Torin Douglas receives MBE from the Queen

Torin Douglas and family Torin Douglas was accompanied by his wife Carol and children Richard, Ellie and Michael

The BBC's media correspondent Torin Douglas joined Olympic gymnast Louis Smith and the rower Sophie Hosking in being presented with an MBE last week.

At a ceremony in Buckingham Palace, the Queen presented Douglas with an award in honour of his services to the community in Chiswick, west London.

He told Ariel he was 'astonished' when he received news of the MBE, which he was nominated for, without his knowledge, by a local vicar and teacher.

In a citation from the Palace press office, he was credited with creating 'a bubbling village community' through the organisation of cultural events such as the Chiswick Book Festival and Bedford Park Festival.

It said he had 'transformed the festival from a low-key parish event into a high-profile annual attraction', which has raised money for local charities and health projects in Bangladesh.

Douglas said he didn't expect the recognition in the New Year Honours list but appreciated that it was for his voluntary work and not his day job.

'What was so nice is you get so many emails and letters congratulating you,' he added.

According to a Cabinet Office spokesman, 72% of the recipients named in the New Year Honours list were people who performed 'outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity'.

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