The long-awaited Diva Awards took place last night via Youtube Live on our laptop screens. Hosted by Adele Roberts and Kate Holderness, the pair talked about how the event would be missed without the usual glam hotel venue. However, with video speeches between interludes of the warmth of the hosts’ living room, the event felt ever-inclusive and perhaps the single best moment for the LGBTQ community this year.
Linda Riley, publisher of Diva Magazine introduces the ceremony, thanking sponsors, supporters and expressing gratitude for the ability to host the awards virtually, followed by Heather Small singing Moving On Up before the Awards commence.
Actor of the year is awarded to Sarah Paulson, whilst Aubrey Plaza receives the highly commended prize.
Musician of the year, mxmtoon gives the first winners’ speech followed by The Gaubert Brothers, who win Corporate Ally of the year.
Then Adele and Kate discuss the importance of supporting LGBTQI people in the workplace as they present LGBTQI Network of the year, which is seized by ITV Pride, a highly commended prize going to OVO Energy’s Pride in Ourselves.
Chloe Morgan wins Sports Star of the year before Linda Riley reappears, presenting Diva’s Choice Award to Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, also nominated for Influencer of the year.
Rosie Jones (Rising Star), Tolu Osinubi (Diversity Champion) and Quiyan Chen (Young Entrepreneur) give empowering and heart-warming speeches before Rose and Rosie perform their speech alongside a sketch where comedian, Rosie gives birth to their Diva Award; Steph McGovern takes highly commended for broadcaster of the year.
Further speeches are made by Stella Duffy OBE, who wins the Lyra McKee Prize for Wordsmith of the year and Jack Monroe, who wins Influencer. Pose is then crowned as 2021’s Best TV Programme with a message from Disney, who talk about the importance of representation and real stories told with warmth.
Our favourite speech is from Chloe Florence. The award is Unsung Hero of the Year so the speech was always going to be touching, but Chloe talks about her previous hardships in homelessness and in spite of everything she faced, her goal was only ever to bring about change: “I was called out for being a diva when I was younger because I didn’t stick to the rules and I called people out on their bulls*** and apparently that’s a bad thing, but now here I am getting an award for it: calling people out on their bulls*** and making change… this is for all the unsung heroes out there doing their bit and never asking for thanks. I appreciate you – the world needs more people like you.”
Brand of the year goes to Spotify, whilst Happiest Season wins film of the year. Michelle Visage and Lorraine Kelly CBE win prizes for Awesome Ally and Sir Ian McKellen inducts Hall of Fame winner, Lisa Power, MBE, who accepts the award with a charming humility. Heather Small sings out the Awards with Proud – “We need a change. Do it today…”
Congratulations to all winners and thanks to all nominees and further unsung heroes for making change for a clear horizon - and fantastic job at celebrating these wonderful people, Diva!
Stay tuned for Diva’s Pride tomorrow (May 1st), which features some amazing entertainment and more celebration.