HUNTINGDON gymnast Louis Smith was awarded the MBE by Queen Elizabeth II in Buckingham Palace this morning (Wednesday).

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The Olympic silver and bronze medallist described the day as “quite surreal” and revealed the Queen said “Here’s another to add to your collection” when she presented him with the honour.

He said after the ceremony: “I never thought, starting off in gymnastics, I would be in this position. It’s quite amazing. It’s been a tremendous year for me.”

His day did not start so well, as his agent Gab Stone forgot to take their tickets to Buckingham Palace as they made their way into London.

Mr Smith also took the opportunity to announce that he is now turning away from showbusiness after completing the Strictly Come Dancing tour to concentrate on sport.

He added: “As athletes, we have a big responsibility to keep the legacy going. I’m starting to take a step back from the entertainment side and move into charity and school work.

“People might misconstrue that because we are doing a bit of entertainment that we’re losing our way, but it’s about boosting knowledge and so that we can promote other things that we’re doing.”

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