The WWII veteran, 99, originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire had vowed to walk 100 laps of his garden at home before his 100th birthday on April 30 in honour of the NHS – with his fundraiser becoming the biggest in JustGiving history.
Appearing on Thursday’s Good Morning Britain, show host Carol Vorderman took Captain Tom by surprise as she announced his award, which honours those who have acted bravely or extraordinarily in challenging circumstances.
Speaking to Tom and his daughter Hannah via video link, Carol said: ‘It might not surprise you we’ve had that many nominations for you to win a Pride of Britain award and before you argue about it, I want to tell you why.
‘Because you’ve influence, all of us in the country, from the very young. I know you live in three generations, and there’s a huge influence you had bringing these three generations together.
‘We’ve given out Pride Of Britain awards to children with tremendous courage, and to many members of our armed services.
‘Frankly you Captain Tom embody all of that, your kindness, your modesty you utter determination and your selflessness because you’re raising money, frankly a ridiculous amount of money, you keep saying it’s not for you and it’s for those you regard as heroes.
‘I’ve got something that is for you, this will be your Pride Of Britain award, sent to you with love.
The emotional veteran responded: ‘I can’t be more proud and in a position to receive it from you, you are so very kind and I thank all of the people who nominated me for this award.
‘I’m very very humbled at receiving magnificent award, thank you very very much. I’m taken aback by this, because I know it’s such a prestigious award that people get.’
Fans flocked to Twitter to praise Captain Tom in the wake of his accolade, with one writing: ‘Captain Tom Moore. Pride of Britain winner!! Just watching @GMB feeling so choked up now.
‘Already a national hero from WW2, £28 million (in counting) raised for the #NHS, 70k cards for his 100th birthday from everyone he’s inspired – what a true evergreen hero.’
Another wrote: ‘This man… what can you say? Our light during the darkness, our inspiration and what we all should aspire to be. @captaintommoore, we salute you. Our Pride of Britain.’
A third wrote: ‘Captain Tom Moore, you are the Pride of Britain. Official. God bless you Sir.’
Another typed: ‘Captain Tom Moore what an unbelievable man now the recipient of the Pride of Britain award fantastic knighthood surely beckons if you haven’t donated stick your hand in your pocket doesnt matter how much.’
An emotional video of a host of celebrities including Sir David Jason, Michael Sheen, Joanna Lumley, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Katherine Jenkins, Rita Ora and Bear Grylls all thanking Captain Tom then played on screen.
Sir David Jason said: ‘In the 1940s, you and your mates stepped up to the plate to help the country out and here you are again, you are a hero. And I salute you.’
After seeing the video, Captain Tom said: ‘I’m absolutely over-awed by it. Famous people doing such great things themselves, I’m completely taken aback by all those famous people on the screen there. Thank you very much, so kind of you all.’
When Piers asked Tom, who has received over 70,000 birthday cards in the post, if he’d thought about how he wants to celebrate his 100th birthday, Tom said: ‘Not really. I’ve been quite busy talking to you and having such a lovely time, so I haven’t really thought about it.
‘No doubt in the end, when it does come about, we shall have a very nice day.’
Piers also added his mum was worried Captain Tom was working too hard and asked if he was okay and how he was managing to keep his energy up and Tom said: ‘When you say working too hard, I’m not working too hard. I’m enjoying every minute of it. I always have a lot of energy, I’m perfectly alright, thank you very much!’
When asked how he’s coping with all the fame, Tom joked: ‘If you’re going to send a bodyguard, could you send me an attractive one please?’
Captain Tom completed his target a fortnight before his milestone birthday and he has vowed to keep on walking laps of his garden in the Bedfordshire Village of Marston Moretaine in order to continue raising money for the fight against coronavirus.
Captain Tom went on to join forces with singer Michael Ball, 57, and the NHS choir to release a charity cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Appearing on Thursday’s GMB, Michael said of the single: ‘It’s one of those things that happened so spontaneously and so quickly, and it’s extraordinary. It really is .
‘When we look back at this time to try and analyse what happened, one of these positive stories has been captain tom. This is all I can do! I can’t go and work on the frontline so this is my bit!
‘We haven’t met yet we’ve just spoken on the phone, it’s a really weird situation and totally spontaneous.
‘Luckily I was able to get on the phone, talk to my record producer, coordinate it together, for me it was important to have the voices of care, so when they finished their shift they got on the computer and recorded their lines, Tom did his into the phone. We turned it around in 12 hours.
‘He’s from that extraordinary generation who fought from our freedom, he’s a hardworking, decent intelligent, self-sacrificing human being. I can’t wait to see him thought. ‘
On Sunday, it was revealed that their collaboration with the NHS Voices of Care Choir had stormed to the top of the music downloads chart.
The charity single is at the top of iTunes and Captain Tom’s campaign to raise funds for the NHS has so far reached more than £28 million on his JustGiving page.
Captain Tom’s daughter Hannah said of her dad’s chart success: ‘Oh my! Can anything else happen to us, do you think?
‘We are working our little socks off as you can imagine, we are fully Team Tom! Thank you for supporting us all and thank you to the British public, we really appreciate it.’
Hannah revealed that her father was overjoyed to have worked with Michael, one of his favourite singers, on the single.
She added: ‘He loves a bit of country and western, he loves a bit of André Rieu, he loves a bit of big band, he loves World War II veteran songs, but he has always loved Michael Ball, so he’s in very good company.’
News sourced from: Daily Mail