Coronation Street star Helen Worth said it is “truly wonderful” to be made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
The 71-year-old has been recognised for her services to drama having played Corrie favourite Gail Platt for almost 48 years.
She said: “It was a huge surprise to learn that I had been nominated for an MBE.
She has been on the show nearly 50 years and yet every time she appears the screen lights upJohn Whiston, ITV
“To be honoured for doing something I have enjoyed so much for so many years is truly wonderful, and I am particularly delighted to receive this award in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Year.”
Having joined the cobbles in July 1974, Worth’s character has been a prominent figure in a number of explosive storylines gripping the soap over the years.
Her ill-fated love life has come to define the character, having suffered an affair and the deaths of four of her five husbands.
John Whiston, ITV’s managing director of continuing drama & head of ITV in the north, said: “Everyone on the show is so pleased to hear about Helen’s Jubilee honour.
“She has been on the show nearly 50 years and yet every time she appears the screen lights up, whether that’s scrapping with Eileen in the street, fending off a homicidal husband, sparring with her disrespectful son or poignantly summing up an emotive moment, as she did after Aidan’s suicide.
“She is a faultless actor and a lovely human being who richly deserves this honour.”
In 2014, ITV honoured the long-serving actress with a documentary celebrating her 40 years on the serial drama with a one-off special titled Gail & Me.
Worth was married to Liverpool-born Michael Angelis, best known as the long-term narrator of Thomas The Tank Engine series Thomas And Friends, from 1991 to 2001.
In 2013 she married music teacher Trevor Dawson.
The soap star is a patron for the Born Free Foundation, an international wildlife charity working to stop animal suffering and protect threatened species.
In 2006, she appeared in the House of Commons to speak about proposed changes to the Animal Welfare Bill and campaign for the retirement of Anne, the UK’s last remaining circus elephant.
Worth is also an ambassador for the charity ActionAid and has visited Sierra Leone in support of their work.