The Duke of Cambridge has revealed he was a fan of the hit show Gavin And Stacey as he presented one of its stars, Doncaster actress Sheridan Smith, with an OBE.
The celebrated actress was honoured for a varied career that has included appearances in popular TV sitcoms, West End musicals and serious dramas that have earned her a Bafta and two Olivier Awards.
And she said she was overcome with emotion during the Buckingham Palace ceremony which left her shaking and said the OBE was something she would ‘absolutely treasure’.
The actress said she played down her achievements during her brief chat with Prince William as she received her award for services to drama.
She said: “I did say I don’t feel as worthy as so many of the recipients, but thank you so much, it’s a huge honour.
“He said he’d seen some of my work, which is amazing, and was a fan of Gavin And Stacey.
“And I congratulated him on his wonderful children and he shook my hand and I was shaking – it’s all a bit of a blur.
“It was a huge honour and I will absolutely treasure this, I can’t quite believe it.
“I just do my acting, it’s what I love doing, I never ever expected to get an OBE so this is absolutely indescribable.”
The 33-year-old actress started her career as a member of Doncaster Little Theatre and her first professional gig was aged just six, at Doncaster’s Civic Theatre, where she played Annie alongside her mum and dad.
She also shared the spotlight with her parents Marilyn and Colin on stage as they gigged in pubs and clubs around her hometown of Epworth performing as country and western duo The Daltons.
Smith got her first real break in the business when she moved to London aged 16 for a part in the stage show Bugsy Malone.
Early TV success included minor parts in The Royle Family and Gavin And Stacey, as well as a more long-running role playing Janet in Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps.
Her career really took off in 2011 when her performance in the musical Legally Blonde won her an Olivier Award.
More stage success – and another Olivier - followed for her performance in the revival of Terrence Rattigan’s Flare Path and she took on weighty roles in Hedda Gabler and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
On the small screen, she won plaudits and a Bafta for her performance as the eponymous Mrs Biggs and also played Cilla Black in an ITV biopic.
Her portrayal of the Liverpudlian singer was so successful it sent her version of Anyone Who Had A Heart into the Top 40.
The actress’ recent role as cancer blogger Lisa Lynch in the BBC1 drama The C Word has also earned her praise and she was sporting short dark hair at yesterday’s ceremoney – a result of having shaved her head for the part.
She said the characters she had played were all great opportunities which had led her to the OBE.
She said: “I love being able to try different roles and I think it’s good to challenge yourself. To me I feel so lucky, I keep pinching myself every role I get, I’ve got that working mentality where every job’s a bonus.
“I’ve just plodded along, I’ve done a lot of comedy, then some dramas have come my way and some musical theatre and some straight plays.
“I just feel very lucky that I’ve been given those opportunities and if I hadn’t been given those opportunities I certainly wouldn’t be collecting an OBE today.”