LGBT awards: Adele Roberts named role model of the year

By Lauren Moss, LGBT correspondent & Josh Parry, LGBT producer
BBC News

  • Published
Adele Roberts smiles at the camera
Image caption,
Since her diagnosis, Adele Roberts has worked hard to break down stigma

Adele Roberts has been named role model of the year at the British LGBT Awards after sharing her bowel cancer diagnosis.

The Radio 1 DJ has been widely praised for her openness during her treatment, after announcing she had the disease last October.

Since then, she has used her platform to encourage others to be aware of the signs and symptoms.

Host Sue Perkins hailed her as a "hero" at the ceremony in London on Friday.

Accepting the award via video message, Adele thanked the LGBT community for their support during her cancer treatment.

She said: "You've inspired me to do better and to be better...

"I understand the importance of standing up being proud, not apologising for who you are and just being that person really, that we all needed when we were younger.

"So I hope I'm doing that for anybody who's dealing with cancer."

Ms Roberts has been through intense treatment and now wears a stoma bag.

In May, Ms Roberts and her stoma - which she has named Audrey - featured on the front cover of Women's Health magazine, as a way to break down the stigma surrounding her diagnosis.

The 43-year-old has previously praised her fiancee Kate Holderness for being her "counsellor, mentor and the best nurse ever".

Lady Gaga was given the celebrity award, announced by surprise guest Dame Kelly Holmes, who recently came out as gay.

Singer Alicia Keys was honoured as celebrity ally of the year after a public vote. The ally award goes to a public figure who, through their work, has shone a light on and supported LGBT issues.

Accepting the award with a pre-recorded video message, she praised the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex communities.

She said: "I know the powerful LGBTQI+ community has a lot to fight for, stand up to and care about, so just like all of you here tonight, I am here with you to keep showing up, representing and reminding each other we are not alone.

Image source, British LGBT Awards
Image caption,
Alicia Keys, who wasn't in attendance, accepted her award with a video message

"Let's scream at the top of our lungs, everyone deserves love, kindness, equanimity and most of all respect.

"Of course we've come a long way but there's so much more to do and there's so much more that has to happen, but that's why ceremonies like this are so important."

Olympic diving gold medallist Tom Daley picked up the sports personality of the year award, after being nominated for speaking out against countries with anti-LGBT laws.

Image caption,
Johannes Radebe and John Whaite at the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 semi-final

The media moment award went to Strictly Come Dancing's Johannes Radebe and his dance partner John Whaite for their performance in the 2021 semi-final.

The pair were widely praised for their contemporary dance to Adele's Hometown Glory, which they said represented what it was like growing up gay.

Whaite said: "We've come a very long way but what me and Johannes did and represented that night wasn't about us.

"It was about the community that came before us who paved away and those that will carry the torch forward."

Representatives of LGBT charity and campaign group Stonewall were awarded a lifetime achievement award on behalf of their organisation by broadcaster Julian Clary.

The event is considered one of the UK's most significant awards ceremonies supporting the LGBT community and has been held annually since 2014.

Host of the awards Perkins said she was looking forward to continuing the celebrations during Pride in London's 50th anniversary March on 2 July.

"It's important and it's fun," she said.

"I'll be there, possibly a couple of sheets to the wind, possibly with a couple of glow sticks.

"I'll be supporting some of the affiliated charities and doing my bit. It's as important as ever and long may it reign."

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