'Greatest honour of my life': Lockdown hero on being part of Kate's photography project

Video report by ITV News London reporter Sangeeta Kandola

One of the subjects of the Duchess of Cambridge's lockdown photography exhibition has described being part of the project as "the greatest honour" of his life.

Sami Massalami Mohammed Elmassalami Ayad was pictured for Hold Still, an initiative aimed to capture and document “the spirit, the mood, the hopes, the fears and the feelings of the nation” as the UK dealt with the coronavirus outbreak, as he volunteered for a food hub in east London,

Sami joined Kate and William in London on Tuesday as the pictures - including his own entitled Sami by Grey Hutton, went on public display on posters and billboards across the capital.

The Duchess of Cambridge thanked those who responded Credit: Matt Dunham/PA

“Throughout my whole life I’ve always loved to do volunteer work because I’ve learned through experience that you get so much more than you give,” the PhD student told ITV News London. 

Sami told William that a colleague had submitted the picture without him knowing.

The duke laughed loudly and replied: “Oh, that’s great! You didn’t know at all? Love it. That’s brilliant.”

Kate and a panel of judges selected 100 images from more than 31,000 entries for the Hold Still exhibition, which launched with the National Portrait Gallery in May and challenged the public to document life during lockdown.

Hold Still focused on three themes – Helpers And Heroes, Your New Normal, and Acts Of Kindness – with the final 100 tackling subjects including family life in lockdown, the work of healthcare staff and the Black Lives Matter movement.