National treasures Sir David Attenborough, Mary Berry names in birthday honours

Sir David Attenborough, baking queen Mary Berry and Poiret star David Suchet have been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, only cementing the trio’s status as national icons even more so.

Yes, we know, how many legends can you fit into a headline, eh?

Reacting to the news Mary, who many came to love during her turn on Great British Bake Off, has said she is ‘overwhelmed to receive the very great honour’ of being made a Dame in the celebration.

She said, via PA: ‘I am absolutely overwhelmed to receive this very great honour. For most of my life I have been lucky enough to follow my passion to teach cookery through books and the media.

‘I just wish my parents and brothers were here to share my joy, as my only achievement at school was just one O-level in cookery of course!

‘However, I am sure they are looking down and smiling. I will celebrate with my husband and family very soon.’

The food writer and broadcaster enchanted a new generation of viewers after starring in wildly popular BBC culinary show from its launch in 2010.

The 85-year-old often played the good cop to fellow judge Paul Hollywood’s bad cop, and delighted fans with cheeky innuendos we’re blushing recalling even now.

In 2016 she decided to depart Great British Bake Off out of ‘loyalty’ to the BBC after the show switched to Channel 4 and has since starred as a judge on BBC One’s Britain’s Best Home Cook and fronted shows including Classic Mary Berry and Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts.

Berry, or, well, Dame Mary now, has published more than 75 cook books over her career and her awards include a 2009 lifetime achievement gong from the Guild Of Food Writers and a 2017 National Television Award for her work on Bake Off.

She was made a CBE in 2012 for services to culinary arts and once described being invited to Buckingham Palace for a meeting with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh as her ‘greatest memory’.

Berry has been named alongside documentary and nature historian Sir David Attenborough, who has been given a new honour from the Queen.

The beloved broadcaster, who was knighted in 1985, has been appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael And St George for services to television broadcasting and to conservation.

It is the latest tribute for 94-year-old Sir David, who is perhaps the world’s best-known naturalist.

The indefatigable presenter began his career bringing the majesty of the natural world to millions of TV viewers and now delivers powerful warnings over what is at stake in the fight against climate change.

His impact on British culture is enormous. He was not only a pioneer of wildlife programmes but had a spell as controller of BBC Two and was responsible for introducing colour television into Britain.

Instead of retiring, Sir David has continued to work and his documentaries have become more outspoken on the subject of climate change, with his latest project, A Life On Our Planet, showing us the devastating effect climate change is having on the world (and upsetting Prince George in the process).

In January, he warned that ‘the moment of crisis has come’ and ‘life-or-death decisions’ must be made to tackle the issue.

His appeal spans generations, and earlier this month he fielded questions from a host of celebrity fans, including 85-year-old Dame Judi Dench and the teenage pop sensation Billie Eilish.

The Order of St Michael and St George recognises service in a foreign country, or in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs. The Grand Master is currently the Duke of Kent and the 125 Knights and Dames Grand Cross display their banners of arms in the Chapel of the Order at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Berry and Sir David join Poirot star David Suchet, who has been knighted after a 50-year acting career, which saw him become best known as Hercule Poirot in the long-running Agatha Christie detective series.

He has received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to drama and charity after a distinguished history on stage and in television.

Suchet – or as we should say, Sir David Suchet, recently he has appeared in the BBC dramas Press and Doctor Who and in the adaptation of the Philip Pullman novels His Dark Materials.

He was given a CBE in 2011 for services to drama.

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