I first published this blog last month, but as the Queen's Birthday Honours have just been announced, it seems a fitting time to put it out there once again. While I have issues with certain aspects of the Honours system, it seems a crying shame that on the verge of her 90th birthday, June hasn't yet been made a Dame...
Something has occurred to me recently that just does not make any sense whatsoever. Why on earth has comedy goddess and living legend June Whitfield not been made a Dame?
It seems incredible to me that this award has not been bestowed on someone who has been part of our culture, our comedy and our lives for decades. So many other people have been rewarded for lives well lived and it just seems weird that June has not become Dame June Whitfield.
Before you say it, yes I know she has already received an OBE and a CBE but it just seems fitting that the highest award going should be given to June in recognition of everything she has achieved. I am slightly dubious about the British honours system at times but there are certain cases which just feel right and I think this is one of them. Perhaps it is because June has given her life to comedy rather than serious drama that she has missed out on this, who knows?
I often think it is really sad that brilliant classy performers like Kenneth Williams, Joan Sims and Hattie Jacques did not receive this kind of official recognition in their lifetimes which makes it all the more important to honour national treasures like June. After all she has been a part of so many iconic films, shows and productions. Who can forget her appearances in four of the Carry Ons, her series with Terry Scott and more recently her wonderful turn in Absolutely Fabulous?
There are few comedy actresses whose careers span as many generations as June Whitfield's. Even now, in her 90th year she is recording a second run of the comedy series Boomers for the BBC and has just filmed a cameo for EastEnders.
June has worked with so many legendary comedy performers it's almost impossible to name them all: Kenneth Williams, Sid James, Terry Scott, Frankie Howerd, Dick Emery, Stanley Baxter, Tommy Cooper, Arthur Askey and Roy Hudd to list just some. The main thing to notice from this list is the lack of a female presence. June has endured and succeeded in a male dominated industry. Being a funny woman in the 50s, 60s and 70s was no laughing matter.
Anyway, as you can tell I'm a big fan. If it's good enough for the likes of Joan Collins, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, it should be good enough for our June!
Do you agree?
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