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Page last updated at 10:41 GMT, Sunday, 21 February 2010

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson's 'scary' Lords interview

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson receiving her honour in 2005
Dame Tanni will be one of four non-party political peers to be recommended

Paralympic gold medallist Tanni Grey-Thompson says she was "surprised" to be nominated for a peerage after a recommendation from the House of Lords Appointments Commission.

Dame Tanni, who is Britain's most successful Paralympian, told the Politics Show Wales she was nervous about her new role as a "people's peer".

"The process goes back 18 months," she said.

"I've had two interviews with a panel of peers grilling me for over an hour.

"The first was one of the scariest interviews of my life."

Dame Tanni, who has won 11 Olympic golds for wheelchair racing, as well as seven golds in the World Championships, said she hoped to make a difference for disabled people, particularly issues concerning housing and education.

Dame Tanni Grey Thompson in action
She hopes her peerage will help her to make a difference for disabled people

She said she'd already been working on a variety of different projects both before and after she retired in 2007.

"People don't really know these sort of things about me," she said.

"I have a politics degree from Loughbrough University - not many people know that!"

Dame Tanni will be one of four new non-party-political peers recommended to the prime minister by the commission.

The others are Design Council chair, executive director of the Institute for Government and former Whitehall mandarin Sir Michael Bichard, Royal Opera House chief executive and former BBC journalist Tony Hall, and eminent surgeon Professor Ajay Kakkar.

Grey-Thompson was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005. She was appointed an MBE in 1993 and an OBE in 1999.

Tune in to see Tanni Grey-Thompson's interview in full on the Politics Show Wales, 1200 GMT, Sunday 21 February, and on the BBC iPlayer.

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