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Barbara Windsor among three UEL luminaries to be honoured by Queen

UEL students graduation

East End actress made a Dame a year after receiving honorary doctorate 

Two University of East London (UEL) honorary graduates and a former acting vice-chancellor of the University have been recognised in the New Year Honours List.

Actress Barbara Windsor, musician Damon Albarn and academic Professor Susan Price were among those whose honours were announced on 31 December 2015.

Ms Windsor, who starred in EastEnders and the Carry On film series in an acting career spanning seven decades, was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to charity and entertainment. 

Following publication of the honours list, Ms Windsor said, “I’m so honoured, proud and extremely humbled. I feel so lucky to live in a country I love and have a job I have always adored which has allowed me to be in a position where I’m able to help others.

“For a girl from the East End born into a working-class family and an evacuee during the Second World War, this is truly like a dream—but it’s real.” 

It is the second honour Ms Windsor has received in the past 13 months. In November 2014 she was made an honorary Doctor of Arts by UEL in recognition of her glittering stage and screen career – an award she described as one of her proudest achievements.

Joining Ms Windsor is former frontman of Blur and creator of virtual band Gorillaz, Damon Albarn, who received his UEL honorary doctorate in 2006 for services to charity and entertainment. He receives an OBE for services to music.

Completing the trio is former UEL vice-chancellor Professor Susan Price, who has been awarded an OBE for services to education. 

Professor Price joined UEL in 2002 as pro vice-chancellor with an academic remit. She became deputy vice-chancellor in 2007 before taking over as acting vice-chancellor in 2008 – a  position she held until the end of 2009.