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Honoured Mary Beard says her children will treat her as a pantomime dame

The Cambridge classics professor and television presenter Mary Beard is now a Dame. Credit: Matt Crossick/Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment

Cambridge classicist Mary Beard said it was a "smashing honour" to be made a dame in the Queen's Birthday honours.

Beard, who was awarded an OBE in the 2013 New Year Honours, will receive a damehood for services to the study of classical civilisations.

The University of Cambridge professor is well-known for her online presence and regular appearances on classics and discussion panel programmes on the BBC, as well as contributing to Radio 4 series A Point Of View.

Yet she expects her friends and family to throw around a few jokes.

"I think there will be a bit of ribaldry to be honest - and a few jokes about 'pantomime dames'. But all good fun," she said.<

"It is of course a smashing honour. I feel especially pleased that someone working on the ancient classical world gets honoured in this way.

"I'd like to treat it as a bit of a tribute to the Greeks and Romans themselves - as well as to all my wonderful academic colleagues who also do so much for the study of antiquity."<

– Dame Mary Beard

E-Luminate Cambridge shows city landmarks in a whole new light

The sixth E-Luminate Cambridge Festival has begun.

Some of Europe's top artists have helped transform city landmarks - including Senate House and Gonville and Caius College - into pieces of art.

The festival runs until February 14.

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