Queen’s birthday honours: Crouch End celebrity conductor on song with OBE

15:49 20 June 2012

Crouch Ender Gareth Malone has been made OBE in the Queen

Crouch Ender Gareth Malone has been made OBE in the Queen's birthday honours

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The nation’s favourite choirmaster Gareth Malone was thrilled to be given an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours on Saturday - and said he was indebted to his long-suffering parents for putting up with his hours of piano practice.

The Crouch End music maestro has become familiar to TV viewers for his many BBC shows in which he whips raw recruits into concert performers.

Malone has also pulled off the unlikely feat of leading his choirs on two number one singles in the space of less than six months.

He said: “This is a great honour and one I’m thrilled about.

“Over the past 10 years, encouraging people to sing has been a labour of love so it’s wonderful to be recognised in this way. I am hugely grateful to all the people I have worked with in both television and the arts for helping me to bring music into people’s lives.”

Mr Malone - who also thanked his wife for her support, and Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans - added: “I would not be receiving this honour if it weren’t for the unstinting support of my long-suffering parents through hours of piano practice and I’m indebted to them for all they have given me.

“It is extra special to receive an OBE during the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations, having just performed at the jubilee concert. What a year.”

Mr Malone’s parents sang in a local choir, and he went on to sing in ensemble at his grammar school in Bournemouth.

He later studied drama at the University of East Anglia - composing, singing and directing for a student drama group. He further developed his choral work with a postgraduate degree in singing at the Royal Academy of Music and it was while working with choirs as an animateur at the London Symphony Orchestra that he was approached by TV producers about working on their new project.

The resulting series, The Choir, was seen by more than three million viewers and he has gone on to work on five more choir TV projects, as well as children’s programmes.

The father-of-one famously took his Military Wives choir - assembled for a BBC2 show last year - to number one, holding X Factor winners Little Mix off the top of the charts for Christmas.

And then he guided the women again when they featured on Gary Barlow’s diamond jubilee anthem Sing, conducting the choir when they performed at the jubilee concert.

Latest Stories

45 minutes ago
This Vauxhall Corsa flipped over and landed on its roof this morning in Lambeth. Shocked Twitter users captured the scene [Photo courtesy of @k111777]

A car has flipped over dramatically on Brixton Road, Lambeth.

Read more
33 Portland Place looks peaceful on the outside, but if these walls could talk... [Photo from Google StreetView]

A swanky 24-bedroom house in the West End that was Britian’s answer to the Playboy mansion is up for sale – because its fraudster owner needs the cash for legal fees.

Read more
07:25
The incident happened between Ann Street and Villas Road on the Glyndon Estate in Plumstead (Pic: Google Street View)

A 19-year-old woman was raped as she made her way home through the Glyndon Estate in Plumstead.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
How much about this great city do you really know? Take our true Londoner quiz and find out (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Do you know your apples from your pears? Take our Cockney quiz and see how much of a Londoner you really are.

Read more