Monday 21 January 2019

Dame Vera Lynn awarded top prize at The Oldie Of The Year Awards

The Forces’ Sweetheart celebrated her 100th birthday last year.

Dame Vera Lynn
Dame Vera Lynn

By Isabel Togoh, Press Association

Forces’ Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn has been honoured as the Oldie Of The Year at the annual TOOTY awards.

The centenarian was awarded the top prize from The Oldie magazine at a lunchtime ceremony aimed at celebrating “the best of the older generation”.

Her daughter, Virginia Lewis-Jones, collected the gong on her behalf.

Petula Clark, Dame Vera Lynn and Bruce Forsyth

Dame Vera, 100, marked her landmark birthday last year by releasing a critically-acclaimed album of some of her best-known songs, including We’ll Meet Again and The White Cliffs Of Dover.

The record, which debuted on the UK Albums Chart at number 3, made her the oldest living person to have an album on the charts.

The decorated singer also released a memoir last year of her time spent entertaining troops in Burma during the Second World War.

The awards, hosted by the monthly magazine geared towards older readers, handed out the Palmer d’Or Oldie of the Year prize to sitcom heavyweight Geoffrey Palmer, 90, for his services to British television.


Playwright Alan Ayckbourn, 78, who has produced 82 plays over a a 59-year career, was honoured as Old Drama King Of The Year, while Basil Brush secured the Oldie 21st Century Fox Of The Year.

Celebrity Big Brother 2018 contestant Rachel Johnson and actress Maureen Lipman were among the judges at the ceremony at Simpson’s-in-the-Strand.

Transgender pioneer April Ashley, 82, who was one of the first people to undergo sex-reassignment surgery in 1960, was given the Oldie Woman Ahead Of The Time award.

Other winners at the tongue-in-cheek ceremony included Baroness Williams of Crosby and cricket commentator Henry Blofeld.

The awards have been running for 25 years.

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