Dame Darcey Bussell has certainly got a nice ring to it! The Strictly Come Dancing judge and former prima ballerina of the Royal Ballet has been awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list. The mum-of-two was bestowed the title for her services to dance. On receiving the accolade, Darcey said: "I am truly humbled to receive this honour. I gratefully accept it on behalf of all the dance organisations that I am so fortunate to be part of. Dance is such a beautiful art form, it is inspiring and provides joy, social cohesion and wellbeing."
Darcey Bussell in Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House in 1992
Congratulations poured in for the star on social media. Her fellow Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli tweeted: "Congratulations @DarceyOfficial there is nothing like A Dame so proud of you Bruno x." The winner of this year's Strictly, Joe McFadden also posted a message to Darcey on Twitter. He wrote: "Congratulations to the amazing @DarceyOfficial on becoming a dame in the #NewYearHonours. Very well deserved!"
Darcey with fellow Strictly judges Craig Revel-Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Toniolo
There was praise from the dancer's fans too, with one posting: "Congratulations Dame Darcey." A second follower told the star: "Congratulations! You are such a warm and dignified champion of the dance arts xx." Another said: "Darcey Bussell was always an inspiration for me when I was dancing. Glad to see her and David Pickering being honoured." David was also a soloist at the Royal Ballet.
Darcey became a principal dancer at the prestigious Royal Ballet at the age of just 20 and danced at the company for over two decades. She was revered as one of the nation's top ballerinas before retiring from the art. The 48-year-old has since appeared as a regular judge on Strictly Come Dancing. Darcey is married to Australian businessman Angus Forbes and the couple live in London with their two daughters.