Barry Humphries named Oldie of the Year

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Barry Humphries (r) with Sir Terry Wogan
Image caption,
Barry Humphries (right) is best known for his alter ego Dame Edna Everage

Australian comedian Barry Humphries has been named Oldie of the Year by the satirical magazine.

The 76-year-old, best known for his alter ego Dame Edna Everage, won the award "for his wonderful split personality which has entertained us for so many years".

Broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan presented the comedian with the prize at a ceremony in central London.

Prince Philip and Ann Widdecombe received accolades in absentia.

This year's judges included broadcaster Dame Joan Bakewell, author Jane Thynne and Oldie editor Richard Ingrams.

Originally conceived in 1956, Dame Edna Everage went on to become one of Humphries' most enduring characters.

Starting on stage, she moved to the small screen where she fronted a series of talk shows.

Prince Philip was named Consort of the Year "for lifetime achievement", while Widdecombe was crowned Hoofer of the Year "for her life-enhancing performance on Strictly Come Dancing".

'Third age'

In a video message the former MP said: "You've made an old lady very happy.

Image caption,
Snow was recognised for comments regarding the wearing of poppies on TV

"One of my reasons for doing [Strictly] was to fly the flag for the third age," she continued.

In a letter read out at Thursday's luncheon, Prince Philip said it was "nice to be remembered" ahead of his 90th birthday in June.

"There is nothing like it for morale to be reminded that the years are passing - ever more quickly," he wrote.

Other winners included newsreader Julia Somerville, named Autocutie of the Year for "her defiance of ageism at the BBC''.

Upstairs Downstairs actress Jean Marsh won Old Maid of the Year, while 93-year-old June Spencer - Peggy in Radio 4's The Archers - was celebrated for her long career.

Previous recipients of the Oldie of the Year award include Sir David Attenborough, Tony Blackburn, Joanna Lumley and the late Spike Milligan.

Winners were presented with a special illustration featuring caricatures of this year's winners.

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