Mal's praise for all nominees in Pride Awards
SWANSEA entertainer and musician Mal Pope says all of this year's Pride Awards nominees are winners who deserve recognition for their incredible achievements.
Mal, who won the Ambassador's title at last year's glittering Evening Post ceremony in the Brangwyn Hall, said it was "a night to celebrate what's great about our city" of Swansea.
He won the prize for helping to breathe new life into the city's High Street with his latest incarnation of his musical — the Cappuccino Girls.
And he said he would be happy if this time around the other judges on the panel, the Swans Capital One Cup winning manager Michael Laudrup and Swansea's Lord Mayor Dennis James chose different winners — as there were "no losers in his eyes".
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Mal said: "Last year the Pride Awards gave me one of the proudest nights of my life.
"Being brought up in a little Gospel Hall in Manselton I was all too aware of the line in the good book which says a 'prophet is without honour in his own country', but I have to say on this occasion I have to disagree. Well I must be the exception that proves the rule.
"To be given the Ambassador Award literally took my breath away, almost left me lost for words (but not quite) and reminded me of the time I was chosen to captain the Swansea Schoolboys Under-13s football team. This was an honour bestowed by my city and nothing could match it. So to be given the task of being on the judging panel this year excited me, but also filled me with dread."
He added: "When the judging pack arrived with all of the nominations I didn't know where to start. It seemed to me everyone should win everything.
"And in effect that's what these awards are all about.
"There are no losers in my eyes — there are only winners and someone does get a prize, but I can honestly say that if my 1,2,3 order was totally reversed when the other judges' opinions are taken into account I would be equally happy with the verdict.
"This is a night to celebrate what is great about our city.
"A night to be truly proud of its people and their achievements and to be a part of that again this year is yet another honour."
There will be a host of prizes handed out on Thursday evening, in celebration of the achievements of unsung heroes living across South West Wales.
The shortlisted nominees will be featured in a supplement in the Evening Post on Wednesday — the day before the glitzy ceremony takes place.