Pride of Britain Award for Orkney church member

Billy Muir
Billy Muir (right) and Paul Pester, chief executive officer at TSB.

A Church of Scotland member from Orkney has been honoured at the Pride of Britain Awards in London for tirelessly supporting his small island community.

Billy Muir is a member of North Ronaldsay Parish Church and acts as its treasurer as well as being on the congregational board.

Dubbed the 'hardest working man in Britain', the 67-year-old holds down no less than 20 jobs on the island including lighthouse keeper, retained fireman, sheep farmer, air traffic controller and councillor to name but a few.

Mr Muir is the first person to win the TSB Community Partner Award at the Pride of Britain Awards 2016 – a televised event which celebrates ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help each other.

He was presented with his accolade by singer Alesha Dixon and comedian Johnny Vegas at the Grosvenor House Hotel last night.

Honoured

Mr Muir and his wife Isobel, also a church member, were joined on the red carpet by stars from the world of entertainment, sport and politics.

He said: “I couldn't believe it when I got the call.

“It's amazing to be recognised by TSB and Pride of Britain and I am honoured to win this award.

“But it is not just me, it's working with lots of other people together on North Ronaldsay that we are able to achieve good.

“I feel very proud and it's been inspiring to be here amongst so many worthy winners tonight."

Mr Muir, who has been the lighthouse keeper for 47 years, raised £1.2million to renovate it and leads tours, regularly scaling the 176 steps to the top.

He said he had no plans to retire because working kept him fit.

Calm and helpful

North Ronaldsay Parish Church interim Moderator Rev James Wishart said Mr Muir was a well deserving recipient of the award.

"Billy is very dedicated and committed to the island and its way of life," added the retired minister, whose last full-time charge was Deer Parish Church in Aberdeenshire.

"He and his wife Isobel are strong supporters of the church and he has a friendly, pleasant nature.

"Billy is a very calm and helpful person who has many skills, a lot of energy and requires little sleep.

"It is very good that he has been recognised in this way."

The Awards programme, which is presented by television personality Carol Vorderman, is being broadcast tonight from 8pm on ITV1.