Pride of Britain: Fisherman guides thousands across dangerous sands of Morecambe Bay for charity

Video report by ITV Granada Reports journalist and presenter Zoe Muldoon.

A fisherman who guides thousands of people across a dangerous bay in northern England every year for charity has been nominated for a Pride of Britain award.

Michael Wilson took on the historic role of the King's Guide to Morecambe Bay in 2017, leading countless people across the treacherous sands when the tides are low.

Over the years the historic treks from Arnside to Grange over Sands have become focused on raising money for charity with each person taking part choosing one to fundraise for.

"It's really nice to talk to the people and why they're there", Michael said. "It's great to be part of that and help raise this money.

"I think last year we raised around £500,000, so we're doing alright."

Michael Wilson knows this bay like the back of his hand. Credit: ITV News

The role of the King's Guide was appointed by Henry VIII in 1548, with the holder of the role paid a salary of £20 a year.

Michael, the 26th guide, was personally recommended by Cedric Robinson, who held the title for more than 50 years before retiring.

The distance for each walk can vary, from six miles to over nine. It can be dangerous, with the bay renowned for its quick sands and fast flowing tides.

"I do it for the enjoyment of the job", Michael smiles. "It is a great privilege to be able to take so many people across and raise so much money.

"All the charities contact us and say how much money they've raised and it's quite humbling really."

Joanne, who is Michael's wife and co-ordinator of the walks, said: "I'm so proud that he has been recognised for what he does.

"It is a lot for him to take on. 500 people is a lot and people think 'oh, it's only a little walk across the bay' but it is a lot of responsibility on his head."

Michael is among four finalists nominated for the Pride of Britain Regional Fundraiser of the Year Award for the North West.

When asked how he feels about his nomination, he said: "It is quite overwhelming. I'm quite humbled, really. I just think I'm a fisherman and I don't think I'm doing anything special.

"It would be absolutely fantastic [to win the award]. I can't imagine what it would mean, really."

What is Pride of Britain?

Pride of Britain Awards celebrate the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our world a better place.

Nominated by the public, the winners are from all walks of life, of all ages, and from all over the country. Their achievements are awe-inspiring and a lesson to us all. They say they are ordinary people, but their acts are truly extraordinary.

Since the first Pride of Britain in 1999, royalty, prime ministers, and hundreds of leading figures from showbiz, sport, politics and the arts have all taken part.

Hosted by Carol Vorderman, the Awards attract an audience of around five million viewers every year in a primetime slot on ITV - making it the highest rated awards show of its kind on British television.

Listen to the ITV News entertainment podcast, Unscripted.