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Bisley’s Jilly Cooper is made a dame in new year honours list

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Author Jilly Cooper, known for her best-selling raunchy romance novels, has been made a dame in the 2024 New Year Honours list.

Jilly, 86, has been given a damehood in the new year honours list for her services to literature and charity.

In a statement, Ms Cooper, who lives in Bisley, said: “I am absolutely and incredibly bowled over. I cannot believe I am a DBE, which in my case also stands for ‘delighted, bewildered and ecstatic’.”

Her work has been adapted at various points, with the Coronation Street star Stephen Billington and the Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville appearing in an ITV adaptation of The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous and Marcus Gilbert starring in a Riders series during the 1990s.

A Disney+ series, based on Rivals and featuring the British actor Alex Hassell as Rupert, will also star David Tennant, Aidan Turner, Emily Atack and Danny Dyer, and is now in production.

Her first novel in the series, Riders, published in 1985, also made the BBC list of 100 important English language novels in the love, sex and romance selection alongside Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Both Riders and Rivals, published in 1988, went to number one in the bestseller lists and 1991 novel Polo became the highest-selling hardback novel of the year.

Jilly recently released Tackle – her 18th novel about the sexy goings-on in the world of football. She has continued to have success and her books have sold more than 11 million copies in the UK.

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