Belfast Telegraph

Ruth Jones 'chuffed' at 'tidy' MBE

Ruth Jones, Katherine Jenkins, and DJ Pete Tong are among those recognised by the Queen in the New Year Honours List.

Penelope Keith, who became a household name as Margot Leadbetter in 1970s sitcom The Good Life, becomes a dame in this year's list, as does Murder, She Wrote actress Angela Lansbury, who is in the Diplomatic and Overseas List.

An OBE goes to actress Lynda Bellingham, as well as Katherine Jenkins and writer and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig, while MBEs go to Ruth Jones, Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud and Pete Tong.

Gavin and Stacey co-creator Ruth, 47, said: "This isn't just tidy, it's proper tidy. I had no idea it was coming. I just came home one night, opened the post and there it was: this letter telling me I was being put forward for it and being really strict about not telling anyone. And I'm quite obedient. So I didn't. Except my husband who's really proud. And my dad, who's beside himself with excitement.

"Apparently Great Uncle Leslie got an OBE in the '40s and Uncle Jack the fireman got one in the '60s. So I'm keeping up with the Joneses, ha ha. Anyway, I'm thrilled. It's a massive compliment."

Opera star Katherine, 33, said: "I am incredibly humbled to receive this great honour. To accept such an award after only a decade of service to music and charity comes as a wonderful surprise. I share this award with the charitable bodies I am so privileged to work with, especially to those brave servicemen and women who risk so much for us all on a daily basis."

Loose Women panellist Lynda, whose acting career has spanned 40 years, announced earlier this year that she had been diagnosed with cancer.

The 65-year-old said of her inclusion in the New Year Honours list, for her charity work: "I am absolutely delighted and proud to receive this OBE. It has been a long and tough year but this award is just a fantastic way to move forward. I feel honoured and inspired and very grateful."

Tong said: "It's great to receive this honour for being a DJ. I'm proud that it acknowledges a profession that I care about a great deal, and one that's made a huge impact around the world... This wouldn't have happened without so many great tunes."

CBEs go to actor Michael Crawford, who played Frank Spencer in 1970s sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em; and presenter Nicholas Parsons, known for his long-standing position as host of the comedy radio game show Just A Minute.

Nicholas, 90, said: "I think it's a very nice honour - I'm flattered and I'm delighted. I think honours are a wonderful thing to receive if you have worked hard and that is recognised. I don't understand these people who are pompous and say they don't want it. "

Michael, who was awarded the OBE in 1986, said: "It is the most wonderful surprise. My very first thought when I received the news was how proud my mother would be. I do thank most sincerely those who are responsible for my receiving this great honour and to all my friends and colleagues at The Sick Children's Trust, I'm proud to be a part of our very special charity."

Broadcaster and wit Sandi Toksvig, who presents BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz, said: "I'm honoured to have been recognised in this way. Broadcasting is a team effort and I would like to pay tribute to all the writers, production and technical staff I've worked with over the years."

Apprentice star Karren Brady, vice-chair of West Ham Football Club and former Birmingham City managing director gets a CBE for services to entrepreneurship and women in business.

Choreographer Gillian Lynne, whose credits include the hugely successful Cats and Phantom Of The Opera musicals, is being made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to dance and musical theatre.

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