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The show continues to go on in style for veteran entertainer

ENTERTAINERS Victoria Wood and Des O'Connor topped a list of celebrities making the Queen's birthday honours list this year.

The small-screen stars were among a host of well-known faces from the worlds of media and sporting excellence to be acknowledged in the annual awards.

Paul O'Grady, the chat-show host and creator of female alter-ego Lily Savage, was made an MBE, while June Brown, who plays Dot Cotton in the long-running BBC soap opera East-Enders was recognised for services to drama and charity.

O'Connor, 76, the host of Countdown, has been a singer, comedian and presenter since he burst on to the scene in the 1950s.

On hearing the news that he had been made a CBE, he expressed his love for the entertainment industry by declaring that he had not done a day's work in his life.

He said: "I just wish my mum and dad were still here to see it. I was born in the East End of London to a working-class family and they would have been elated.

"It's a great plus …I haven't done a day's work in my life. I've done a day's effort, but not work, because it's something I love.

"I like to think that if something comes your way like this it's some kind of public recognition. It's a very nice thing to happen in your life."

Comedienne and star of shows such as Dinner Ladies and As Seen On TV, Victoria Wood, already an OBE, has been made a CBE.

The actress, sketch-writer and songwriter was recognised for her long contribution to British entertainment.

Brown, who was made an MBE for her services to drama and charity. She said it was "lovely" to join fellow EastEnders actresses Barbara Windsor and Wendy Richards in receiving an honour.

Liverpudlian O'Grady celebrated his birthday yesterday. He said: "It's a very nice birthday present. I'm really pleased, really surprised. It's something I'd never even thought about." He revealed that the last time he met the Queen he was "blowing a trumpet with my head between my legs at the Royal Variety". He added: "She was very nice."

Russell T Davies, whose screen-writing credits include Dr Who, was awarded an OBE for services to drama.

He leapt to fame with the gay drama Queer as Folk before becoming executive producer of the relaunched sci-fi show.

He said: "I'm delighted to accept and I hope it does the whole industry a bit of good for the writing of television drama to be recognised."

The presenter and commentator Joan Bakewell has been acknowledge for her more than 30 years of contributions to television and radio. One of the first women to establish herself in a previously male-dominated sector, she becomes a dame.

The cartoonist Gerald Scarfe is made a CBE for his satirical take on current events published in the Sunday Times.

Eve Pollard, the former editor of the Sunday Mirror and Sunday Express, has been awarded an OBE, as has while, Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of American Vogue. However, fans of Bruce Forsyth, the veteran dancer and television presenter, are likely to be disappointed by the latest list of honours.

His supporters had launched an internet campaign to see the small-screen star become Sir Bruce, but their wish was not granted.

Moir Lockhead

THE head of Britain's biggest bus and train firm, Moir Lockhead, is given a knighthood for services to transport.

FirstGroup carries up to 2.9 million passengers every day and runs more than a fifth of all UK local bus services.

Mr Lockhead, 63, who left school at 15 to become an apprentice mechanic, said it was a great honour.

He has overseen the growth of First to become the UK's biggest transport operator. It also runs Greyhound in the US.

He said: "Most of all this honour is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of everyone at FirstGroup."

 
 
 

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