Carol Vorderman emotional as she praises Pride of Manchester winner ‘I know the hardship’

Pride Of Manchester 2021 trailer

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Former Countdown presenter Carol Vorderman sent an emotional message to the winner of the MEN Pride of Manchester award. Christine Burns will be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at tomorrow’s ceremony.

Christine, 67, wins the prestigious prize for her pioneering work as an activist for transgender rights.

Speaking in an emotional speech, Carol praised the Manchester-born campaigner for her “brave” work.

She said: “When I read your story, which is tremendous, particularly the bit about how much you love science as I do too, I thought, ‘Please let me send a message of congratulations to you.’

“What you’ve done for the transgender community Christine is quite extraordinary.”

Carol, 60, then added: “You and I are a similar age and I know the hardship, particularly back through the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s.

“And the fights that you have stood up to and won on behalf of everybody else in the community just must have taken such tremendous courage and bravery and persuasion and charm and determination, and all of the things that make you such a wonderful human being.

“So on behalf of the community, thank you for all of that and it’s a delight that you have won a Pride of Manchester award.”

Christine’s work started in the 1950s when very few people spoke openly about trans issues.

In 1993, she joined Press for Change, which was a group campaigning for the rights and treatments of trans people.

The activist helped the group win a number of successful legal challenges.

This included a case in the European Court of Justice to protect employment rights, another in the High Court over access to NHS treatment and in 2002 the European Court of Justice agreed to the right of privacy and the right to marry.

She has also worked with soaps like Coronation Street to combat negative portrayals of trans people.

The winner made her transgender background public in the mid-nineties.

Speaking of this, she said: “I believe strongly that if you are going to represent people then they need to see who you are, what you stand up for and what you’re about, you can’t be a hidden figure.”

The MEN Pride of Manchester Awards celebrates Manchester’s unsung heroes.

The ceremony will once again be hosted this year by actor Kym Marsh.

She will be joined by plenty of famous faces to unveil the winners, including Piers Morgan, Marcus Rashford and Naga Munchetty.

Other winners include British Transport Police officers who tackled a terrorist and a pensioner who raised £1million for dementia research.

The MEN Pride of Manchester Awards, in partnership with TSB, will premiere tomorrow at 7pm on youtube.com/prideofbritainawards 

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