passport from the one country that (a) will have me (b) will scorn me forever if I ever renege on my nationality (c) I will continue to hope will one day allow dual citizenship in time for the OTHER country to agree that I should be allowed to have it. And no, neither of those countries are England.

"Brits only on the red carpet, Peter!". I meanwhile still have to pick up my replacement passport from the one country that (a) will have me (b) will scorn me forever if I ever renege on my nationality (c) I will continue to hope will one day allow dual citizenship in time for the OTHER country to agree that I should be allowed to have it. And no, neither of those countries are England.

"OMG you're one-twentieth as excited to see me as I am to see you!!" - I was joined on my evening adventures by about half a dozen out of control schoolkids taking advantage of a triangular 'void' at the barriers that you could just about reach across for an autograph (if you're a determined 12 year old) or take photos through without being disturbed... by anyone but a determined 12 year old. Also I don't know who this is.

"OMG you're one-twentieth as excited to see me as I am to see you!!" - I was joined on my evening adventures by about half a dozen out of control schoolkids taking advantage of a triangular 'void' at the barriers that you could just about reach across for an autograph (if you're a determined 12 year old) or take photos through without being disturbed... by anyone but a determined 12 year old. Also I don't know who this is.

"I took your phone. Stop walking and texting, people". Soccer player/ Football player? App store designer? Urban pedestrian psychologist?

"I took your phone. Stop walking and texting, people". Soccer player/ Football player? App store designer? Urban pedestrian psychologist?

I don't know who this is, but his choice of scarf and cape were exquisite. (Edited to add : Noddy Holder, of the band Slade - with thanks to Gray!)

I don't know who this is, but his choice of scarf and cape were exquisite.
(Edited to add : Noddy Holder, of the band Slade - with thanks to Gray!)

Dazed organiser who walked back and forth along the carpet for most of the evening. Pretty, in an I-am-not-made-of-plastic-unlike-many-of-these-guests kind of way.

Dazed organiser who walked back and forth along the carpet for most of the evening. Pretty, in an I-am-not-made-of-plastic-unlike-many-of-these-guests kind of way.

I'm pretty sure I photographed her at BFI London Film Festival, but none of the eagle-eyed autograph dealers noticed her, and they're (almost) never wrong. About famous people, I mean. Things like hygiene and manners and not crushing schoolkids for an autograph they're almost certainly on the 'wrong' side of things.

I'm pretty sure I photographed her at BFI London Film Festival, but none of the eagle-eyed autograph dealers noticed her, and they're (almost) never wrong. About famous people, I mean. Things like hygiene and manners and not crushing schoolkids for an autograph they're almost certainly on the 'wrong' side of things.

Vein throbbing in temple means I don't really want to admit I don't know who he is lest he be the vengeful patriotic type.

Vein throbbing in temple means I don't really want to admit I don't know who he is lest he be the vengeful patriotic type.

"You don't even know who I am, do you?" NO, that's not true. You're that kid who recently won the vote to become Austria's new chancellor. And/or you have a jazz album you're promoting. (Tell me if I'm in the ballpark, please...)

"You don't even know who I am, do you?" NO, that's not true. You're that kid who recently won the vote to become Austria's new chancellor. And/or you have a jazz album you're promoting. (Tell me if I'm in the ballpark, please...)

Are they really making country'n'western stars this young (and in Britain?) now? (I don't know who this is) (edited to add : perhaps I'll google 'matt terry' one day and find out)

Are they really making country'n'western stars this young (and in Britain?) now? (I don't know who this is) (edited to add : perhaps I'll google 'matt terry' one day and find out)

I do recognise who this is : she was a 2012 (and possibly 2016) Paralympian - I photographed her at the premiere of "Skyfall" all those years ago. (edited to add Ellie Simmonds)

I do recognise who this is : she was a 2012 (and possibly 2016) Paralympian - I photographed her at the premiere of "Skyfall" all those years ago. (edited to add Ellie Simmonds)

It's David Bradley! he was groundskeeper Argus Filch in Harry Potter, and also the vile Walder Frey in six crucial episodes of Game of Thrones. So that gives you an idea why I don't recognise pretty much anyone else in this event.

It's David Bradley! he was groundskeeper Argus Filch in Harry Potter, and also the vile Walder Frey in six crucial episodes of Game of Thrones. So that gives you an idea why I don't recognise pretty much anyone else in this event.

"No, I don't want a pen. I want a sweater. How am I going to keep warm with a PEN, man??" - this was the first premiere in over six months that I wore a beanie, jumper, jacket and thermal socks and still felt cold after a mere three hours standing  outside. Also, I don't know who this is. (edited to add : Rochelle Humes) (who?)

"No, I don't want a pen. I want a sweater. How am I going to keep warm with a PEN, man??" - this was the first premiere in over six months that I wore a beanie, jumper, jacket and thermal socks and still felt cold after a mere three hours standing  outside. Also, I don't know who this is.
(edited to add : Rochelle Humes) (who?)

"Did I hear you want to challenge me to an arm wrestle?" Dame Kelly Holmes is/was a dual Olympic gold medallist in running events.

"Did I hear you want to challenge me to an arm wrestle?" Dame Kelly Holmes is/was a dual Olympic gold medallist in running events.

I don't know who this is, but the band in the background were right across from me most of the evening and their renditions of such Big Band classics as Oasis' "Don't Look Back In Anger", Abba's "Waterloo", and Sia's "Titanium" kept things nice and upbeat. (edited to add : possibly John Thomson?) (also : who?) (edited to confirm : John Thomson, from 'Cold Feet' - with thanks to Gray!)

I don't know who this is, but the band in the background were right across from me most of the evening and their renditions of such Big Band classics as Oasis' "Don't Look Back In Anger", Abba's "Waterloo", and Sia's "Titanium" kept things nice and upbeat.
(edited to add : possibly John Thomson?) (also : who?)
(edited to confirm : John Thomson, from 'Cold Feet' - with thanks to Gray!)

I do know who Dame Shirley Bassey is : she sung the themes to at least two Bond films - which is enough to get you onto the red carpet at a James Bond Royal World Premiere without having to queue all day for wristbands and be crash-tackled by security because the wristbands only give you access to the public pens and not the carpet.

I do know who Dame Shirley Bassey is : she sung the themes to at least two Bond films - which is enough to get you onto the red carpet at a James Bond Royal World Premiere without having to queue all day for wristbands and be crash-tackled by security because the wristbands only give you access to the public pens and not the carpet.

The British do many things well. Well.... several things well. Two of them are cheeses (I have non-fancy tastes) and ciders (I have... drunken tastes). Fake Plastic Smiles, though - not so much. (edited to add : "Kem Cetinay" apparently. And that name is cool enough that I don't think I'll do any more research)

The British do many things well. Well.... several things well. Two of them are cheeses (I have non-fancy tastes) and ciders (I have... drunken tastes). Fake Plastic Smiles, though - not so much.
(edited to add : "Kem Cetinay" apparently. And that name is cool enough that I don't think I'll do any more research)

"Remember when your Mom used to forbid you from 'going out dressed like that'? Well... in this weather I wish Mom had done more than wish me a pleasant evening when I walked out into the cold....". I don't know who this is, but everyone's Mom is right when they tell you to dress appropriately for the cold. (edited to add : Shirley Ballas) (who?)

"Remember when your Mom used to forbid you from 'going out dressed like that'? Well... in this weather I wish Mom had done more than wish me a pleasant evening when I walked out into the cold....". I don't know who this is, but everyone's Mom is right when they tell you to dress appropriately for the cold. (edited to add : Shirley Ballas) (who?)

I also recognised - though weirdly nobody else around me did - Hannah Cockroft, who won 2 Paralympic gold meldals in 2012 and another three at the Paralympics in Rio last year. Lift your

I also recognised - though weirdly nobody else around me did - Hannah Cockroft, who won 2 Paralympic gold meldals in 2012 and another three at the Paralympics in Rio last year. Lift your

"I'm not signing that. Even if I'm wearing more clothes in that photo than I am right now..." - also known as : I don't know who this is. Singer? Nobel Laureate? Horticulturalist?

"I'm not signing that. Even if I'm wearing more clothes in that photo than I am right now..." - also known as : I don't know who this is. Singer? Nobel Laureate? Horticulturalist?

Feels like he probably runs as a hit-man for MI:6, but might also be a football player. Or nobel laureate. or horticulturalist. or singer. (Edited to add : Nick Knowles, and he apparently DOES have an album coming out, though he's better known as a TV presenter)

Feels like he probably runs as a hit-man for MI:6, but might also be a football player. Or nobel laureate. or horticulturalist. or singer.
(Edited to add : Nick Knowles, and he apparently DOES have an album coming out, though he's better known as a TV presenter)

I'm a bit hazy on what went on here, but apparently this is a priest and apparently he signs autographs and does selfies? Is that a thing the church does now? (edited to add : The Reverend Richard Coles who was also in the band 'The Communards' back in the 1980s, with thanks to Gray!)

I'm a bit hazy on what went on here, but apparently this is a priest and apparently he signs autographs and does selfies? Is that a thing the church does now?
(edited to add : The Reverend Richard Coles who was also in the band 'The Communards' back in the 1980s, with thanks to Gray!)

I believe, based on empirical evidence, (and possibly the expression on the girl in the background) that this is one of the people from the band 1Direction who has embarked on some kind of solo career? I know that it's not Harry, because he was at "Dunkirk" (the movie, not the evacuation).

I believe, based on empirical evidence, (and possibly the expression on the girl in the background) that this is one of the people from the band 1Direction who has embarked on some kind of solo career? I know that it's not Harry, because he was at "Dunkirk" (the movie, not the evacuation).

"Written by David S Goyer? How hilarious!" - I feel like I should know who this is, but I don't.

"Written by David S Goyer? How hilarious!" - I feel like I should know who this is, but I don't.

"Here's the number for my tailor. For the hair, though, you're going to have to find your own answers" - I don't know who this is.

"Here's the number for my tailor. For the hair, though, you're going to have to find your own answers" - I don't know who this is.

I believe this is "Frank Lampard" but aside from a vaguely sporting vibe (the people reaching over me with metallic football-team-themed car number-plates were a crucial clue), I don't know of his significance.

I believe this is "Frank Lampard" but aside from a vaguely sporting vibe (the people reaching over me with metallic football-team-themed car number-plates were a crucial clue), I don't know of his significance.

I vaguely recall there being a trained dog that won some kind of British talent competition a few years back. I believe this is that owner, but not that dog. More news of cultural importance as I become aware of it!

I vaguely recall there being a trained dog that won some kind of British talent competition a few years back. I believe this is that owner, but not that dog. More news of cultural importance as I become aware of it!

It's only because she attended a few movie premieres ("Horrid Henry" and "St Trinians 2" if memory serves) in support of fellow bandmates attempting to launch film careers, that I know Nicola Roberts from the band Girls Aloud.

It's only because she attended a few movie premieres ("Horrid Henry" and "St Trinians 2" if memory serves) in support of fellow bandmates attempting to launch film careers, that I know Nicola Roberts from the band Girls Aloud.

Holly Willoughby....? I think? I'm a bit more confident labelling the colour of her dress as a mauve/lavender than stating precisely what it is she does. I think perhaps she hosts something. TV show. Assuming TV is still a thing.

Holly Willoughby....? I think? I'm a bit more confident labelling the colour of her dress as a mauve/lavender than stating precisely what it is she does. I think perhaps she hosts something. TV show. Assuming TV is still a thing.

Kimonos. So hot right now. (London in late October two hours after sundown. So cold right now) (edited to add : "Binky Felstead")

Kimonos. So hot right now. (London in late October two hours after sundown. So cold right now)
(edited to add : "Binky Felstead")

I'm not sure if nuclear physicists work in trios, so I'm going to guess "Boy Band". I'm also basing this on the screams of the pre-teen kids around me, whose familiarity with nuclear physics seemed sketchy. (edited to add : they're a band called "Rak-Su" and there's a fourth member not in this photo.)

I'm not sure if nuclear physicists work in trios, so I'm going to guess "Boy Band". I'm also basing this on the screams of the pre-teen kids around me, whose familiarity with nuclear physics seemed sketchy.
(edited to add : they're a band called "Rak-Su" and there's a fourth member not in this photo.)

Phil... something? Not Collins.... I'll get back to you, England. (edited to add : Schofield. That's on me : I should have known that)

Phil... something? Not Collins.... I'll get back to you, England.
(edited to add : Schofield. That's on me : I should have known that)

Ronan Keating and I eye each other off, neither of us willing to admit to concede the extent to which he or I were at whatever Disney did to promote the movie "Beauty & The Beast" earlier this year.

Ronan Keating and I eye each other off, neither of us willing to admit to concede the extent to which he or I were at whatever Disney did to promote the movie "Beauty & The Beast" earlier this year.

Don't know who this is, but if you need to prioritise between telling me who he is and where he got that scarf, I want to know about the scarf.

Don't know who this is, but if you need to prioritise between telling me who he is and where he got that scarf, I want to know about the scarf.

I know who Aleesha Dixon is! (and knowing this makes me feel like I have accomplished something non-movie related in London for the past five years...)

I know who Aleesha Dixon is! (and knowing this makes me feel like I have accomplished something non-movie related in London for the past five years...)

Has seen my website. Remains unimpressed.

Has seen my website. Remains unimpressed.

Although I have never watched an episode of 'X-Factor' / 'Britain's Got Talent' / 'Please Let Me Be A Pop Star' / 'Why Won't Anybody Make Me A Harmonica God', I am -vaguely- aware that Louis Walsh is/was a judge of one of these shows.

Although I have never watched an episode of 'X-Factor' / 'Britain's Got Talent' / 'Please Let Me Be A Pop Star' / 'Why Won't Anybody Make Me A Harmonica God', I am -vaguely- aware that Louis Walsh is/was a judge of one of these shows.

I have heard of both Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne. Which has got to count for something..... no? Because I've now photographed them both (and the charming gentleman on the left who is awed by their awesomeness)

I have heard of both Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne. Which has got to count for something..... no? Because I've now photographed them both (and the charming gentleman on the left who is awed by their awesomeness)

455-6013.

455-6013.

It's Dame Joan Collins! I last photographed her at the 2015 and 2017 BFI Luminous events, and also this year's TV Baftas.

It's Dame Joan Collins! I last photographed her at the 2015 and 2017 BFI Luminous events, and also this year's TV Baftas.

Boxer? Tapestry-appraiser? Football Superstar? I just don't know.....

Boxer? Tapestry-appraiser? Football Superstar? I just don't know.....

"I"m not turning left, I'm not turning right, and I'm not slowing down for any reason" - I know this is Amanda Holden, but I don't know much else, other than I am dressed warmer than this.

"I"m not turning left, I'm not turning right, and I'm not slowing down for any reason" - I know this is Amanda Holden, but I don't know much else, other than I am dressed warmer than this.

Politicians..... I generally feel it's best to restrict my passhole-aggresshole / 'humorous' commentary  to famous people, but steer away from insulting politicians. Not because I respect them in any way (typically) but because as targets it's just a bit too easy.

Politicians..... I generally feel it's best to restrict my passhole-aggresshole / 'humorous' commentary  to famous people, but steer away from insulting politicians. Not because I respect them in any way (typically) but because as targets it's just a bit too easy.

Jeremy Corbyn. And apparently I have nothing funny to say about this photo.

Jeremy Corbyn. And apparently I have nothing funny to say about this photo.

Photo would look slightly more convincing if rocker Rod Stewart's girlfriend / wife / lady friend / parent-guardian was similarly stumbling or running on the carpet.

Photo would look slightly more convincing if rocker Rod Stewart's girlfriend / wife / lady friend / parent-guardian was similarly stumbling or running on the carpet.

After a suitable last minute sniffer-dog check (during which I had to admit I owned that suspicious looking bag sitting near me, but was not asked to comment on the Pentax over my *other* shoulder), a silver Jaguar rolls up the red carpet. I'd like to say it didn't slow down as it ran over homeless people, but even in the name of questionable humour I shan't.

After a suitable last minute sniffer-dog check (during which I had to admit I owned that suspicious looking bag sitting near me, but was not asked to comment on the Pentax over my *other* shoulder), a silver Jaguar rolls up the red carpet. I'd like to say it didn't slow down as it ran over homeless people, but even in the name of questionable humour I shan't.

Britain's Prime Minister exits the Jag and poses for a selfie. And I have no comment.

Britain's Prime Minister exits the Jag and poses for a selfie.

And I have no comment.

I said I had no comment. I'm also not going to comment about whether that image and/or that smile has seared itself into my brain sufficiently that I will be too scared to close my eyes tonight.

I said I had no comment.

I'm also not going to comment about whether that image and/or that smile has seared itself into my brain sufficiently that I will be too scared to close my eyes tonight.

"A selfie? With me? But I haven't even told my agent about my upcoming spoken word album, let alone released it..."

"A selfie? With me? But I haven't even told my agent about my upcoming spoken word album, let alone released it..."

A second car charges up the red carpet, carrying the second in line to the throne - Prince William.

A second car charges up the red carpet, carrying the second in line to the throne - Prince William.

To me, the 'true' heroes (I mean 'of the night'- I'm not making broader claims as to importance to the culture and social fabric of this great country) - the six-piece band whose additional renditions of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" and Tom Jones' "Delilah" were also a lot of fun.

To me, the 'true' heroes (I mean 'of the night'- I'm not making broader claims as to importance to the culture and social fabric of this great country) - the six-piece band whose additional renditions of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" and Tom Jones' "Delilah" were also a lot of fun.

So... that was that. I'm not British, and I felt a bit out of place in an event containing so few people I knew, but I console myself by remembering (1) I'm not British, (2) the website is called "Premieres.co" and this wasn't a premiere. And yet it's also sobering that after all this time in this country I actually have a finger on so little of the pulse of its popular culture. The photos above represent about 1/3 of the people I photographed, and the ones not posted were ones I knew even LESS about. (And while sobering, it's not necessarily enough so that I'd want to do anything about it, you understand....)

But it's another one for "The Archive" and if numbers count for something, this one's +1.

Until next time!

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