The annual Women Of The Year lunch brings together 400 amazing women from around the UK in a celebration of their remarkable achievements and contributions to society. Woman's Weekly Editor, Diane Kenwood, was at the event
I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in the Women Of The Year Lunch for many years. I’m part of the team of women who nominate and select the invitees, and each year I host a table at the event.
Every year I think our guests can’t possibly be more amazing, more inspiring, more remarkable or more lovely than they were last year. And each year they are!
This year the guests at my table included the wonderful singer Katie Melua, who is as gorgeous inside as she is outside, and Woman’s Weekly’s favourite TV presenter, Lorraine Kelly.
Every woman who is invited to the lunch is a Woman Of The Year, and every one of them is being recognised for the remarkable work they have done and the contributions they have made to their communities and society.
Often those contributions are in previously male-dominated professions and we wrote about one such woman in the magazine. 92-year-old Joy Lofthouse started her career working in a bank, but having applied to join the Air Auxillary during World War Two she ended up flying a huge variety of different planes, including the iconic Spitfire, to the bases where they were required.
Having read the feature our Features Writer Ella wrote about, it was both a treat and an honour to meet her in person and to find that she was every bit as extraordinary as Ella had said she was.
Another person at the lunch who has appeared in the magazine – many times in fact – was one of our regular contributors to the Funny Old World page. Mel Giedroyc is also familiar to millions of us fans as one of the presenters of the glorious Great British Bake Off and as much fun off air as she is on.
Oh, and I probably should mention that this woman was there too!
Nicole Kidman – who is so tall and so beautiful – presented one of the awards with wonderfully unshowy grace, but I have to admit it was a bit of an unintentional comedy moment when she stepped aside for the winner to make her speech and stood next to Women Of The Year President and the brilliant MC for the day, Sandi Toksvig (on the left in the pic), who is as tiny as she is fabulous!
It was, as it always is, an afternoon of tears, cheers, celebration, admiration and wildly uplifting inspiration.