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Friday, 16 June, 2000, 21:40 GMT 22:40 UK
Vorderman's 'proud' birthday honour
Carol Vorderman
Carol Vorderman is especially proud to receive her MBE
Carol Vorderman, one of TV's highest paid presenter, is honoured in the Queen's birthday honours to people from Wales.

The 39 year-old, who grew up in North Wales, is awarded the MBE.

And she said the award was "two consonants and a vowel" she was especially proud of.


Carol Vorderman
Carol Vorderman: popularised maths
Other Welsh celebrities who are recognised include actress Sian Phillips and the racing novelist Dick Francis.

Both are awarded the CBE.

Joanne Rowling, the author of the hugely successful Harry Potter children's books who grew up in Chepstow has been given the OBE.


David Rowe-Beddoe
David Rowe-Beddoe: service to industry

And from the world of sport rugby referee Derek Bevan who retired from the game last month is awarded the MBE.

There are knighthoods too for David Rowe-Beddoe, the chairman of the Welsh Development Agency and Professor Adrian Webb, who is credited with having nearly doubled student numbers at the University of Glamorgan, where he is Vice-Chancellor.

Initiative

"I'll celebrate properly over the weekend, because I'm doing Countdown, but these are two consonants and a vowel I'm very proud of," said Vorderman.

She is involved with the Government's Maths 2000 initiative topromote the subject among youngsters.



I think it's really because I've always, always tried to popularise maths, sometimes against the odds

Carol Vorderman
"I know it says this is for services to broadcasting, but I think it's really because I've always, always tried to popularise maths, sometimes against the odds," she added.

Vorderman was born in Bedford, but after her Dutch father left home the family relocated to North Wales.

After leaving school, Vorderman went to Cambridge, but surprisingly only narrowly passed her degree in engineering.

Her lucky break came just as she was settling into her traineeship with a frozen food distribution firm - when her mother spotted the advert for a resident Countdown maths expert.

Veteran Welsh actress Sian Phillips reacted with delight to news of her CBE.

Speaking from America, the 66-year-old star said simply: "I am in New York right now on a cabaret engagement at the Firebird Cafe and I will be back on June 27.


Sian Phillips
Sian Phillips 'delighted' with honour

With a career stretching back nearly 40 years, Phillips has gained a reputation as one of the UK's stalwart character actresses, notching up numerous appearances on stage and screen.

Yet for a time, earlier on, Phillips was as well known for her marriage to hellraising actor Peter O'Toole as she was for her own talent.

Her first West End role was in Hedda Gabler in 1959. Since then she has played scores of leading roles in the US as well as in Britain.

In the 1990s Phillips, who is originally from Bettws, Carmarthenshire, toured the world impersonating Marlene Dietrich in a singing play about the legendary German diva.


Writer Dick Francis
Dick Francis:'Shattered' by the news
Champion jockey-turned-author Dick Francis said he was stunned to learn of his CBE.

The 79-year-old, who was born in Lawrenny,Pembrokeshire, said he was delighted to be honoured for services to literature in the 100th birthday year of the Queen Mother, who is said to be his biggest fan.



My new book's called Shattered, and that's how I feel today -

Dick Francis
But the bestselling thriller writer who is set to publish his 39th novel in September, said he was not sure how much longer he could keep up his prolific output.

Spitfire

Speaking from his Caribbean home, Francis said: "My new book's called Shattered, and that's how I feel today - shattered to realise I've been awarded this honour."

"I've got to stop writing sometime though. I'm getting too old."

Francis left school at 15 before becoming a Second World War Spitfire pilot and forging a name for himself as a jockey.

Since embarking on his writing career, his novels have been translated into 30 languages and he has sold more than 65 million copies worldwide.

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16 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Entertainment honours led by Michael Caine
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