Taylor Swift appeared at the Pride of Britain awards to pay tribute to an 8-year-old fan and her father who raised £500,000 to fund research into his daughter’s illness.
Young fan Hasti Brannigan received a video message from the star after she heard about her dad Major Chris’ 700-mile walk from Lands End to Edinburgh.
Hasti has Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, a genetic disorder which can effect growth and cause other physical and cognitive challenges.
Major Chris had been nicknamed The Barefoot Soldier as he carried out the mammoth 700-mile trek barefoot, carrying his belongings on his back.
After receiving his award from presenter Ore Oduba, Hasti and her dad got an extra surprise from the Cardigan singer.
In her video message she said: ‘Hi Hasti and Major Chris. This is Taylor. I just wanted to say to Major Chris that what you did fills me with so much admiration. You have raised so much money and awareness for charity.
‘Hasti, you’re amazing! You’re so courageous and so inspirational. I really hope I get to meet you someday. You are the Pride of Britain!’
Major Chris tweeted: ‘Thanks to the @PrideOfBritain team, to @OreOduba and @taylorswift13 for the amazing award. But special thanks to the incredible women and men of the @BritishArmy who had my back in my darkest hour.’
The evening was filled with heart-warming moments as heroes from around the UK were recognised.
Ant and Dec were on hand to surprise six-year-old fundraiser Tony Hudgell, who had his legs amputated in 2017 after being abused by his birth parents, with an award for raising more than £1m for Evelina London Children’s Hospital by walking 10km in June.
Tony, who received his first prosthetic legs this year, got to meet the presenters in person during a trip to Hamley’s toy shop.
Police officer Claire Bond was serenaded by The Voice UK star Olly Murs, who gave her an award for her bravery in a 2018 incident.