Coronation Street legend Helen Worth and co-star Antony Cotton honoured with MBEs

Coronation Street stars Helen Worth and Antony Cotton have been honoured with MBEs.

The two soap stars have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours, with Helen, 71, being honoured for her services to drama, while Antony, 46, has been recognised for his services to British Army, personnel and veterans.

Corrie legend Helen, who has portrayed Gail Platt in the ITV soap since 1974, branded the honour "truly wonderful" as she spoke of her surprise at being made an MBE.

The star said: “It was a huge surprise to learn that I had been nominated for an MBE.

“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.”

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John Whiston, ITV’s managing director of continuing drama and head of ITV in the north, praised Helen about the vareity of different storylines she's taken on over the past 48 years.

He 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.”

Meanwhile Antony, who plays Sean Tully in Coronation Street, has told how he feels "completely overwhelmed" by being recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

The actor was made an MBE for services to British Army, personnel and veterans, as he has been involved with the military community since 2008.

Antony was named as the first celebrity ambassador for military charity the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) and he is also a patron of Help For Heroes.

Speaking about the honour, he said: “I am completely overwhelmed by this honour, especially as it has come during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

“Working with our amazing armed forces, in particular the Army, has truly been the greatest honour of my life. To have a soldier, of any age or rank, come to me and entrust me with their stories, their experiences and especially their worries, has been life changing."

He also opened up about his work with soldiers and veterans, admitting that he feels it is his "duty".

“When I am asked why I spend my spare time helping with the welfare of our soldiers and veterans, the answer is a simple one – I feel it is my duty, and it has genuinely become my life’s work.

“The British Army has made significant improvements in the way they approach mental health over the past decade, and I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in some of those changes, and also in the way the Army delivers their welfare programme," Antony said.

He added: “As with most things, there is still some way to go but I’m very proud of the work we’ve done so far. I share this award with every single person who has ever fought for our country – I am incredibly humbled and honoured to be in your company. Thank you for your service."

John branded the honour "incredibly well deserved", saying: “Everyone at Coronation Street is hugely excited about this incredibly well deserved honour.

“We are proud of Antony’s tireless charity work on behalf of the armed forces and mental health resilience, causes he feels passionately about. We are delighted this has been recognised in the Platinum Jubilee Honours lists.”

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