Lord Grade and Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC receive EVCOM Fellowship Awards, in association with CTN Communications

Lord Grade and Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC were at the House of Lords on 2nd November to receive Fellowship Awards from EVCOM for their significant, sustained and inspirational contribution to the communication industries.
Both new EVCOM Fellows have had extraordinary careers and follow a long and illustrious list of EVCOM Fellows, including Lord Attenborough, Bob Geldof, Baroness Lane-Fox, Sir Trevor McDonald, Dame Anita Roddick, Sir Ridley Scott, Sir Martin Sorrell, Kevin Spacey and, of course, Sir Bruce Forsyth

Michael Grade has had a long and distinguished career in broadcasting, encompassing London Weekend Television, the BBC, ITV, as well as over nine years as Chief Executive of Channel Four Television.  

He is also a non-executive Chairman of Pinewood and Shepperton Film Studios, non-executive Chairman of Infinity Creative Media and Deputy Chairman of Gate Ventures plc, a non-executive Director of the Performing Rights Society, a Trustee of the National Museum of Science and Industry and is Chair of the Media Museum in Bradford.  

In 2014, together with industry colleague Michael Linnit, he formed the GradeLinnit Company entering into a joint venture with the English National Opera to produce popular musicals at their London Coliseum home when the ENO is on hiatus. In January 2011 he became the Conservative Peer, Lord Grade of Yarmouth.  

Johnson Beharry was born in 1979 in Grenada as one of eight children, living in a two bedroom hut, surviving on meagre meals of beans and rice and walking barefoot, three miles to school. At 13 he quit school and worked as a decorator and labourer.  In 1999 he scraped together the airfare for England and joined the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. He served six months in Kosovo, three months in Northern Ireland and then went to Iraq.  

On 1 May 2004, Sgt Beharry helped assist a foot patrol caught in a series of ambushes. His vehicle was hit by multiple rocket propelled grenades but he drove through the ambush and extracted his wounded colleagues from the vehicle, all the time exposed to further enemy fire. He was cited on this occasion for ‘valour of the highest order’.  

While back on duty on 11 June 2004, a rocket propelled grenade hit Beharry’s vehicle incapacitating his commander and injuring several of the crew. Despite his very serious head injuries, Sgt Beharry took control of his vehicle and drove it out of the ambush area before losing consciousness. He required brain surgery for his head injuries, and he was still recovering when he was awarded the VC in March 2005. He is one of only ten living recipients of the Victoria Cross.  

His charity work includes his JBVC Foundation, which helps steer underprivileged kids away from a life of gangs and crime. He is a Special Ambassador for Headway - the brain injury association and is involved with Help for Heroes.  

The 2015 EVCOM Fellowship Lunch was hosted by Lord Watson of Richmond in association with CTN Communications, and recognise and reward outstanding contributions to the communication industry. The event brought together leading professionals from across the industry to celebrate the outstanding work and contributions made by these individuals.  

Steve Garvey, EVCOM Chairman said: “Words like ‘inspiring’ and ‘hero’ are used widely in our industry, and sometime loosely, as a way of engaging audiences.  Todays’ Fellowship Awards lunch showed their true power as we heard our Fellows’ stories.  I know that everyone at lunch was deeply moved by the experience.  I’d like to congratulate Lance Sergeant Beharry VC and Lord Grade and welcome them to the list of EVCOM Fellows.”

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