The British Animal Honours 2013 is a brand new TV event celebrating the achievements of the country’s most extraordinary animals and the people who work with them.
Filmed in front of a live audience and hosted by Paul O'Grady, the show is inspired by the UK's unwavering connection with animals. They protect us in war zones, keep our borders safe and allow the disabled to live independently. Some give us national glory in sporting events while others are the showbiz scene-stealers that make us laugh and cry in movies, on TV and on-line.
From the brave and heroic to the funny and downright adorable, we are a nation of animal lovers and our animal charities, volunteers and welfare protection agencies are influential at local, national and even international level - and these too will be honoured on the night.
The annual event will reward animals in categories that cover military service and bravery as well as conservation and therapy - with the majority of nominees suggested by the public and ultimately chosen as winners by a 30-strong jury made up of animal experts, charities and celebrities. The Internet Star Award will be chosen by the public via a vote on www.itv.com/britishanimalhonours.
The ceremony will also feature some very special one off performances. Audiences will be treated to a choreographic set piece from theatrical spectacular War Horse, a dancing dog troupe led by Kennel Club trainer Gina Pink, and a showcase from the South Wales Police Dog section, demonstrating their elite training in skill and agility.
A full list of the awards appears below:
The Rising Star Honour
Recognising a remarkable young person (aged 16 or younger) for their tireless dedication to local or national animal issues.
The Ray of Sunshine Honour
Honouring an animal or group of animals whose work across an entire community has brought comfort, joy and hope to those who need it most.
The Wildlife Conservation Honour
This honour recognises the work of a person or organisation which has made an outstanding contribution to protecting British wildlife.
The Guardian Angel Honour
This honour is for a trained assistance animal who has transformed the life of an individual through their exemplary skills, loyalty and devotion.
The In the Line of Duty Honour
The honour will be awarded to an animal that has made an outstanding contribution to the civil protection agency (or volunteer force) they serve, including, but not limited to, the police, fire service, mountain rescue, border control, the coast guard, royal protection, customs, etc.
The Local Charity of the Year Honour
This honour will be awarded to a local charity with less than 15 full or part time employees (in total), for their selfless dedication and passion to local animal causes.
The Braveheart Honour
This honour is for animals that have been rescued which then went on to flourish and care for or assist other animals or people.
The International Rescue Honour
The honour will be awarded to an organisation or individual who has made a huge difference to animal welfare outside of the UK.
The Canine Commando Honour
This honour is for animals that have either been trained by the military, or worked alongside the military either in combat zones or at home in support of physical recuperation or other healing activities.
The Internet Star Award
Clips chosen by production to be hosted on the itv.com site and voted on by members of the public.
The Tails of the Unexpected Honour
A special award given to an exceptional animal or individual that falls outside of the regular honours categories.
The Outstanding Contribution Honour
Awarded to an individual for long-standing services, dedication and self-sacrifice in the field of animal welfare, conservation or education.
The British Animal Honours 2013 are the people’s animal champions – decided by an expert jury but nominated by members of the public whose lives have been touched by these special creatures.
Notes To Editors
The Jury consists of:
• Virginia McKenna (Founder of Born Free)
• Celia Hammond (Founder of Celia Hammond Trust)
• Sean Wensley (PDSA Vet)
• Jill Nelson (Chief Executive of PTES – People’s Trust for Endangered Species)
• Simon King (President of The Wildlife Trusts)
• Laura Jenkins (Head of Animal Services at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home)
• Emily Beament (Environment Correspondent, Press Association)
• Emma Milne (TV Vet)
• Zara Boland (TV Vet)
• Donal MacIntyre (TV investigative journalist)
• Jenny Seagrove (Actress and founder of Mane Chance Animal Sanctuary)
• Clarissa Baldwin (Chief Executive of The Dog’s Trust)
• Peter Gorbing (Chief Executive, Dogs for the Disabled)
• Tamsin Durston (Nurse Manager, Blue Cross Merton)
• David Grant (Retired director of RSPCA’s Harmsworth Animal Hospital)
• Dr Emily Blackwell (Lecturer, Bristol Veterinary School, and Vet)
• Stuart Winter (Environment Editor, Sunday Express)
• Andy Blackmore (Pets columnist and blogger, Metro)
• Anita Dobson (Actress)
• Corporal Johnson Beharry (Victoria Cross recipient)
• Maggie Roberts (Director of Veterinary Services for Cat’s Protection)
• Caterina Termine (Honorary Equine Vet, Riding for the Disabled)
• Robbie Marsland (Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare)
• Tim Webb (London Communications Manager, RSPB)
• Marc Abraham (TV vet)
• Danny Penman (Freelance journalist specialising in animal investigations)
• Daniel Allen (Author of the book Animal Obsessions)
• Rosamund Kidman Cox (Former editor, BBC Wildlife magazine)
• Anthea Turner (TV presenter)
• Peter Egan (Ambassador, Animals Asia)
The British Animal Honours 2013 are made by Whizz Kid Entertainment. They were commissioned for ITV by Elaine Bedell, ITV’s Director of Comedy and Entertainment and Claire Zolkwer, Commissioning Editor, Entertainment. They will be executive produced for Whizz Kid by Katherine Allen.