Barbara Windsor To Be Made A Dame, As She Leads Queen's New Year's Honours List

Arise Dame Babs! 'EastEnders' Legend Leads New Year's Honours

Barbara Windsor is to be made a Dame, as she leads a host of famous names on the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

The former ‘EastEnders’ actress, who played Queen Vic landlady Peggy Mitchell, has been recognised for her services to charity and entertainment.

Barbara Windsor will be made a Dame

Barbara said that she's "so very honoured, proud and extremely humbled" to receive the damehood.

“For a girl from the East End born into a working class family and an evacuee during World War Two, this is truly like a dream,” she said.

“I am so happy and blessed to say it's real.”

The 78-year-old first appeared on stage at the age of 13, before finding fame in the ‘Carry On’ films, her first being ‘Carry On Spying’ in 1964.

Barbara then went on to have a successful stage career, appearing in many Broadway and West End productions, before landing the part of the Mitchell family matriarch in ‘EastEnders’ in 1994.

Babs is best known for her role as Peggy Mitchell in 'EastEnders'

She eventually quit the soap in 2010, but her character made further appearances in 2013 and 2014, and she also featured in scenes for the soap’s 30th anniversary earlier this year.

Rumours of her damehood were confirmed by her close friend David Walliams ahead of the official announcement, when he tweeted his congratulations to her on Wednesday (30 December) morning.

Many other names in the entertainment industry were also recognised in the list.

Actors Idris Elba, David Oyelowo and James Nesbitt are all to be made OBEs, as was Blur frontman Damon Albarn.

James Nesbitt was recognised for his TV and charity work

Luther’ star Idris, who first found fame in US drama ‘The Wire’, before playing Nelson Mandela in a big screen biopic of his life, said he was "beyond proud" to receive the honour.

"Awards and honours come in all shapes and sizes and all as significant as the other but this is beyond special, as it comes from Queen and country and I couldn't be more proud for receiving this right now, what a year... On me head son!" he said.

James, who is recognised for services to acting and to Northern Ireland following years of work helping families affected by the Troubles, added: "I've been very blessed with my work and very blessed to come from Northern Ireland and for those two things to be on the citation was really rather gratifying."

Blur's Damon Albarn is to receive an OBE

Thespian Sian Phillips is also to be made a dame, actress Imelda Staunton receives a CBE, while an MBE is awarded to Clifford Price, better known as Goldie, for his services to the music, TV and film industry, as well as his work with a number of charities.

BBC sports presenter Sue Barker will also be made an OBE, while sports broadcaster Jacqui Oatley, who became the first female commentator on ‘Match Of The Day’, is awarded an MBE.

Jo Joyner

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