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Tuesday, 12 December, 2000, 14:18 GMT
Vorderman's 'services to sums' MBE
Carol Vorderman
Carol Vorderman had her lucky break on Countdown
Television presenter Carol Vorderman has been honoured with an MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

The 39-year-old, said to be one of the UK's highest paid presenters, was named in the Queen's birthday honours for services to broadcasting.

"I had to ask her if she watched the programme," said the presenter after receiving her honour.

"But the Queen said she didn't get much time to watch television. I told her it's on after Channel 4 racing and she said in that case she must have seen it."

She added: "The MBE is for services to broadcasting but it could have been for services to sums."

The presenter described the award as the first present for her 40th birthday on Christmas Eve.

Also being honoured at the palace were royal portrait painter John Wonnacott, who received a CBE for services to art, author Elizabeth Jane Howard, who also received a CBE, and former BBC chief executive Will Wyatt, who was awarded a CBE for services to broadcasting.

Mr Wonnacot's latest work featured the Queen Mother at 100, and showed the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Prince William and Prince Harry gathered around the Royal centenarian.

Maths expert

Author JK Rowling was also due to receive an OBE but has had to postpone the engagement because her daughter is unwell.

Vorderman's lucky break came after narrowly passing her degree in engineering at Cambridge University.

Her mother spotted an advert for a resident maths expert on the Channel 4 programme Countdown.

She has gone on to present programmes such as Find a Fortune and Better Homes.

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See also:

11 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Potter author postpones OBE date
25 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Vorderman's sponsorship conundrum
24 Sep 00 | Wales
Vorderman and husband separate
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