James Corden, the comedian, actor, writer and chat show presenter, has praised the father of a Down's syndrome girl whose copycat Car Pool Karaoke video went viral with half a billion views.

Corden was speaking at this year's Pride of Scotland Awards, sponsored by The Daily Record, telling Jamie McCallum, 42, that the video, which aimed to change outdated perceptions about Down's syndrome called #wouldntchangeathing, was "honestly the best carpool karaoke I have ever seen".

It featured 50 mums and their children with Down's syndrome singing and signing, and it went viral, having been viewed more than 500 million times and making headlines in 30 countries.

It earned the father of eight-year-old Rosie the TSB Community Hero award, one of 11 honours to be handed out at the Pride of Scotland Awards 2021, hosted by Nicky Campbell and Kirsty Gallacher, the television and radio presenters.

Kirsty Gallacher
Kirsty Gallacher at the Pride of Scotland Awards 2021

The Daily Record Pride of Scotland Awards, in partnership with TSB, will broadcast tonight on STV at 8pm and on STV Player from 28th July.

In an address to those gathered at Hopetoun House, South Queensferry, just outside Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister for Scotland, said: "It is my honour to pay tribute to the Pride of Scotland Award winners. Whatever life throws at us we know that individuals and communities across Scotland will always rise to the challenge and that has never been more evident than over the last 18 months.

"The winners are all great shining examples of that. They are brave, they are selfless, they are quite simply inspirational. Whether they are being recognised for saving lives, raising money for charity, overcoming adversity or inspiring others in Scotland and beyond, we are proud of each and every one of them. Congratulations to all the winners, you truly are the Pride of Scotland."

Back for a second year, the ceremony celebrates ordinary people doing extraordinary things and honours unsung Scottish heroes who have transformed the lives of those around them.

Other winners include a schoolboy who has battled for survival since birth and now has a new lease of life thanks to the world’s first "heart in a box" transplant on a child, heroic police officers who saved two lives after a car crashed into a rural cottage, setting off a huge fireball, and a foster mum who founded a charity to help siblings separated by the care system to be reunited and create new, happy memories together.

Pride of Scotland Awards
Pride of Scotland Awards

Gordon Ramsay, Sir Kenny Dalglish, Annie Lennox, Dame Arlene Phillips, Jarvis Cocker, Sharleen Spiteri, Midge Ure, Lorraine Kelly and AJ and Curtis Pritchard were among the many celebrities to pay tribute to some of the most remarkable people from all corners of Scotland. Musical entertainment was supplied by Nathan Evans and The Fratellis.

Jamie McCallum’s daughter Rosie was born eight years ago with Down's syndrome, and the father-of-three determined that while her condition meant challenges lay ahead, it was part of who she was and he said he “wouldn’t change a thing” about her.

The success of the video led to the creation of a parent-led charity of the same name, of which Jamie is chairman. The charity has now published a book, Wouldn't Change a Thing, that will be given to every new parent of a baby with Down's syndrome, to give positive insights into what lies ahead, based on the experiences of real families.

Corden said: "I was so moved by the Wouldn't Change A Thing video that you created. It's an amazing and positive message to change perceptions on Down's syndrome and is honestly the best carpool karaoke I have ever seen."

Aaron Hunter, from Falkirk, was given the Child of Courage award. The 10-year-old was born with hypo-plastic left heart syndrome, meaning he had only half a heart. He underwent major surgery just hours after he was born. Further life-saving operations followed, but some surgery when he was three failed and he suffered a stroke that left him partially paralysed. He was in intensive care for five months.

Aaron Hunter: Child of Courage
Aaron Hunter: Child of Courage

Doctors said Aaron was unlikely to survive another year, and even after he passed that milestone, it was feared he would be one of the 25 per cent of children on the transplant list who die before a new heart could be found. But in 2018, a suitable heart was found, but there was a difficult choice to make.

The organ had been kept pumping outside a human body in a pioneering "heart in a box" procedure. A UK programme to use it on adults began at Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, in 2015, but Aaron would be the first child anywhere in the world to undergo this new type of transplant and his mother Stephanie had to sign a special consent form to allow the operation to take place. Thankfully, the surgery was a success, and today Aaron is a boy transformed.

Presenting the award, Steve Gerrard, the Rangers manager and former Liverpool and England captain, told Aaron: "Congratulations on winning your award. Despite all you have been through you have always shown incredible strength and bravery. You are an inspiration to all of us mate."

The Emergency Services award went to police officers Lisa Macpherson and David Fraser, who rescued a woman from her home after it was hit by a car which then caught fire. PC Macpherson, 30, and PC Fraser, 42, helped get the occupants of the car to safety while the car was on fire. But as the flames began to engulf the cottage, PC Fraser forced open the locked door, and found 61-year-old Sylvia Walden in her bedroom, unaware of the fire, and led her to safety with her dog.

David Fraser and Lisa Macpherson
David Fraser and Lisa Macpherson: Emergency Services Award

It took three fire crews from Shawbost, Stornoway and Port of Ness to extinguish the fire.

Sir Jackie Stewart, the Formula 1 motor racing champion in 1969, 1971 and 1973, told them: "Stornoway is very lucky to have you on patrol to keep the community safe. You make me very happy and very proud to be Scottish."

The Special Recognition award was won by Karen Morrison, 46, from Fife, who founded a charity that reunites siblings separated by the care system. As a foster carer, she noticed brothers and sisters were often being split up, going long periods without contact, because of a lack of placements where they could stay together.

Karen Morrison: Special Recognition Award
Karen Morrison: Special Recognition Award

Around seven in 10 children in care live apart from at least one sibling. Determined to ensure siblings did not become strangers, she founded Siblings Reunited in 2013. It was the first charity of its kind in Scotland and since launching Karen and her volunteers have reunited 500 estranged siblings.

Pride of Scotland's Lifetime Achievement award has been given to Sir Godfrey Palmer, 81, who, despite being assessed as educationally subnormal at his first school, went on to earn a degree in botany at Leicester University, discover the barley abrasion process subsequently adopted by the UK’s biggest breweries, and become Scotland’s first black professor in 1988. He is now emeritus professor in the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University as well as its new chancellor. He won the equivalent of a Nobel prize for brewing in 1998.

Sir 'Geoff' Palmer: Lifetime Achievement
Sir 'Geoff' Palmer: Lifetime Achievement

Known as Geoff, he was born in Jamaica but moved to the UK at the age of 15. His dressmaker single mum Ivy Larmond-Palmer was part of the Windrush generation who saved up for four years to get the £86 required for his ticket. She would later become a victim of the Windrush scandal and faced deportation. Her son had a plaque placed in George Square Garden at Edinburgh University to commemorate her life.

Over the past year Sir Geoff has been a powerful voice in the movement for change prompted by Black Lives Matter, after many years as a human rights activist including campaigning for a reinterpretation of the Melville Monument in Edinburgh honouring Henry Dundas, given his efforts in the 1790s to delay the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.

Two teenagers were honoured at the Pride of Scotland Awards. Brynn Hauxwell, 16, from Yell, one of the North Isles of Shetland, was named Young Fundraiser of the Year, for covering nearly 1,700 miles in a wheelchair last year in a gruelling charity challenge.

Brynn is autistic and has ADHD, severe asthma and fixed ankle contractures, which keeps him mainly wheelchair bound. A couple of years ago, Ability Shetland let Brynn use one of their all-terrain wheelchairs, which helped him rediscover the great outdoors. He used the trike to complete a 20km all-terrain challenge in October 2019, travelling around some of Shetland’s tougher terrains at St Ninian’s Isle and Fethaland to raise funds to buy his own active wheelchair.

Brynn Hauxwell: Young Fundraiser of the Year
Brynn Hauxwell: Young Fundraiser of the Year

Wanting to give back, the teenager decided to raise much-needed funds for the charity that gave him his new lease of life. He set himself the challenge of pushing himself 1,679 miles, the equivalent of Shetland’s coastline. He raised more than £8,000 for Ability Shetland. Determined to carry on fundraising, Brynn then took on 16 half-marathons, the equivalent of 209 miles, and raised another £1,200 for the charity. He was congratulated in the Scottish Parliament.

Bear Grylls, the TV adventurer, told the teenager: "To me it is not just the challenge itself but how you've raised so much money for Ability Shetland. Truly amazing. Three things that stand out with you are courage, kindness and your never-give-up spirit. You've got all of those things in spades. Everyone is so proud of you. Here's to your next challenge."

And Lily Douglas, 13, from Perth, was named Teenager of Courage for battling a rare form of cancer and inspiring people in Scotland and beyond with her courage, positivity and determination to help others.

Lily Douglas: Teenager of Courage
Lily Douglas: Teenager of Courage

Lily was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer, Ewing’s sarcoma, when she was nine. Her mother Jane said despite everything, the youngster still approaches every day with a smile on her face. After seeing Captain Tom on television, the schoolgirl, who was a champion dancer before she lost the ability to walk unaided, tried her own fundraising challenge, passing her target of £500 less than 24 hours after going live in February. So far she has raised £3,380 for NHS Charities.

Alesha Dixon, the singer and Britain's Got Talent judge, told her: "I can't think of anyone that deserves this award more than yourself. I love you and can't wait to see you again."

Olivia Blackburn, 24, from Dundee, was named The Prince's Trust Young Achiever, after overcoming a series of mental and physical health challenges and personal tragedy to achieve her dream of helping others through nursing.

Olivia Blackburn: Prince's Trust Young Achiever
Olivia Blackburn: Prince's Trust Young Achiever

Diagnosed with epilepsy and cerebral palsy after a stroke in 2007, she also needed major surgery on her jaw due a condition that affected her speech and ability to eat. Her ongoing poor health meant her education suffered, as she often missed classes.

Olivia decided to leave education early to focus on her health. She went for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help with her anxiety and depression and had an operation on her jaw. But just four months after the surgery, her father died of cancer. Despite her grief she began working part-time in a children’s activity and play centre and when her mother was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin follicular lymphoma stage 4, she supported her through it.

Olivia then won a place on a Prince’s Trust course to help young people gain the skills and experience needed to work in the NHS. She flourished and after completing the programme secured a job as a Healthcare Support Worker in the same Haematology ward that treated her mother. Olivia has now been accepted on to the vocational pathway to becoming a nurse.

Dr Kenneth Bailie, 42, of Edinburgh, has been honoured with a Special Recognition award for being a leading light in the fight against Covid-19, heading up vital studies and contributing to the trial that found the first effective treatment.

Dr Kenneth Bailie: Special Recognition
Dr Kenneth Bailie: Special Recognition

Critical care specialist Dr Baillie leads a lab at Edinburgh University’s Roslin Institute. For the last 20 years he has focused his research on better care for seriously ill patients and how genes can play a part in response to infection. Prior to the pandemic, he worked with the World Health Organisation on swine flu, MERS, Ebola and sepsis, but turned his attention to Covid-19 early last year.

Sharleen Spiteri, the singer, told him: "Thank you for all the incredible work you have done over the years and for helping us get to a place where we can actually see other human beings."

Gerard Morrison, of Port Glasgow, was given an award for Outstanding Bravery. The 72-year-old sprang into action during a violent knife attack, saving a woman’s life and fighting off her attacker.

Gerard Morrison: Outstanding Bravery
Gerard Morrison: Outstanding Bravery

He had been waiting in a housing association office in Greenock when a man waiting alongside him suddenly got up and approached the counter where staff member Lynn Robertson was helping customers. He then walked behind the counter and without warning, stabbed the 45-year-old mother in the stomach and arm with a serrated steak knife.

Gerard immediately jumped up and went to Lynn’s aid, grabbing a chair to strike the attacker. His actions allowed Lynn to flee behind a door into another office. Once she was safe, Gerard threw the chair at the attacker and ran to seek help. The man was later arrested and was jailed for life last year for attempted murder.

Sir Kenny Dalglish, the former football manager and Celtic, Liverpool and Scotland star, said of Mr Morrison: "I know you are a Celtic supporter and although they weren't champions last year, in their mind and everyone else's mind you are the champion this year."

And finally, the People's Award went to Scotland's football team, who bowed out of the delayed Euro 2020 finals earlier this year in their first tournament appearance since 1998.

People's Award: Scotland's men's football team
People's Award: Scotland's men's football team

Although in the end, it wasn’t meant to be, as the final whistle blew at Hampden Park, the team left the field with heads held high, pride in the national team restored, and a brighter future.

Scotland’s men’s team had endured 23 years of low points and heroic failures. But since taking over two years ago, Scotland's manager Steve Clark has built a team brimming with energy, fearlessness and belief, making the most of generational talents such as Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney.

Despite the disappointment of defeats against the Czech Republic and Croatia, outplaying England at Wembley meant the Tartan Army will have had some fond memories of this footballing summer.

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