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BBC, Sunday Times and ex-Scottish regional journalists named in Queen's Birthday Honours list

BBC London arts correspondent Brenda Emmanus and Sunday Times writer Bryan Appleyard are among five journalists recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Emmanus (pictured, bottom right), who has been with BBC London News for 17 years, was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for services to broadcasting and diversity.

BBC director of England Helen Thomas said today: “Brenda is an outstanding journalist and a brilliant broadcaster. She is a real expert on arts and culture and her passion for the subject is obvious every time she appears on screen.

“She is equally passionate about diversity and is committed to ensuring the BBC and the wider media reflect and celebrate Britain’s diverse communities. This honour is very well-deserved.”

Appleyard (pictured, top right), who has written for the Sunday Times since 1985, was given a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for services to journalism and the arts.

He told the Times: “It came as an absolute surprise. I think I’m old enough not to be corrupted by it now and it’s very nice to receive external validation for one’s work.”

BBC Scotland radio presenter and former STV News anchor Shereen Nanjiani (pictured, top left) was made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to broadcasting in Scotland.

Nanjiani, who was Scotland’s first Asian newsreader when she presented her first TV news bulletin at STV in 1987, said she was “a bit overwhelmed” by the award, adding: “Part of me thinks I shouldn’t get an honour just for doing my job – there are plenty more deserving candidates.

“But I like to think this is also for the many people from ethnic minority backgrounds who’ve told me that seeing an Asian face presenting the Scottish TV news opened the door for them to pursue a career in the media.”

Nanjiani now hosts her own news and current affairs programme, Shereen, on Sunday mornings. She started at BBC Radio Scotland in 2006 presenting news and current affairs magazine programme Scotland Live, after presenting STV’s main news programme Scotland Today for 22 years.

Gareth Hydes, BBC Scotland’s commissioning editor for radio, music and events, said: “All of us at BBC Radio Scotland are so delighted for Shereen, and very proud of everything she has achieved in her broadcasting career.”

An STV spokesperson said they were “delighted to congratulate” their former news team member on the honour.

Former Scottish weekly editor Bryan Armstrong (pictured, bottom left) was, who edited all weekly titles of Scottish media group DNG Media for 23 years, was made an MBE for services to journalism and the community in Scotland.

DNG Media, which covers Dumfries and Galloway, owns four weekly titles: the Dumfries Courier, Annandale Observer, Annandale Herald, and Moffat News.

Armstrong stepped down from the media group in May 2018 after 50 years to focus on freelance media work and photojournalism. He was one of the first reporters on the scene of the Lockerbie air disaster in 1988, after which he made sure his papers had a part to play in rebuilding the community.

He told his old media group he was “surprised and somewhat humbled” by the honour, adding: “In accepting, cautiously, I see it as a chance to highlight the work local journalists are doing week-in, week out in communities up and down the country.”

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said Armstrong’s honour was “hugely well deserved”, adding: “He has been a thoughtful and insightful journalist, always aware of the real people at the heart of his stories and at all times putting the community first.”

Former Sunday Times theatre critic John Peter was made an MBE for services to theatre, in particular because of his work as a founding judge on the Ian Charleson Awards.

He set up the awards with the paper and the National Theatre to recognise the work of classical actors aged under 30.

Picture: DNG Media

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