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Jonathan Agnew bowled over by MBE after 26 years as cricket correspondent

Former BBC newsreader Angela Rippon collected a CBE for championing the rights of people with dementia.

Cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew reminded the Duke of Cambridge of how bad the senior royal is at cricket as William presented him with an MBE.

The 57-year-old, who is fondly known as Aggers, said he felt “like a million dollars” when he found out he was getting an MBE for services to broadcasting.

Agnew, who is now in his 41st season in the professional game and his 26th as a BBC cricket correspondent, described the awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace as “lovely” because so many other worthy people had been honoured.

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Jonathan Agnew is made an MBE by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace (Yui Mok/PA)

“I feel really proud because everyone loves a pat on the back,” he said.

He later recalled watching William and Prince Harry “playing very gamely” during a cricket match in Windsor.

He said: “I watched William bowling and thought ‘he has not done very much of this before’. Then Harry came on and spooned the easiest catch of all time to William who dropped it.

“So I asked him (William) today if his cricket had got any better and he said it had not. He called me Aggers too. He said ‘hello Aggers’ which was very nice.”

Mr Agnew said he was “just really excited” about the day which also includes a lunch at Lord’s to celebrate the MBE and his 21st wedding anniversary with wife Emma.

He joined BBC Radio Leicester and then the BBC’s Test Match Special, the much-loved radio show where cricket experts have to ad-lib for hours. It sometimes leaves them open to innocent but hilarious slips of the tongue.

His comment that Ian Botham had failed to “get his leg over” saw Aggers and the late Brian Johnston break down into waves of helpless laughter on Test Match Special on August 9 1991. It was also voted the greatest sporting commentary ever in a BBC poll.

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Former BBC newsreader Angela Rippon said collecting a CBE for championing the rights of people with dementia was “very special” because of the personal impact the illness has had on her life.

Miss Rippon, 72, has used her own experiences of caring for her mother Edna, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2004, to try to help others with the condition. Her mother died in 2009.

Miss Rippon, whose honour is for services to dementia care, is a long-time ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society and co-chairs one of the prime minister’s committees on dementia.

As William presented her with the award, he spoke to her of the “commitment that he and his family have to work on mental health”.

She said later: “We have a joint interest there because mental health is one of those things which is like a hidden illness, a lot of people do not understand it and the same goes with dementia.”

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