Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Silver Line earns Esther Rantzen a Damehood

Esther Rantzen Image copyright PA

Television presenter Esther Rantzen has been appointed a Dame Commander in the New Year's Honours list in recognition of two helpline services she set up.

Dame Esther set up The Silver Line service for older people last year after writing about loneliness following her husband's death in 2000.

The 74-year-old, who lives in the New Forest, said she wished Desmond Wilcox had been alive to share her news.

She also set up ChildLine in 1986, which is now part of the NSPCC.

Dame Esther, who was already a CBE, said: "I am thrilled that this honour recognises the contribution made by ChildLine and The Silver Line in transforming lives, and I am delighted that the talented teams at both charities have also been recognised for their inspirational work and devotion to the most vulnerable children and older people in our society.

"I feel completely committed to the work of both charities and it is a wonderful honour to receive in my 75th year.

"My greatest wish is that Desmond could be here to share this news - he would have been so excited."

Image copyright University of Southampton
Image caption Professor Cooper is one of two University of Southampton staff to be recognised in the list

Elsewhere in Hampshire, University of Southampton professor Cyrus Cooper has been appointed OBE for his services to research into osteoporosis.

Prof Cooper's team has been investigating the use of calcium and vitamin D in the prevention of hip fractures among the elderly.

Colin Miles, a facilities manager within the university's physical sciences and engineering department, has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to higher education

Other honours go to former footballer Linvoy Primus, appointed MBE for his services to football and charity in Portsmouth, and Robert Ratcliffe, assistant chief fire officer at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, who has been awarded the Fire Service Medal.

Peter Trevor Craddock, founder of Havant Symphony Orchestra and Havant Chamber Orchestra, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Music, as has David George Stone, former head gardener at Mottisfont Abbey in Romsey, in recognition for his services to horticultural heritage.

Charity workers, foster carers and business people were also in the list.

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