Liam Fairhurst Is A Remarkable Young Man

PUBLISHED: 09:45 07 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:35 04 May 2010

I HAVE to confess that it is not very often these days that I get asked for ID. Well, actually that s never. Until Saturday that is. I went to Tesco to do some shopping, which included a bottle of wine. The girl on the till was obviously under age and as

I HAVE to confess that it is not very often these days that I get asked for ID. Well, actually that's never. Until Saturday that is. I went to Tesco to do some shopping, which included a bottle of wine. The girl on the till was obviously under age and asked the person on the till behind me if it was okay to serve me with alcohol. She then looked a bit embarrassed and said: "sorry madam, but my manager needs to ID you and he says he can't tell from behind". I have to admit to feeling slightly flushed and turned round only for the man on the till to wave his hand and dismiss me in an instance. I wouldn't mind but we are talking about a split second for him to make up his mind and there wasn't even the slightest flicker of doubt that I was indeed over 21. So there you have it. From behind I can pass for an under 21!

As so many people have mentioned it, I have to confess here and now that I have still been unable to complete a handstand. It's not my body that can't do it, honestly, it's my head telling me not to be so silly. I'm not giving up, but for the time being, please dear readers, be assured that I am trying. I have made progress; I can do the plough and half a crab and also my praying mantis isn't bad!

During my 22 years as a journalist, I have met lots of interesting people and lots of famous people. I've had tea with John and Norma Major, fed Mr Major's fish (he has a huge fish pond); Roger Daltry made me a cup of tea when I visited his fish farm in Sussex many years ago. I know it looks like a theme is developing here but it's just a weird and wonderful coincidence that I have interviewed two famous people who happen to like fish! I interviewed Ross Kemp who was appearing in panto in Cambridge, and maybe he was having a bad day but he was rude and uncooperative.

There have been lots of politicians along the way and I was even on a media rota when Princess Diana visited Papworth Hospital, but I didn't get chance to interview her. But, I can honestly say, however impressive people were and however much in awe I was on the day, the people who have made, and continue to make, a lasting impression on me are ordinary folk who have done extraordinary things.

People like Liam Fairhurst. What a truly amazing young man he is. Not only has he shown the most amazing courage in the face of adversity and pain, he proved to millions of people last Wednesday night at the Pride of Britain Awards that he is also funny, intelligent, adorable and truly humble.

I have met Liam's dad Mark lots of times and last week I spoke to Liam's mum Sarah for the first time, although we email regularly. Sarah knows my mum has been poorly, and in the last few months whatever has been going on with Liam and however difficult life gets for her she never forgets to ask how my mum is. I can't imagine what the deepest and darkest moments have been like for Liam and the whole Fairhurst family in the last two years or so, but remembering someone else's pain and caring enough when you have so much going on in your own life, is, as far as I'm concerned, a super human quality. They are a remarkable family and when you meet Mark and Sarah it is easy to see where Liam gets his quick wit, thoughtfulness, inquiring mind and impeccable manners from.

Liam is amazing; a real inspiration to us mere mortals who get up every morning and complain about the weather and any other tiny irritation that should threaten the equilibrium of our day.

There will always be a special place in my heart for Liam who is a remarkable young man, but Mark and Sarah and Liam's brother Callum share that place too. They are a very special family.

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