London icon Twiggy was last night presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award by the capital's tourism organisation Visit London for her contribution to fashion and culture.
Born in North West London, Twiggy became the face of the capital in the swinging sixties and the world's first supermodel before making her name as a successful actress. Her first role in Ken Russell's film 'The Boyfriend' saw her win two Golden Globe Awards. Over the last 40 years she has starred in many films and earned a Tony nomination for her leading role in the Broadway musical My One And Only. She has recorded albums, published books and has successful clothing lines both here and in the US.
Commenting on the award, Twiggy said
'I am truly honoured to accept this award from Visit London. I am extremely fortunate to have had such an amazing city as a backdrop to my career through fashion, acting and music. Nowhere else in the world can you see such a rich and original cultural scene and London continues to be my inspiration.'
The award was presented as the culmination of the BT Visit London awards at a show stopping ceremony at the brand new Bloomsbury Big Top last night. The celebrations continued as singer Alesha Dixon accepted the first ever Sound of London Award.
Already one of the most exciting and unique artists and currently the toast of the UK's R&B pop scene, Alesha can currently be seen on our screens as a judge every week on 'Strictly Come Dancing'. Known for her smash hits; 'The Boy Does Nothing' and 'Breathe Slow', Alesha has recently released her eagerly anticipated second album 'The Entertainer'.
Alesha shared her feelings on accepting the award:
'I am thrilled to be the first person to receive the Visit London Sound of London award. My career started in London and I believe it is the most creative city with amazing music and fashion that leads the world.'
The BT Visit London Awards celebrate the best of tourism in the capital and in addition to the prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award; gongs were awarded for the popular People’s Choice Awards as well as 11 judged categories.
For the second year running, The Natural History Museum was voted top choice for the Evening Standard London for Free award as well as being crowned as Evening Standard's Best Family Fun.
The other People's Choice Awards were picked up by Les Misérables for Magic 105.4's Best West End Show and Covent Garden for Magic 105.4's Best Gastronomic Experience.
It was a great night for the capital's attractions in the judged categories with ZSL London Zoo winning Best Tourism Experience and Medieval & Renaissance Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum taking the Best New Tourism Experience accolade.
The Museum of London took home gold in the Marketing/PR Campaign of the Year category for the launch of the Galleries of Modern London and the festive Hyde Park Winter Wonderland was awarded Consumer Event of the Year.
In the hotel's categories, The Langham and The Egerton House Hotel won Large Hotel of the Year and Small Hotel of the Year respectively while Generator Hostel London was awarded gold for Budget Accommodation of the Year.
The Sustainable Tourism Award went to The Cavendish London while the Front of House Team at Renaissance London Chancery Court Hotel were recognised with the Outstanding Customer Service Award.
The prestigious Business Event of the Year Award went to ExCeL London for the Launch of London's First ICC while Kings Place took home the Business Venue of the Year Prize.
In addition to the awards presentations, almost 700 people from across London's tourism industry raised over £2000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital through Magic 105.4's charity Cash for Kids and enjoyed thrilling performances from Circus Space, Pricilla Queen of the Desert The Musical and The London Community Gospel Choir amongst others.
Commenting on the successful awards night, Sally Chatterjee, Visit London CEO said,
'The BT Visit London awards have once again been a huge success and a fitting celebration of tourism in London. An industry that generates over £16m for London's economy deserves to be recognised and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of tonight’s winners.'
Suzi Williams, Director, Group Marketing and Brand, BT commented, 'We're thrilled to help celebrate the triumphs of London's tourism industry this evening. As we get closer to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games there’s never been a better time to be a Londoner or to be working in the industry.'
For more information about the BT Visit London Awards 2010, log onto www.visitlondon.com/awards