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TV choirmaster Gareth Malone 'thrilled' with OBE
A chart-topping choirmaster among a group of arts figures in the borough to be honoured by the Queen says he is “thrilled”.
Gareth Malone, 36, of Crouch End, was made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services for music on Saturday, just a fortnight after teaming up with Take That star Gary Barlow for the Diamond Jubilee track ‘Sing’.
The broadcaster, who worked on the BBC series The Choir, took the Christmas number one last year after coaching the Military Wives Choir for their single ‘Wherever You Are’, with profits going to armed forces charities.
He said: “Over the past 10 years, encouraging people to sing has been a labour of love so it's wonderful to be recognised in this way.
“I am hugely grateful to all the people I have worked with in both television and the arts for helping me to bring music into people's lives.
“I would not be receiving this honour if it weren’t for the unstinting support of my long-suffering parents through hours of piano practice and I’m indebted to them for all they have given me.”
Artistic director of black theatre company Nitro, Felix Cross, of Muswell Hill, was made an MBE for services to musical theatre.
He has run the company, which works with black artists and performers to create shows across the UK, for 16 years, and said he was “a very lucky man”.
He added: “I’d like to thank in particular those members of the board who, in 1996, decided to take a punt on me as their new Artistic Director.
“Allowing for a few bumps along the way, it has been the best job in the world – just nosing it with that of BBC Test Match Special commentator or manager of Fulham – for the last 16 years and I hope it will continue to be so for a long time to come.”
Also recognised was executive director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Vikki Heywood, of Muswell Hill, who becomes a CBE for services to drama.
She took up her position in 2002 and oversaw the three-year redevelopment of the group’s home theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. She will step down in September.
She said she was “absolutely delighted and very proud to be honoured in this way”.
She added: “'It is a recognition of the importance of live theatre and its place in the cultural life of Britain.”
Curator of the British Library Philatelic Collections – stamp collections – David Beech, of Wood Green, becomes an MBE, and Hornsey resident Angela Krokou, chairman of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, becomes an OBE for services to mental health.