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Okonedo: OBE cherry on the cake

Sophie Okonedo been awarded an OBE and described it as "the cherry on the cake".

The star, who was recently seen on TV screens portraying Winnie Mandela, said her recognition was "way beyond anything I would have imagined for myself".

She said: "I have tried where possible to choose interesting, diverse and sometimes experimental work."

She continued: "For instance, next week I will be performing in Elephant and Castle shopping centre as part of the Royal Court's Rough Cuts season.

"To to be recognised for that is way beyond anything I would have imagined for myself.

"I am privileged to be doing the kind of drama that I do and to be honoured for it is the cherry on the cake."

The London-based actress comes from humble beginnings and was brought up by her Jewish pilates instructor mother, Joan.

The star, who has a daughter named Aoife, was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar in 2005 for her role in Hotel Rwanda, in which she played the wife of a hotel owner who helps desperate people flee genocide.

She was nominated for two TV Baftas this year, for her roles in Mrs Mandela and Criminal Justice, but missed out at the ceremony earlier this week.

Sophie was on screens again this week in ITV1's acclaimed crime drama Father and Son, which was shown in a "stripped" format across consecutive nights.

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