Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas said she feels “inspired” by the Pride Of Britain Awards, describing the event as one which “melts your heart”.

The annual ceremony, hosted by Carol Vorderman and Ashley Banjo, celebrates the achievements of the nation’s unsung heroes at London’s Grosvenor House.

Arriving at the red carpet, Ballas told the PA news agency: “Only in the UK do we do it in the way we do it in style, with this beautiful evening that I would always clear my calendar to be able to come and rejoice and celebrate the lives of these people, heroes, it’s inspiring.

Pride of Britain Awards 2022 – London
Daniel Taylor and Shirley Ballas arrive for the Pride of Britain Awards held at the The Grosvenor House Hotel, London (Yui Mok/PA)

“It takes me all the way through to Christmas. They inspire me.

“The world is a topsy-turvy place at the moment and I think evenings like this can melt your heart.

“And I think Strictly, may it go forever, gives people hope and something to look forward to and enjoy.”

The 62-year-old ballroom dancer has been the head judge on the hit BBC One celebrity dancing competition since 2017.

Speaking about the show, she added: “I think this season is one of the most fantastic series that we’ve had so far, with lots of bits of gossip going on here and there and ups and downs and what have you.”

Kiss FM DJ Tyler West, who features in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing line-up alongside professional dancing partner Dianne Buswell, said attending the Pride Of Britain Awards was a real “pinch myself” moment.

Strictly Come Dancing 2022
Tyler West and Dianne Buswell (Ray Burmiston/BBC/PA)

He told PA: “I’ve watched this show for so many years with my mum at home and the whole family and it’s amazing when you hear the stories and to actually be in the same room as these people is going to be second-to-none.

“You just feel proud immediately from hearing any of the stories, it’s a real big pinch myself moment.

“I feel its motivating to show there is light at the end of the tunnel and that is really important as a reminder to everyone.

“The world is a pretty mad place right now and there’s a lot going on and it can seem a bit overwhelming at times so this is literally that little breather and light that we need.”

The 26-year-old presenter scored the first 10s of the Strictly season in Movie Week for his dance to Flash, Bang, Wallop! from Half A Sixpence – having run the London Marathon less than a week before.

Speaking about his journey so far, he told PA: “I mean it’s everything I ever could have dreamed of.

“Every single week I go in it’s just another surprise, another different feeling, going onto that dance it’s never ever going to get old.

“I’m not talking about the end or anything like that but I will miss it for the rest of my life.

“I’m dreading the week that I don’t need to go on that dance floor anymore, I’m just going continue it.

“I’ve never laughed so much in my life.”

Strictly Come Dancing champion Ore Oduba, who attended the red carpet with his wife Portia, said the Pride Of Britain Awards is a “great opportunity” to thank people.

He told PA: “It is the most amazing stage to give everyday heroes the chance to really shine.

“The things that they have done is inspirational, it’s heroic and it’s amazing to be able to celebrate them all.

Strictly Come Dancing 2016
Joanne Clifton and Ore Oduba with the glitterball trophy after they won Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 (Guy Levy/PA)

“Its a nice chance to say there are a lot of regular people doing extraordinary things.”

Speaking about Strictly, Oduba said it was nice to watch the show “as a fan”.

Portia added: “When you’ve been part of it and everyone is our friends it’s really hard to just choose one but we’ve been friends with Helen Skelton for years and years and years now so we are kind of rooting for her.”

The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards will be broadcast on ITV on October 27 at 8pm.