Sandi Toksvig, Killing Eve and Ruth Hunt honoured at an emotional ceremony in London


Journalist Lyra McKee was honoured at the DIVA Awards 2019, where her partner delivered an emotional speech encouraging us all to #BeMoreLyra. 

Announcing a bursary in Lyra’s name to help LGBTQI women get into the media, Sara Canning received a standing ovation as she told the audience: “This is exactly the kind of opportunity that Lyra would have loved to have been able to avail of when she was starting out.”

“Lyra was a passionate journalist, an advocate and activist for her LGBT brothers, sisters, siblings, and quiblings. She would be beyond proud that a bursary like this was being announced in her name. 

“She loved to see the younger generation find their footing in the world of journalism, and she strove to foster their passion for sharing stories and breaking news.  

“Since we lost her, our friends and I have started our own wee hashtag #BeMoreLyra, and it’s all about pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones and doing things that would otherwise scare us. That was Lyra McKee to a tee. 

“DIVA are creating a uniquely ‘Lyra’ chance for a young person who might never have ventured outside their region or discovered the possibilities that lie beyond their comfort zone. This is a really solid way to carry on her legacy, to keep her work, spirit and love alive. This bursary shows young LBT journalists, ‘It won’t always be like this. It’s going to get better.”

Hosted by actors Rachel Shelley and Victoria Broom, the DIVA Awards honour those who help make a difference to the lives of lesbian, bisexual women, queer, trans and intersex people. 

Michelle Hardwick accepts the award for Actor of the Year
Photo John Phillips/Getty Images)
Diversity Champion winner Phyll Opoku-Gyimah
Photo John Phillips/Getty Images)

Winners on the night included Emmerdale’s Michelle Hardwick, BBC drama Killing Eve, activist and chef Jack Monroe, UK Black Pride’s Phyll Opoku-Gyimah and Sandi Toksvig, who was presented with the Broadcaster of the Year award by Gentleman Jack star Suranne Jones. 

Suranne Jones
Photo John Phillips/Getty Images)
Sandi Toksvig accepting the Broadcaster of the Year award from Suranne Jones
Photo John Phillips/Getty Images

Denise Welch collected the Awesome Ally award on behalf of her son, the 1975’s Matty Healy, while outgoing Stonewall Chief Executive Ruth Hunt delivered an emotional speech as she was presented with a lifetime achievement.

DIVA publisher and founder of the awards, Linda Riley said: “We’re proud of everyone who won big tonight and all those on the shortlist. Each and every one of them make a difference to the LGBTQI+ community. Thank you for all that you do.”

DIVA Awards 2019: The winners

LGBTQI Network of the Year

Disney Pride UK&I

Broadcaster of the Year

Sandi Toksvig

Diversity Champion of the Year 

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah

Brand of the Year 


Wordsmith of the Year

Mari Hannah

Musician of the Year

Dodie Clark

Unsung Hero of the Year

Kath Gillespie-Sells MBE

DIVA Choice Award

Ky Hoyle

Rising Star of the Year

Dolly-Rose Campbell

Actor of the Year

Michelle Hardwick

Corporate Ally of the Year

Pauline Lewis

Influencer of the Year

Jack Monroe

TV Programme of the Year

Killing Eve

Awesome Ally of the Year

Matty Healy

Storyline of the Year


DIVA Hall of Fame

Ruth Hunt

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