EDINBURGH Has Talent winner Saskia Eng joined a host of stars at the Radio Forth Awards in the Usher Hall.
The 12-year-old, the Evening News competition’s youngest ever winner, serenaded the audience yesterday before the awards ceremony got under way.
Saskia, who made it to the final 200 in Britain’s Got Talent at the age of just nine, was in good company at the tenth annual awards, which celebrate the achievements of some of the unsung heroes of Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife.
The main event, hosted by DJs Grant Stott and Arlene Stuart, was kicked off by singer-songwriter Tom Odell, who was named Critics’ Choice at the Brit Awards earlier this year.
He will now have to make room beside it on his mantelpiece for the Radio Forth Best Performance Award, presented to him by DJ Dave Connor.
The Black Bull Inn in Mid Calder will also be making room in its trophy cabinet after being given the Radio Forth Best Bar/Restaurant Award by Forth 2 DJ Robin Galloway.
Then the cast of Disney’s The Lion King, whose spectacular show at the Playhouse recently earned it the first ever seven-star review from the Evening News, performed a medley of songs.
And it wasn’t long before the Usher Hall was rocking again as 80s legend Boy George celebrated being presented with the Radio Forth Music Recognition Award by treating the crowd to one of his hits – “Everything I Own” – as well as some new material.
Next, audience members went from dancing on the edge of their seats to the edge of tears as seven-year-old cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus sufferer Amy MacBeath of Bonnyrigg accepted her Radio Forth Cash for Kids Award.
Amy, who was born three months premature, was inspired by last year’s Paralympics to raise money for children’s charities by taking on a triple challenge.
Originally aiming to raise £250 for the Sick Kids hospital by completing the 1.5km junior race at the Edinburgh Marathon, a three-mile Challenge Scotland walk and the 5km Big Fun Run in Edinburgh, Amy has now collected just over £4000.
The Radio Forth Fringe Award was then presented by The Gilded Balloon’s Karen Koren to Scottish stand-up stalwart Craig Hill, who had the audience in stitches before Michelle McManus took to the stage to announce Wimbledon champion Andy Murray as winner of the Radio Forth Contribution to Sport Award.
Murray is recuperating from a recent back operation and was unable to attend in person, but sent a personal message thanking organisers.
Edinburgh couple Valerie and Bill Simpson, founders of charity Children with Cancer and Leukaemia Advice and Support for Parents (CCLASP), were next. Actor and panto legend Andy Gray then took to the stage to present singing sensation Susan Boyle with the Radio Forth Icon award.
Aptly closing the show were the recently reunited JLS, who performed hits including new single Billion Lights, taken from their final album Goodbye – The Greatest Hits.
Cathy Kirk, station director at Radio Forth, said: “This is the tenth year of the Radio Forth Awards and every year the event goes from strength to strength.
“As a station, Radio Forth have always positioned themselves at the heart of the community so it is such a pleasure for us to be able honour and celebrate the achievements of the people within our community.”
Prize guys and girls
BEST PERFORMANCE AWARD: Tom Odell
COMMUNITY VENTURE AWARD: Ross Fisher, Fife Taekwondo Group
BEST BAR/RESTAURANT: The Black Bull Inn, Mid Calder
BEST TEACHER: Scott Davidson, Inverkeithing High
MUSIC RECOGNITION: Boy George
CASH FOR KIDS AWARD: Amy MacBeath, Bonnyrigg
FRINGE AWARD: Craig Hill, below
CONTRIBUTION TO SPORT: Andy Murray
ONE TO WATCH: Megan D
LOCAL HERO: Valerie and Bill Simpson at CCLASP
ICON AWARD: Susan Boyle
BEST ARTIST: JLS