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Cheryl Cole gets a pie in the face

This is the moment when X Factor judge Cheryl Cole was smacked in the face with a custard pie at the Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards.

She graciously accepted the pie in the face from 12-year-old Cameron Small as royalty and fellow stars honoured some of the nation's unsung heroes.

The pop star volunteered for the treatment from schoolboy Cameron, who won Young Fundraiser of the Year at Monday's ceremony at Grosvenor House in central London.

Cole's fellow X Factor judge Dannii Minogue joined the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall at the event, which also honoured Pc David Rathband, who was shot by Raoul Moat.

Meanwhile, X Factor host Dermot O'Leary has revealed he was following orders to accept a majority verdict if Cole refused to vote, which resulted in the controversial axing of contestant Treyc Cohen.

Cole has come under fire for "refusing point blank" to make a choice, which led to Katie Waissel surviving a third sing-off on the show on Sunday.

The instruction to O'Leary, delivered during a break, is being seen by some as a plot to fix the show. But show bosses reject anything that suggests the show was rigged.

O'Leary said: "My producer said if Cheryl decides to opt out we go to majority vote.

"She did decide to opt out and then she said, 'Come back to me and we'll do deadlock'. But you can't do that because it devalues the other two judges' votes. It wouldn't have made sense."

The Pride of Britain Awards are being broadcast on Wednesday night on ITV1 at 8pm.

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