My View, Ben Parkinson: The day my leg fell off at Downing Street

Ben Parkinson collects a  Sun Military Award
Ben Parkinson collects a Sun Military Award

It was a great day for the Pilgrimbandits on Friday last week as we had been nominated for a Millie, that’s a Sun Military Award, for Support to the Armed Forces.

The awards are held every year. The day starts with a trip to Downing Street and then lunch at The Guildhall.

I’ve already got a Millie, I was awarded the first one ever in 2007 for Overcoming Adversity, so we were hoping to become the first two Millie charity.

All the nominees went down on Thursday night, and it was party time at the Bankside Hilton.

The awards are Tri-service, so there were army, airforce and navy there. We had to be up early ready for a photocall at Number 10. It’s not like years ago when you could walk past, there’s so much security now before you are allowed close.

It’s an amazing building, with portraits of past Prime Ministers everywhere. I was walking across the floor when disaster struck and my leg fell off! It happened because I was wearing my uniform and it had pushed it off.

It’s never happened before or since. Andy caught me and helped me to the wheelchair.

We asked if there was anywhere I could go to put it back, and Samantha Cameron said I could use her private lounge. There I was in the first lady’s lounge with my trousers around my ankles, having my leg reattached.

I got to the Guildhall to mingle with the celebs. There was a red carpet entrance and an honour guard from the Military School of Music.

Rod Stewart and Jeremy Clarkson were there as always, General Mike Jackson came to speak to me with Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

There were lots of reality TV stars but I don’t know who they are – as a rule they wore very few clothes and lots of make-up so were easy to identify.

Best news of the day, we won! Ben Fogle presented the trophy to us and asked to join us on our next challenge.

The boss was in the special forces for years but going up on stage nearly finished him off.

Not his usual thing at all.