Vicky McClure, who has become a household name in the UK following a series of high-octane TV roles, has been made an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours for services to drama and to charity.
The Nottingham-born actress, 40, is perhaps best known for her starring role in the BBC’s Line Of Duty, although has gained further recognition outside acting for her charity work.
McClure is a vocal advocate for the Alzheimer’s Society, of which she is an ambassador, and has raised awareness around the disease through her creation of Our Dementia Choir.
McClure first came to national attention after appearing in the 2006 skinhead-drama film This Is England, in which she played the part of the cool and easy-going Lol Jenkins.
The role, which she reprised for several TV follow-up series, won her critical acclaim and several award nominations and wins – including from the Royal Television Society and Bafta.
The This Is England franchise ran for several series, ending in 2015 with This Is England ‘90.
By this time, McClure had already begun her most recognisable role as DCI Kate Fleming, alongside Martin Compston, on Line Of Duty.
The show, which has run for six series, has been another critical success for the actress and garnered her further nominations.
She was nominated for a Bafta Television award for best supporting actress in 2015, and a National Television Award for drama performance in 2021.
McClure has maintained a close friendship with Compston, and the pair recently went head-to-head in the 2023 charity Soccer Aid match for Unicef – which saw defeat for her England side for the fifth year running.
The actress has been involved with UK charity the Alzheimer’s Society for many years, having participated in the organisation’s annual charity walk, and becoming an ambassador in 2018.
In 2019, she started Nottingham-based Our Dementia Choir, after her late grandmother Iris’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s taught her the healing power of music.
A BBC documentary to raise awareness of the disease culminated in the group’s performance in front of 2,000 people at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall, and McClure later revisited the choir in 2020 to explore the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on them.
In August 2022 she was further recognised for her work with the choir by being made an honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Nottingham – describing it as “my personally proudest day to date”.
“To be awarded a Doctor of Letters at the University of Nottingham, just 10 minutes from my house, the place where Our Dementia Choir was formed, among so much esteemed intellect, creative minds and excellence in your fields, this is for sure my personally proudest day to date,” she said during her acceptance speech.
“I didn’t get many GCSEs, I’m not the quickest reader but I love people, they give me purpose, this doctorate gives me purpose and if there is any advice I can give to you all today… it’s service.
“Service to others. The world is a difficult place to navigate and for those living with dementia and other life altering illnesses we must do our bit.”