Newspapers triumph at Stonewall Awards

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The Guardian was named Newspaper of the Year at the second Stonewall Awards ceremony last night.

Philip Hensher, who writes a column for The Independent, won Journalist of the Year.

The awards ceremony, hosted by TV presenter Anthony Crank, took place at London’s Victoria Albert Museum before an audience of 400 people.

Sponsored for the second year by Barclays, it celebrated the positive contributions made by individuals and organisations – both gay and straight – to the lives of gay people in Britain in 2007.

The winner of the Hero of the Year award, Antony Grey, was greeted with a standing ovation.

As the former secretary of the Homosexual Law Reform Society, he spearheaded the campaign which resulted in the first partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967.

The other winners were:

Politician of the Year: Alan Johnson MP, Secretary of State for Health, and Angela Eagle MP, Treasury Minister, joint winners. For their work on the 2007 Sexual Orientation Regulations.

Writer of the Year: Val McDermid. For this year’s best-selling crime thriller Beneath the Bleeding. Her Wire in the Blood has been an award-winning ITV series.

Sports Personality of the Year: Nigel Owens. Openly-gay international rugby referee who made his pioneering Rugby World Cup debut in France in October 2007.

Bigot of the Year: The Bishop of Hereford, Anthony Priddis. An employment tribunal found in July that the Bishop unlawfully withdrew a job offer to a gay youth worker after subjecting him to humiliating personal questioning.

Broadcast of the Year: Hollyoaks, Channel 4. For its sympathetic and convincing handling of the gritty and emotional storyline about the developing relationship between teenagers John Paul and Craig.

Stonewall Barclays Community Group of the Year: London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, for providing unsung 24-hour support and advice to thousands of gay people. Winner of a £5000 cheque presented by Barclays group vice-chairman Gary Hoffman.

Entertainer of the Year: Dan Gillespie Sells. Openly-gay lead singer of the hugely successful band The Feeling, the most widely-played on UK radio in last 12 months.

The award-winners were selected by a panel of judges including sports presenter Clare Balding, comedian Matt Lucas, journalist Nicky Campbell and former radio personality Paul Gambaccini.

Three awards – for Hero, Bully and Community Group of the Year – were voted for by 6,000 Stonewall supporters from across Britain. editor Tony Grew said he was disappointed at losing out in the Journalist of the Year category.

“I guess we will just have to work to improve our coverage of gay and lesbian issues,” he said. “There is always next year!”

Ben Summerskill, Stonewall chief executive, said: “We are indebted to the winners of these awards for the inspiration and support and encouragement that so many have shown to lesbian and gay people across Britain during the last year.”