Page last updated at 00:04 GMT, Saturday, 31 December 2005

Beverley Sisters' years in limelight

The Beverley Sisters, 1957
Teddy, Babs and Joy got their first break in an advertising campaign

Veteran singing trio The Beverley Sisters, who have been made MBEs in the New Year Honours List, were one of the most popular acts of the 50s and 60s.

Joy - born in 1929 - and the twins Babs and Teddie - born in 1932 - were brought up in Bethnal Green in east London.

During the Second World War the girls were evacuated to the Midlands. There they secured a contract to become "Bonnie Babies" in an advertising campaign for the bedtime drink Ovaltine.

Radio appearances for the BBC followed, and with support from bandleader Glenn Miller they became professional singers.

After the war the siblings were given their own TV show, Those Beverley Sisters.

Chart success

In 1951 the trio signed a recording contract with Columbia Records that helped them become the highest paid female act in the UK.

They were the first British female group to break into the US top 10 and enjoyed chart success with Christmas records like Little Drummer Boy and I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.

Other favourites included Bye Bye Love and Always and Forever.

Joy married Billy Wright, then captain of the England football team, in 1958 and had two daughters and a son. Teddie also had a daughter.

In 2002 they sang for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at a Jubilee concert, while last year saw them take part in D-Day celebrations in Portsmouth.

The trio, now in their 70s, still perform but have had to cut back their workload due to health concerns.

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