National Cat Awards - Meet the category judges

Our judges for the following five categories have been announced - Hero Cat, Most Caring Cat, Purina Better Together, Furr-ever Friends and Cats Protection Special Recognition Award.

Find out more about our celebrity judges below.

Hero Cat
Judge: Chizzy Akudolu

Actress Chizzy Akudolu made her TV debut in the BBC sitcom 15 Storeys High and played Mo Effanga in the BBC drama Holby City from 2012 to 2017. She also participated in Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 and is taking part in this year’s Celebrity Masterchef. Chizzy owns a cat called Bootsy and recently helped out at Cats Protection’s Mitcham Homing Centre.

Most Caring Cat
Judge: Deborah Meaden

Deborah Meaden

Businesswoman Deborah Meaden is best known for appearing as an investor on the hit BBC series Dragons’ Den and has also competed on Strictly Come Dancing! Since selling her holiday business, Deborah has gone on to become a hugely successful serial investor in a wide range of companies. Deborah has two cats called Storm and Blade.

Purina Better Together category (judged by the public)
Presenter: Gavin Ramjaun

Gavin Ramjaun

Gavin is a TV presenter known for his work on Sky Sports, Sky News, ITV and the BBC. He previously hosted on CBBC’s Newsround, and was involved in the launch of the regional TV channel London Live. Gavin is also a correspondent for US TV network CBS. He has taken part in national TV appeals to find homes for unwanted cats.  

Furr-ever Friends
Judge: Justin Hawkins

Justin Hawkins
Justin is the lead singer of rock group The Darkness. The band’s first album Permission to Land was top of the album chart while I believe in a thing called love and One-way ticket were in the top 10 singles. Justin has also co-written songs for Meat Loaf and Weezer. When Justin’s cat Cully once went missing, Cats Protection was able to reunite them thanks to Cully’s microchip.

Oustanding Rescue Cat
Judge: Bob Mortimer

Bob Mortimer

Comedian Bob Mortimer has been part of double act Reeves and Mortimer for over 25 years, starting with Channel 4’s Vic Reeves’ Big Night In, and continuing with more hit shows including the BBC’s Shooting Stars and House of Fools. Bob is also starring with fellow comic Paul Whitehouse in the BBC’s Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. Bob has two cats called Mavis and Goodmonson.

Photo credit: Gary Moyes

Presenter for Star Team Award
Lord Black

Lord Black of Brentwood (Guy Black) is a member of the House of Lords and vice-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cats, a group of MPs, peers and animal welfare charities dedicated to improving feline welfare. He’s also a patron of Cats Protection’s Black Cat Society, a Patron of International Cat Care and chairman of the Royal College of Music. He owns two cats called Luca and Luna.

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