New Year Honours: Charlie Mullins awarded OBE for services to plumbing

Pimlico Plumbers founder joins James Caan and Brent Hoberman among entrepreneurs on list

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The Independent Online

Charlie Mullins, the founder of Pimlico Plumbers, rarely rushes to open letters marked with the royal crest on the basis that they generally contain a demand for payment.

Hence the reason why the businessman behind Britain’s largest independent plumbing firm took several days to realise that he had been awarded an OBE in the new year honours list.

The 59-year-old founder of the London-based company, who left school with no qualifications, said he had been left speechless by his gong for services to his trade.

He said: “Every time I get a letter stamped HM Service, they want money off me. My daughter encouraged me to open it. I can honestly say it’s the first time in my life I was lost for words.

“And the nice thing is they’ve given it to me for services to plumbing. I can’t imagine many people have ever received an OBE for plumbing services.”

 

Mr Mullins, a campaigner for state-funded apprenticeships whose company employs 260 people with a turnover of £24m, is among several entrepreneurs to be honoured.

James Caan, the former Dragons’ Den investor with an estimated £70m fortune, and lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman receive OBEs.

Mr Caan, 54, found himself the target of unwelcome publicity last year when he said parents should let children make their own way in the world and it emerged his firms employed his two daughters. He insisted they had competed for their jobs through the normal application process.

Also honoured is Jamal Edwards, the young entrepreneur behind web music video company SB.TV, who receives an MBE. The 24-year-old said he was “overwhelmed” with the award and had kept the news from his grandmother to maximise the surprise for her.

* Full 2015 Honours List at gov.uk

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