Broadcaster and journalist Clare Balding has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, just a few weeks after she collected a special BAFTA award to recognise her on-screen contributions to the Olympic and Paralympic games.

Balding, who is in a civil partnership with the broadcaster Alice Arnold, is one of Britain’s best known lesbian television presenters.

Balding said: “It has been a year of unexpected delights. This is the pinnacle.”

Born into a horse training family, she became an amateur flat jockey. She joined BBC Radio in 1994 and made her TV debut the following year, becoming a familiar face in horse racing coverage.

When she collected her special award from BAFTA, Balding said that it was important to stick to “the things that make your heart sing”.

“Don’t do something because you think it’ll make you famous, do it because you love it.”

Adele, Tony Robinson, Rowan Atkinson and the former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell all also received honours.