Vicki Michelle made her professional acting debut playing opposite Dudley More in Woody Allen’s play, Play It Again Sam. Following a short UK tour, the production transferred to London’s West End and was to mark the beginning of a long and illustrious career for the actress. Her big break came when she was cast as waitress Yvette Carte-Blanche in the BAFTA nominated, award winning and hugely popular BBC sitcom, Allo Allo written by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft. It was to make Vicki a household name not just in this country but worldwide with the stage version taking her all over Australia and New Zealand as well as round the UK and back to the West End. With the recognition came numerous requests for personal appearances and an ever increasing fan following. It was at this time that Vicki decided to seize the opportunity to become involved with charity work.
Over the years her commitment to charity work has continued to grow with charitable roles currently including;
President of Lady Taverner’s Regional Branch
President of The Heritage Foundation –London
Ambassador for Soldiering On Awards
Member of Grand Order of Lady Ratlings
Executive Committee Member of The Royal Variety Charity
Patron of The Gordon Craig Theatre
Patron of Blackfish Academy
Patron of Talent Time Stage School
Patron of The Dream Factory
Patron of Haven House Children’s Hospice
Patron of AA Dog Rescue
Patron of Essex Women’s Advisory Group
In 2010, the year in which she also celebrated 40 years in showbusiness, Vicki was honoured by Her Majesty The Queen in the New Year’s Honours List with an MBE for Services To Charity.
The investiture took place at Buckingham Palace on the 20th Oct with Vicki accompanied by her husband, mother and daughter. Afterwards Vicki was quoted as saying “To receive the MBE was amazing. It was a great great honour and truly humbling. It was a fantastic day and to meet The Queen is one of the highlights of my life. I was amazed at how well informed she was on what I have done. To have my Mum and my daughter and husband there and see them so proud, it was the icing on the cake.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect anything like this to happen. I do charity work because I enjoy it and because I want to do it, I always have. I think it is important to give something back and it makes me really happy to see smiles on people’s faces. Never did I think I could or would be rewarded for it, it has never come into the equation”.
The Knights of Malta
Vicki was recognised again for her charity work in May of 2012 when she was made a Dame of the Sovereign Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem – Knights of Malta. This highly prestigious award is recognised by the entire Christian Church the world over including The Vatican and The Church of England. The Order was founded in 1023 with the Knights caring for the sick and needy. Today they carry out good works for all manner of worthy causes and it is considered a great honour to be invited into the Order.
Vicki’s Investiture took place on the 12th May at Castello dei Barorni on the island of Malta. Upon arrival, the Postulants were shown a filmed documentary on the history of the Order and given a tour of the Museum of the Knights, prior to the ceremony.
The ceremony itself began with a procession of Members of the Order and Postulants in full regalia. It included a series of readings and prayers with the postulants invited to take their vows before being blessed by the presiding Chaplain. A reception followed after which Vicki and her fellow Knights and Dames returned to their hotel to prepare for a Gala Dinner given in celebration of the day’s events.
National Television Awards
When Vicki swapped the comfort of her beautiful home for the death defying drop of a zip wire into the Celebrity Slammer on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here at the end of 2014, little did she think it would end with the glamour and glitz of the Red Carpet at the 2015 National Television Awards, staged at the O2 Arena. But that’s where she found herself walking the walk last week along with fellow campmates and production team with I’m A Celebrity nominated for the The Best Entertainment Programme Award at The National Television Awards. The National Television Awards are the only awards to be voted for entirely by the public and as such, are much sought after and revered. I’m A Celebrity fought off strong opposition to win in fine style and it was a euphoric Ant and Dec surrounded by contestants and production team alike who took to the stage to accept the statuette.
Joining Vicki from the jungle were Edwina Currie, Jimmy Bullard, Michael Buerk, Jake Quickenden, Nadia Forde and Mel Sykes. Peter Andre, Joe Swash, Gino D’Acampo, Laura Whitmore and Gemma Collins were just a few of the celebrities on hand helping to make things go with a swing at the after show party along with Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Sir David Jason to name but a few.
Royal Television Society Award
When five times BAFTA nominated and award-winning Allo Allo first hit our television screens in 1982, no one could have predicted it’s phenomenal success. With constant repeats being shown since the show reached it’s 25th Anniversary in 2007 and the decision was taken to create a one-off special to mark the occasion. The new episode was named The Return of Allo Allo and penned by one of Allo Allo’s creators, Jeremy Lloyd. Several of the original cast, including Vicki, re-created their iconic roles with the scene set some 15 years after the war, Rene writing his memoirs and the ever faithful Yvette still by his side helping to run Café Rene. The new storyline was also cleverly interspersed with flashbacks and cast interviews. The show was filmed in front of a live audience (most of whom were dressed as their favourite Allo Allo characters) and broadcast on the 28th April 2007.
Proving to be a huge success, the show was later nominated for two Royal Television Society Awards in the categories of Best Comedy Programme and the highly prestigious top award of Best Network Entertainment Programme.
The awards ceremony took place at The Hilton Hotel in Manchester, hosted by Kym Rider and Bradley Walsh in front of a star-studded audience. As is nearly always the case in such circumstances, Vicki and the rest of the team attending the awards, were completely unaware of the result ahead of the day, so it came as a great surprise when the announcement came that they had scooped the top award of the night, Best Networked Programme.
Vicki and Jeremy Lloyd accepted the award accompanied by the production team. “It was the most amazing feeling”, said Vicki. “So exciting and yes, we did all get just a little bit drunk”!
The Heritage Foundation Gold Award
Based in London, The Heritage Foundation was originally founded as The Dead Comics Society in 1994, evolving to its current state at the turn of the Millennium.
The aim of the Foundation is to pay tribute to those in the entertainment, sports and music worlds who have or continue to bring enjoyment to others through their talents and skills while simultaneously raising money for good causes. Indeed the Foundation was instrumental in initiating the campaign for the building of The Bomber Command Memorial in London in addition to supporting numerous other leading charities over the years such as Cancer Research and The British Heart Foundation.
In 2008, Vicki was asked to present one of The Foundation’s Gold Awards for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts to actor and writer Jeremy Lloyd at one of its prestigious events held at The Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.
As with most events of this nature, surprises were the order of the day and no one was more surprised than Vicki when Jeremy turned the tables on her, presenting the actress with a Heritage Foundation Gold Award for Services to the Arts and The Foundation. In accepting her award Vicki thanked everyone involved it making it possible and told the audience she would treat the gong as her Oscar!