York & North Yorkshire

New Year Honours: Calendar Girl Angela Knowles appointed MBE

Angela Knowles
Image caption Angela Knowles said she could not believe how much the calendar had made over the years

The woman behind a nude calendar which raised millions for charity has been appointed MBE in the New Year Honours.

Angela Knowles, 74, from Linton in Craven, near Skipton, Yorkshire, and 10 Women's Institute friends posed for the calendar in 1999 to raise £5,000 for charity.

It went on to raise almost £6m and inspire the Calendar Girls film.

Mrs Knowles said she believed the honour was recognition for all the women who took part in the calendar.

"I am really honoured. It's not just for me it's for all of the calendar girls and our photographer, she said.

"We've been a great team for over 20 years," she said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The original calendar featured 11 members of the Rylstone WI

The women were all members of Rylstone and District WI in the Yorkshire Dales.

They had been inspired to raise funds after the death of Mrs Knowles' husband, John Baker, from non-Hodgkin lymphona in 1998.

The story of their alternative WI calendar went on to to inspire a popular film and stage show and numerous imitations.

Mrs Knowles donated all the money raised, including the rights to her story, to Bloodwise.

She also served as a trustee for the charity and is now its honorary president.

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