Top pop stars help to celebrate local heroes’ hard work

Caitlyn Vanbeck
Caitlyn Vanbeck
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IT was the event where some of the biggest names in pop rubbed shoulders with Edinburgh’s local heroes.

Now in its eighth year, the Radio Forth awards ceremony celebrated the hard work of people from across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife, and featured star turns by acts including Pixie Lott and The Wanted.

The Wanted

The Wanted

Opening the evening was the winner of Evening News’ Edinburgh’s Got Talent contest, 13-year-old Caitlyn Vanbeck from Tranent – who has gone from singing in high school shows weeks ago to performing alongside some of the UK’s biggest chart successes.

The Ross High School pupil, who sang Adele’s Don’t You Remember, said: “It was crazy to think that The Wanted were up there performing on the same stage I had just been on a couple of hours before.

“It was amazing performing at the Usher Hall, especially when everyone stood up and clapped after I had finished.”

Hosting the evening were Radio Forth presenters Arlene Stewart and Grant Stott. Taking to the stage to present the prizes were some of the biggest names in the entertainment and sport – including comedian Craig Hill, rugby legend Gavin Hastings and TV’s Gary Tank Commander, Greg McHugh.

X Factor winner Matt Cardle showcased tracks from his new album Letters, while pop princess Pixie Lott got the crowds going with her single All About Tonight.

Asked what advice she would give to young artists such as Caitlyn, Pixie said: “The best thing to do when you’re young is to stick around your family and friends and keep making sure you enjoy yourself.”

Scooping the Blackhorse Community Challenge Award – and a much-needed £5000 cheque – was the Craigmillar Child and Family Centre, which supports vulnerable families in the area.

The organisation will put the funds towards creating a community garden.

Spice Girl turned multi-million-selling solo artist Melanie C took home the Music Recognition prize, while the Contribution to Sport went to rugby’s Chris Paterson.

By far the biggest cheers – and screams – of the night came as the winners of the Best Artist award, The Wanted, took to the stage and performed their number one single Glad You Came.

Leaving with the Radio Forth Cash for Kids Award was 16-year-old Esme Morris Macintyre.

Despite being left severely disabled after she was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 12, Esme has worked tirelessly to raise money and awareness for the charities CLIC Sargent and Teenage Cancer Trust.

The Local Hero Award, presented by Evening News editor Tom Little and Forth news presenter Clare Reilly, went to Johnny Gonsalas. Johnny, who was diagnosed with motor neuron disease earlier this year, has been fostering children for more than 20 years.

The award for Best Pub went to community watering hole the Gothenburg in Prestonpans.