LOCAL Toastmaster George Pye has been crowned Asian Wedding Toastmaster of the Year at the annual gala dinner of the Asian Wedding Awards.

The awards are the longest running Asian Wedding Awards in the UK and the event took place at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel.

George, of Burley-in-Wharfedale said: “Being named as the winner was very unexpected but I’m totally delighted. It’s very humbling to be recognised by one’s peers and to know that my dedication to excellent customer service is valued.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to help to make people’s special day even more memorable.

“I currently deliver lots of events in the Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire areas so I hope that receiving this award may encourage morel local couples to consider a toastmaster to help their day run smoothly and add to their enjoyment.”

The gala dinner and awards, now in its fifth consecutive year, was hosted by Monika Plaha, TV presenter and broadcaster, and was joined amongst others by Talat Farooq Awan of the BBC, Harry Potter actress Afshan Azad, The Worshipful The Mayor of Oldham Councillor Javid Iqbal and the Chairman of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Phil Cusack.

From over 300 nominations, the judges selected 22 businesses, they felt reflected the ethos of the awards, which is, based around customer service, creativity, dedication, innovation, promoting positive values of the industry and going the “extra mile.”

Peter Aust, the immediate past executive chairman of the Northern Guild of Toastmasters and chairman of the judging panel said: “All the judges felt the calibre of entries this year has been exceptional, with some amazing stories or personal endeavour, entrepreneurship and passion and as a result it was incredibly difficult to judge. Everyone one the nominee list are deserving of an award, but we needed to come to a decision.”

Monir Ali, photographer and co-founder of the Asian Wedding Awards added: “Each year we see another set of stories of personal endeavour, hard work and sacrifice to make couples’ wedding day dreams come true.

“Each year the award winners raise the bar and our Asian Wedding Awards are regarded as the gold standard when it comes to finding the best wedding suppliers in the country.”