I just read that June Whitfield and Julie Walters were made Dames in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, which is excellent.
While Julie Walters is commonly regarded as an exceptionally versatile actress, June Whitfield is perhaps a little underrated. The breadth of her career since the 1950s is pretty astounding, and she always stands out in whatever she’s in, whether playing the uptight nurse in The Blood Donor or Edina’s mum in Absolutely Fabulous. She radiates class and never pulls focus; the consummate comic foil to the likes of Terry Scott, Jennifer Saunders and Tony Hancock.
She also still looks fantastic. She’s - get this - 91, but you’d never believe it, as she’s as energised and as sharp-as-a-pin as ever; yes, that’s right: she’s my old-lady crush.
That said, I also love Julie Walters. It’s the spark behind her eyes when she's performing comedy that gets me, like she's taking her performance to the edge of anarchy and dares her co-stars to corpse; it’s brilliant. She’s wholly prepared to make herself look ridiculous, which is admirable, and her straight acting is painfully truthful.
The reason I'm so gratified by the news is I don’t think we celebrate these people enough. The same can be said for Billy Connolly, who’s about to be knighted. Why wait until they're no longer around to pay tribute? I can only assume my medal's in the post.