CARLISLE Poppy Appeal leader Margaret Wadsworth has appeared before millions on national television at the Pride of Britain awards.

Margaret, 74, was named ITV Fundraiser at the annual awards ceremony, the highlights of which have been screened for two primetime hours tonight.

She was recognised for her role in helping to raise almost £1m for the armed forces - an award she accepted at last week's glittering ceremony on behalf of the people of Carlisle.

Margaret was presented with her award by Poppy Appeal supporters Sir Cliff Richard and Rochelle Humes.

Rochelle, who is currently presenting ITV's This Morning daytime show, said: "We are so proud of you - everyone needs a Margaret."

Sir Cliff added: "You help keep alive the knowledge that we have got the lives we have got because so many made the greatest sacrifice."

Margaret and her husband Colin are the driving force behind the Poppy Appeal for the Carlisle and Stanwix Branch of the Royal British Legion, which distributes 900 boxes of poppies year after year.

Commenting on the award, Margaret, who is the branch’s chairman, said: “I’m amazed that I won it. The other contestants were absolutely amazing and had done, in some ways, a lot more than I had done.

“It was an amazing thing. I accepted it on behalf of Colin and myself, the whole team of volunteers and the people of Carlisle who support the appeal.”

Colin served with the Electrical Mechanical Engineers and the couple can empathise with the challenges facing serving and ex-service men and women.

Margaret is overwhelmed by the generosity of people from Carlisle and the surrounding area as the total grows each year.

The couple, who have been married 49 years, were made Rotary Paul Harris Fellows - the highest award bestowed by Rotary International - in recognition of their 12 years’ service, during which they’ve raised £922,296.

The year before their involvement, the appeal made £38,000, but in their first year the total jumped to almost £56,000. Last year it made £106,000.

In 2017 they were jointly named Person of the Year in the The Cumberland News Community Heroes Awards for their outstanding contribution.

Pride of Britain winners are whittled down from tens of thousands of nominations. Margaret was nominated by branch secretary Tony Parrini.

The Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards are held in partnership with TSB and broadcast each year by ITV.