LONDON (Reuters Life!) - British actress Joanna Lumley was named “Oldie of the Year” on Tuesday by the monthly Oldie magazine for campaigning for the rights of retired Nepalese Gurkha soldiers wanting to settle in Britain.
Thanks in part to the 63-year-old’s lobbying, the British government announced in May, 2009 that former Gurkhas who retired before 1997 with more than four years’ service would be eligible to apply to live in Britain.
The decision potentially affected up to 15,000 veterans.
“We would like to award her for her relentless efforts and continuing campaigning for Ghurkhas’ rights and The Gurkha Justice Campaign,” Oldie organizers said.
Broadcaster and television personality Terry Wogan, 71, who stepped down as presenter of the popular BBC Radio 2 breakfast show last month, will hand out the prizes at a ceremony in London and pick up his own award — Retirer of the Year.
Previous Oldie of the Year Award winners include David Attenborough (2005), Ranulph Fiennes (2004), Eric Sykes (2002), John Mortimer (2001) and Spike Milligan (1994).
Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato