BBC talent recognised in Honours list

Darren Conway Cameraman Darren Conway says it is 'very humbling' to receive OBE

BBC News cameraman Darren Conway, who has covered almost every major conflict in the last 20 years, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours list.

Described as "the foremost television cameraman of his generation", he has filmed in war zones in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and more recently Syria. He also covered the Hong Kong handover and the Asian tsunami in 2004.

Conway said he was "extremely grateful" to accept his honour for services to British broadcast journalism.

Vanessa Whitburn OBE for ex-Archers editor Vanessa Whitburn

"At the same time, it is very humbling to be recognised in a year when so many colleagues from my profession have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and many more are being held or have disappeared. My thoughts are with them and their families," he added.

Vanessa Whitburn, former editor of Radio 4's The Archers, was also awarded an OBE for services to radio drama. She retired in 2013 after 22 years in charge of the Birmingham-based production.

Sandi Toksvig, who presents Radio 4's The News Quiz, said she was "honoured" after receiving an OBE for her services to broadcasting. "Broadcasting is a team effort and I would like to pay tribute to all the writers, production and technical staff I've worked with over the years," she commented.

Her fellow Radio 4 stalwart Nicholas Parsons, host of panel show Just a Minute, didn't hesitate to accept his CBE for charitable work. Having already received an OBE for services to drama and broadcasting a decade ago, he added: "I think honours are a wonderful thing to receive if you have worked hard and that is recognised. I don't understand these people who are pompous and say they don't want it."

Pete Tong performing at Radio 1's Hackney Weekend Pete Tong MBE at Radio 1's Hackney Weekend
It's all gong Pete Tong

Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong was named an MBE for services to broadcasting and music. He has been with the station for more than 21 years and said: "It's great to receive this honour for being a DJ.

"I'm proud that it acknowledges a profession that I care about a great deal, and one that's made a huge impact around the world... This wouldn't have happened without so many great tunes."

Former See Hear producer Terry Riley, now chair of the British Deaf Association, was awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting and deaf people. Current producer William Mager previously told Ariel: "Terry's impact on deaf television is huge. A lot of deaf people wouldn't be working in the media today without him and the opportunities he created in his time at See Hear."

Former BBC Wales boss Geraint Talfan Davies was also honoured with an OBE for services to culture, broadcasting and charity. Broadcasting runs through the family as his late father Aneirin was head of programmes in Cardiff and his son Rhodri is currently the director of BBC Wales.

Record female honours

In the world of showbiz, actress Penelope Keith was made a dame in the New Year Honours list, which featured more women than men for the first time. She became a familiar face after appearing in BBC comedies The Good Life and To the Manor Born, and recently appeared in the Christmas drama Death comes to Pemberley.

Gavin and Stacey co-writer Ruth Jones, best known for playing the inimitable Nessa in the BBC series, described her MBE for services to entertainment as "proper tidy".

A CBE for services to children's charities was given to Michael Crawford, who played Frank Spencer in the BBC sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.

West Ham vice chair Karren Brady, one of Lord Sugar's cohorts in The Apprentice, was also named a CBE for services to entrepreneurship and women in business.


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