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Nice to see you, to see you knighted – Forsyth honoured after 70 years

After nearly 70 years in showbusiness, and more than five decades bringing relentless cheer to television viewers, Bruce Forsyth is to become a knight.

The 83-year-old entertainer and host of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing show said yesterday he was "very proud and very honoured" to be recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Born in Edmonton, north London, in 1928, his showbiz career began at the age of 14 with a song, dance and accordion act called "Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom" after he made his television debut in 1939 on a children's talent show. Forsyth, pictured right, became a household name in the 1950s hosting Sunday Night At The London Palladium, and went on to present such TV hits as The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right and The Price Is Right.

An equally proud, if less well-known recipient in the honours list was celebrating alone on a bumpy track in the Ukraine, lugging 10 litres of water. Sarah Outen, 26, had received a text message to call home urgently, to discover she had been awarded the MBE. Ms Outen, who was the youngest person and the first woman to row solo 4,000 miles across the Indian Ocean in 2009, was recognised for her sporting achievement and charity work.

She will not be able to collect her MBE in person at Buckingham Palace because she is on a two-year solo circumnavigation of the globe by kayak, rowing boat and bicycle. Yesterday, negotiating the heat of the desert in Kazakhstan on her bike, Ms Outen said she felt "surprised and smiley" and would celebrate with a cold drink if she could find one. "I didn't stop grinning for days [after being told]," she said. "It was all rather emotional. It is pretty surreal. I still don't quite believe it."

The Oxford graduate has worked with disabled children, helped at a turtle sanctuary, raised funds to build a school in Ecuador, worked at a whale and dolphin trust and raised tens of thousands of pounds for charities.

In 2009, she rowed across the Indian Ocean for 124 days, risking death when she capsized. She wrote an internet blog to educate schools about her trip and conservation work.

The great and the good

*Jenni Murray, who has been the voice of Woman's Hour since 1987 has been made a Dame.

*Bernard Cribbins, who recently starred in Dr Who alongside Catherine Tate, was appointed an OBE.

*Gary Farrow, the public relations heavyweight whose clients include Sir Elton John, was appointed OBE for services to the music industry and charity work.

*There are CBEs for Colin Firth, star if the acclaimed film The King's Speech, and 1970s rock legend, Bryan Ferry.