Dragons' Den star Hilary Devey among Birthday Honours

Hilary Devey Hilary Devey grew up in Bolton but now lives in Leicestershire

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Entrepreneur Hilary Devey has been appointed CBE for services to the transport industry and to charity.

Ms Devey made her fortune launching freight network Pall-Ex, but became well known by appearing on TV shows Dragons' Den and The Intern.

She said she was "flattered and flabbergasted" to be named in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

She grew up in Bolton, but now lives in the Midlands, running Pall-Ex from Leicestershire.

"It is wonderful to receive such recognition, but this should be less about me, and more about the charities that I support and the amazing transport sector in which I am privileged to work," she said.

Other Leicestershire figures named in the list include Geoff Rowe, founder of Leicester Comedy Festival, who is to receive the British Empire Medal for services to the arts.

Mr Rowe was just a student when he helped to start the festival in 1994.

He is now chief executive of a charity called Big Difference Company, which runs the event.

City's culture bid
Geoff Rowe Geoff Rowe is now chief executive of the charity that runs Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival

"I think now there's a sense that Leicester has a certain amount of civic pride in the comedy festival and what we do every February," he said.

The festival, now called Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival, attracts top comedians and some 89,000 visitors.

It is also a key part of Leicester's bid to become UK City of Culture in 2017.

Leicestershire people appointed MBE include councillor and sewing teacher Alison Smith.

Mrs Smith lives in Ravenstone and runs a sewing school in Ashby-de-la-Zouch.

She has been appointed MBE for services to sewing, corsetry and the community.

"I think what I've tried to do over the years is bring to home sewers - whether they've been sewing professionally or as a hobby - the tips and techniques and processes that they don't normally have access to through school and further education," she said.

Those appointed OBE include Michael Davies, chairman of The Royal Mint and chairman of Manchester Airports Group, for services to business.

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