John Sergeant steps up to collect Oldie title

Veteran journalist and budding star of the ballroom John Sergeant today exacted some revenge on his critics after scooping a top prize at the prestigious Oldie Awards.

And Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs landed the coveted Granddad of the Year Award for his "dignified response to the BBC furore surrounding phone calls about his granddaughter".

Sergeant became one of last year's most unlikely heroes for his challenging dancing style on BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing.

His unusual dance routines were loved by the public but reviled by the judges whose criticisms were a major reason behind his decision to quit the show.

But today he was rewarded by his peers who voted him Hoofer of the Year at the award ceremony in London to celebrate those of advancing years.

He said his award vindicated the criticism he had received at the hands of the Strictly Come Dancing judges.

He explained: "It was a great triumph wasn't it? A mistake that some people made is that they seemed to think I was a bad dancer. Now I don't know how they got that impression, I did everything I could to stop that."

He added: "At last I am being judged by people who know what I'm up to.

"That was the problem I had on Strictly - the judges clearly didn't understand what I was doing but here I am with, I hope, people who realise what it's all about and what I am trying to do, which was to have a lot of fun."

The BBC apologised to Sachs for "unacceptable and offensive" messages left by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross on his answer phone.

The pair left a series of crude messages which were broadcast on BBC Radio 2.

But Sachs said today he just wanted to put the episode behind him.

Asked if he had forgiven Brand and Ross he replied: "I don't harbour grudges, it's happened, there we are, it's all in the past."

Author Sir Terry Pratchett was voted Campaigner of the Year for raising awareness of Alzheimer's following his diagnosis with the condition.

Sporting his trademark black hat, Sir Terry said he was looking forward to being classed as an oldie.

He explained: "I was a grumpy young man as well. I'm quite happy to be an oldie.

"It seems to me that, looking around this country, there's a general feeling of being pissed off and I would like to be part of the bastion of that feeling.

"You just look around and it's all rubbish."

The 60-year-old added: "No-one thinks that 60 is old any more. At least, people approaching 60 don't think it's old.

"You can still look smug in a fawn windcheater in a Saga Holidays advert."

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable scooped the "I Told You So" Award for correctly predicting the credit crunch.

And novelist Diana Athill won the "Bed Next to the Door" award for her memoir, Somewhere Towards The End.

The event was hosted by veteran broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan, 70.

Sir Terry, who was also on this year's judging panel, outlined the key attributes needed to win an Oldie award.

He said: "You need to be a person of outstanding maturity, high intelligence and ever so slightly barmy.

"It's eccentricity that counts, as it probably should."

He singled out DJ Chris Moyles, presenters Richard and Judy and broadcaster Noel Edmonds as having the potential to go on and pick up the award when they got older.

As former presenter of the Eurovision Song Contest, Sir Terry said he would feel some regret this year after retiring from his position at the helm of the BBC's coverage of the show.

He added: "I'll regret it when I'm watching it, of course, but it was time to stop. You can't go on beating the gums and irritating people."

ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

HR Assistant / Human Resources Assistant

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: An HR Assistant / Human Resources Ass...

Talent Community Coordinator

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Talent Community Coordinator is nee...

Business Support - Banking - Halifax - £250 pd

£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform