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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 October 2005, 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
BBC's Frank Gardner collects OBE
Frank Gardner standing with frame after receiving OBE
Gardner had a career in the city before journalism
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner has received an OBE at Buckingham Palace from the Queen, who told him: "You're very gallant."

He was paralysed from the waist down in June 2004 after being shot six times while filming in Saudi Arabia. Cameraman Simon Cumbers was killed.

Gardner, who walked up to the Queen on callipers and with a frame, said he feared he might "topple" onto her.

He quoted her as saying: "How very gallant of you to come here like this."

Gardner said it was the first time he had used callipers in public.

"It's very tiring and completely impractical, but it's great to be standing and it's not painful," he said.

Back at work

He added he was "absolutely thrilled" with the award, saying it was some good news after a very tough year.

The married father-of-two, from London, spent eight months in hospital and had 12 operations before going back to work at the BBC in a wheelchair in April.

I couldn't come here to an occasion like this and not think of Simon
Frank Gardner

He and his colleague were filming in Riyadh when militants shot them at point-blank range - Gardner has described the attack as an "execution".

Gardner said: "I couldn't come here to an occasion like this and not think of Simon. His family are wonderful. It's been very tough."

Gardner studied Arabic and Islamic Studies at Exeter University and worked as an investment banker before switching to journalism in 1995.

He has reported from the Balkans, South America and all over the Arab world.

Radio presenter

BBC Radio 2 presenter Sarah Kennedy, who received an MBE, was among others to collect an honour on Thursday.

Sarah Kennedy
It's quite undeserved really because it's programmes I love doing and I get paid for
Sarah Kennedy

Speaking afterwards, she said: "It's lovely to get it. It's quite undeserved really because it's programmes I love doing and I get paid for."

Kennedy said she had thrown the letter announcing the honour in the rubbish, mistaking it for a piece of election campaigning.

She retrieved if after reflecting that it was on "very expensive paper".

"I took it out and it was covered in tomato ketchup. I had to sit down I was so shocked," she said.

She began her career in Singapore before joining Radio 2 in 1976.

In 1995 she picked up a Sony Gold Radio Award for her breakfast show.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Frank Gardner on the "huge honour" of his OBE



SEE ALSO:
Shot BBC reporter returns to work
18 Apr 05 |  Entertainment
Profile: Frank Gardner
07 Jun 04 |  UK
Two BBC men shot in Saudi capital
07 Jun 04 |  Middle East



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