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Frank Skinner says he kept his MBE a secret just in case ‘it was an administrative error’

Frank Skinner has received an MBE in the New Year Honours list for his services to entertainment.

The broadcaster and comedian, 65, began his career in 1987 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Skinner – whose real name is Christopher Graham Collins – returned to the festival four years later in 1991 and was feted with one of comedy’s most prestigious accolades, the Perrier Award.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Skinner said that he has held off on telling those closest to him about his MBE in case the news turned out to be the result of “some sort of administrative error”.

“Well, to be honest, I haven’t told anyone at all, even those closest to me, because I still thought there might be some sort of administrative error,” he said.

“But I think it’s brilliant. I deal mainly in laughs and applause and they disappear into the air quite quickly. So getting a proper medal that you can hold on to and polish regularly feels (it) has given my career a sense of permanence that I like.”

Skinner went on to say that he can’t help but think of his late parents who would have been “over the moon” at his MBE.

He said: “You can’t help thinking of that thing of, you know, I grew up in a council house and all that, and my mum and dad who are no longer with us would have been absolutely over the moon about this whole thing.”

Ian Broudie (left) from the Lightning Seeds, Frank Skinner (centre) and David Baddiel (PA Archive)
Ian Broudie (left) from the Lightning Seeds, Frank Skinner (centre) and David Baddiel (PA Archive)

Skinner said that he does not intend to inform any friends or family about his MBE, preferring instead to wait for the news to break.

Together with fellow comedian David Baddiel, Skinner makes up one half of Baddiel and Skinner.

The pair are behind TV programmes such as Fantasy Football, and the ITV talk-show Baddiel and SkinnerUnplanned, which ran from 2000 to 2005.

In 1996, Baddiel and Skinner also co-wrote the football anthem “Three Lions” together with the rock band the Lightning Seeds.

The duo performed the track ahead of England’s game against Italy in the 2020 Euro final.

Sophie Wessex, Frank Skinner, David Baddiel and Ian Broudie at the Royal Variety Performance on 1 December 2022 (Getty Images)
Sophie Wessex, Frank Skinner, David Baddiel and Ian Broudie at the Royal Variety Performance on 1 December 2022 (Getty Images)

Skinner has also found success in radio. Since 2009, he has been on Absolute Radio and was inducted into the Radio Academy Hall of Fame in December 2015.

Skinner – who wrote a column for The Times – has also published multiple books, including two autobiographies. On TV, he presented Frank Skinner’s Opinionated, and hosted numerous seasons of BBC One’s Room 101.

He also presented Portrait/Landscape Artist of the Year for Sky Arts.

On receiving an MBE, Skinner told PA: “Getting anything, any kind of award is great, but this does feel special. When I was a kid, I remember the Beatles getting MBEs and to be in any group that includes the Beatles is good enough for me.”

Additional reporting by Press Association