From: Mirror, UK, November 29, 2000
EASTENDERS star Wendy Richard proudly shows off her OBE [sic - actually it was an MBE] yesterday and declared: "Finally, wearing Pauline's blue overall has paid off." The actress - best known as long- suffering Pauline Fowler in the TV soap - wept after the Queen presented her with a medal for services to TV drama at Buckingham Palace. Delighted Wendy, 47 [sic], said: "I'm very excited and very proud. This really is the crowning glory of my career." Wendy - who has played Pauline since the very first episode of EastEnders 15 years ago - did admit she was nervous before meeting the Queen. She said: "They should have an ante room where you can go and calm your nerves. I'm desperate for a fag [cigarette]."
Three-times married Wendy revealed that the Queen asked her if she was in a soap. "I said I was, but sometimes it could be a bit depressing. She replied that she'd heard it was very popular. I know from meeting her before that she is a big fan of Dad's Army but she doesn't watch EastEnders." Afterwards Wendy, who was accompanied by her partner John Burns, celebrated with neighbours and friends. And the actress joked: "I love the medal but I can't very well wear it on Pauline's blue overalls."
Among the other people receiving their awards yesterday were actress Sian Phillips and Director General of the Security Service, Sir Stephen Lander.