This year’s awards were a remarkable celebration of LGBTQI women and non-binary people and their allies
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGES BY GETTY IMAGES
Held on Friday 29 April 2022 at the grand Waldorf Hilton in Aldwych, London, the DIVA Awards honoured, uplifted and celebrated LGBTQI women and non-binary people and their allies across business, the media, politics and more. Hosted by actor Sophie Ward, the event was star-studded, with attendance from Labour MP Dawn Butler, comedians Sandi Toksvig and Rosie Jones, along with actors Denise Welch and Suranne Jones.
The DIVA Awards are organised by DIVA Media Group and proudly sponsored by Citi Group, Deliveroo, Greene King, Jackdaw Media, London Stock Exchange Group, MyGWork, P&G and Sedulo. Taking place as part of Lesbian Visibility Week (25 April – 1 May), the evening featured a stunning performance from the fantastic Queens of Lovers Rock, Janet Kay and Carroll Thompson. The awards spanned 14 categories including Actor of the Year, Unsung Hero of the Year and LGBTQI Network of the Year.
BBC Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts secured the DIVA Choice Award for her role in furthering LGBTQI visibility in broadcasting and her openness about her cancer journey, with UK Black Pride receiving the coveted Community or Charity Project accolade. A lesbian musician with a cult following, Lucy Spraggan was crowned Musician of the Year, with Doctor Who picking up the award for Media Moment for its portrayal of WLW (women-loving-women) love between the Thirteenth Doctor and Yasmin Khan, portrayed by Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill. Mae Martin secured Actor of the Year, having written and starred in Feel Good alongside Charlotte Ritchie (Ghosts, Fresh Meat, Call The Midwife). Suranne Jones secured Celebrity Ally of the Year, having recently portrayed DCI Amy Silva in Vigil as well as historic lesbian Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack. In 2021, she unveiled a statue of Anne in Halifax in a ground-breaking moment of support for the WLW community.
One of the most prestigious awards of the evening, Monica Beadle secured the Lifetime Achievement Award. A well-known figure amongst the LGBTQI community, Monica was born in Kingston, Jamaica and moved to Peckham, South London in the 1950s, later coming out as a lesbian and starting a family. In 2019, she was the subject of Monica – Loose On A Cruise, premiering at the Lesflicks Film Festival. She was presented the award by her son, Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE.
Rightly acknowledged as one of the most hotly anticipated events in the lesbian calendar, the DIVA Awards salute and celebrate the achievements of LGBTQI women and non-binary people and their allies across business, the media, and the charity sector. Founded in 2017 by DIVA publisher Linda Riley, the DIVA Awards form an important chapter in DIVA’s history.
Linda Riley stated: “I am delighted to be back celebrating the DIVA Awards in person, which is something we haven’t done since 2019. These awards not only bring together LGBTQI women and non-binary people and their allies, but also the entirety of the DIVA Community. DIVA exists to champion, uplift and celebrate LGBTQI women and non-binary people, and since our first issue in 1994, we’ve grown to become a global enterprise. In the last year, we’ve celebrated our 300th issue and launched podDIVA, and the DIVA Awards are a remarkable moment to reflect on that, too. This is a truly special way to bring Lesbian Visibility Week to a close.”
The DIVA Awards celebrate every step in DIVA’s journey, honouring its special history whilst looking to the future of queer visibility, celebrating the changemakers that make the world a better place for people like us. The media stars, activists, and business leaders to whom the awards pay tribute all show that willpower, strength of purpose and talent can overcome prejudice. By highlighting the success and triumphs of these remarkable nominees they serve as an inspiration to future generations, strengthening and empowering the LGBTQI community. Decided by public vote, the DIVA Awards place the community at its heart.
A full list of the winners and highly commended can be found below.
WINNER: ADELE ROBERTS
INSPIRATIONAL ROLE MODEL OF THE YEAR:
WINNER: ROCHELLE DANCEL
HIGHLY COMMENDED: TOLU OSINUBI
BRAND OF THE YEAR:
WINNER: ONE HOUSING GROUP
HIGHLY COMMENDED: BT
CORPORATE ALLY OF THE YEAR:
WINNER: CAROLINE FRANKUM – KANTAR
HIGHLY COMMENDED: KAREN BOSHER – GREENE KING
COMMUNITY OR CHARITY PROJECT – SPONSORED BY GREENE KING:
WINNER: UK BLACK PRIDE
HIGHLY COMMENDED: LONDON LGBT COMMUNITY
DIVERSITY CHAMPION OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY DELIVEROO:
WINNER: KRISHA GANDHI
HIGHLY COMMENDED: NAOMI REID
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR:
WINNER: LUCY SPRAGGAN
HIGHLY COMMENDED: ARLO PARKS
BROADCAST COMPANY OF THE YEAR:
WINNER: CHANNEL 4
HIGHLY COMMENDED: ITV
LGBTQI NETWORK OF THE YEAR:
HIGHLY COMMENDED: PwC
YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY MYGWORK:
WINNER: AISHA SHAIBU
HIGHLY COMMENDED: LILY WAITE
MEDIA MOMENT OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY LSEG:
WINNER: DOCTOR WHO
HIGHLY COMMENDED: LINE OF DUTY
UNSUNG HERO OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY P&G:
WINNER: WHITNEY AND MEGAN BACON-EVANS
WINNER: EVA ECHO
CELEBRITY ALLY OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY SEDULO:
WINNER: SURANNE JONES
HIGHLY COMMENDED: JODIE WHITTAKER
ACTOR OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY JACKDAW MEDIA:
WINNER: MAE MARTIN
HIGHLY COMMENDED: PEARL MACKIE
MEDIA PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY CITI:
WINNER: SANDI TOKSVIG
HIGHLY COMMENDED: ROSIE JONES
WINNER: MONICA BEADLE
DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.