Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order. Recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire were made on the nomination of the United Kingdom, the self-governing Dominions of the Empire and the Viceroy of India. Nominations continue today from Commonwealth countries that participate in recommending British honours. Most Commonwealth countries ceased recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire when they created their own honours; the five classes of appointment to the Order are, in descending order of precedence: Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Knight Commander or Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire The senior two ranks of Knight or Dame Grand Cross, Knight or Dame Commander, entitle their members to use the title of Sir for men and Dame for women before their forename.
Most members are citizens of the United Kingdom or the Commonwealth realms that use the Imperial system of honours and awards. Honorary knighthoods are appointed to citizens of nations where the Queen is not head of state, may permit use of post-nominal letters but not the title of Sir or Dame. Honorary appointees are, referred to as Sir or Dame – Bob Geldof, for example. Honorary appointees who become a citizen of a Commonwealth realm can convert their appointment from honorary to substantive enjoy all privileges of membership of the order, including use of the title of Sir and Dame for the senior two ranks of the Order. An example is Irish broadcaster Terry Wogan, appointed an honorary Knight Commander of the Order in 2005, on successful application for British citizenship, held alongside his Irish citizenship, was made a substantive member and subsequently styled as Sir Terry Wogan. King George V founded the Order to fill gaps in the British honours system: The Orders of the Garter, of St Patrick honoured royals, peers and eminent military commanders.
In particular, King George V wished to create an Order to honour many thousands of those who had served in a variety of non-combatant roles during the First World War. When first established, the Order had only one division. However, in 1918, soon after its foundation, it was formally divided into Military and Civil Divisions; the Order's motto is For the Empire. At the foundation of the Order, the'Medal of the Order of the British Empire' was instituted, to serve as a lower award granting recipients affiliation but not membership. In 1922, this was renamed the'British Empire Medal', it stopped being awarded by the United Kingdom as part of the 1993 reforms to the honours system, but was again awarded beginning in 2012, starting with 293 BEMs awarded for Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. In addition, the BEM is awarded by some other Commonwealth nations. In 2004, a report entitled "A Matter of Honour: Reforming Our Honours System" by a Commons committee recommended to phase out the Order of the British Empire, as its title was "now considered to be unacceptable, being thought to embody values that are no longer shared by many of the country's population".
The British monarch is Sovereign of the Order, appoints all other members of the Order. The next most senior member is the Grand Master, of whom there have been three: Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales; the Order is limited to 300 Knights and Dames Grand Cross, 845 Knights and Dames Commander, 8,960 Commanders. There are no limits applied to the total number of members of the fourth and fifth classes, but no more than 858 Officers and 1,464 Members may be appointed per year. Foreign appointees, as honorary members, do not contribute to the numbers restricted to the Order as full members do. Although the Order of the British Empire has by far the highest number of members of the British Orders of Chivalry, with over 100,000 living members worldwide, there are fewer appointments to knighthoods than in other orders. Though men can be knighted separately from an order of chivalry, women cannot, so the rank of Knight/Dame Commander of the Order is the lowest rank of damehood, second-lowest of knighthood.
Because of this, an appointment as Dame Commander is made in circumstances in which a man would be created a Knight Bachelor. For example, by convention, female judges of the High Court of Justice are created Dames Commander after appointment, while male judges
BBC News at Six
The BBC News at Six is the evening news programme bulletin from the BBC. Produced by BBC News, the programme is broadcast on BBC One and the BBC News channel on weekdays at 6:00pm. For a long period the News at Six was the most watched news programme in the UK but since 2006 it has been over taken by the BBC News at Ten. On average it is watched by four million viewers. George Alagiah is the programme's main presenter, presenting Mondays to Thursdays, with Fiona Bruce presenting on Fridays. Other BBC News presenters including Sophie Raworth, Reeta Chakrabarti, Clive Myrie and Jane Hill present the programme. In late 2007 the length of the programme was shortened from 30 minutes to 28 minutes to allow for a news summary being shown on BBC One at 7:58pm. On 8 May 2017, SBS in Australia began airing BBC News at Six during their English-language news programming segment, it is broadcast at 7:00am everyday on delay from Britain. The programme launched on 3 September 1984, replacing early evening news magazine Sixty Minutes and was presented by Sue Lawley and Nicholas Witchell.
Both presenters have since moved on to other positions within BBC News and the BBC itself. Jeremy Paxman, who went on to present Newsnight in 1989, was relief newsreader from 10 September.. Andrew Harvey, Philip Hayton, Frances Coverdale were regular relief presenters in the early years. In 1988, the Six O'Clock News studio was famously invaded during a live broadcast by a female group protesting against Britain's Section 28. Witchell famously grappled with the protesters and is said to have sat on one woman, provoking the memorable front-page headline in the Daily Mirror, "Beeb man sits on lesbian". Lawley left the Six O'Clock news that year, followed by Witchell a year although he would return as a relief presenter intermittently until 1999. From 1989, the programme was presented by two of Peter Sissons, Anna Ford, Andrew Harvey and Moira Stuart, with other BBC journalists such as Witchell, Jill Dando and Chris Lowe occasionally presenting. In 13 April 1993, the bulletin was relaunched with a more coherent look, adopted across all BBC newscasts on the same day.
A year Sissons departed to present the Nine O'Clock News, swapping positions with Martyn Lewis. From 1994-1999 the programme was presented by Lewis as lead presenter of the programme on Monday and Friday, with Ford taking on the lead role on Wednesday and Thursday, although both would cover each others absences. Stuart was co-presenter on Monday and Tuesday, Harvey on Wednesday and Dando on Friday. Other BBC journalists, in particular Jennie Bond covered in the absence of co-presenters, with future lead presenters Huw Edwards and Fiona Bruce making occasional appearances. Senior journalists, including Witchell and John Humphrys would present as lead anchor when both Lewis and Ford were unavailable. On 10 May 1999, the bulletin was relaunched again, along with the rest of the BBC News programme and the new presenter was Huw Edwards with Fiona Bruce as the deputy presenter. During Bruce's maternity leave in 2001, Sian Williams, Special correspondent for the programme at this time, covered as deputy presenter.
Both Edwards and Bruce left the Six O'Clock News on 19 January 2003 to front the Ten O'Clock News. On 20 January 2003, as George Alagiah and Sophie Raworth took over, the bulletin was relaunched along with the rest of BBC One's news bulletins. During Raworth's first maternity leave in 2004, Sian Williams stood in for her for over the six months. However, during Raworth's second maternity leave at the end of 2005, Natasha Kaplinsky stood in as a temporary measure; as part of a presenter reshuffle in April 2006, Kaplinsky was confirmed as the new full-time presenter. Sophie Raworth was named as the main presenter of the BBC News at One. Raworth is now a regular presenter on the News at Six and BBC News at Ten, covering for main presenters during their absences. Since April 2005, the programme has formed the first half-hour of the Six O'Clock Newshour on the BBC News Channel; the subsequent half-hour consists of business and sport updates presented from within the News channel studio by one of the News Channel presenters.
As before, the bulletin still completes at 6:30pm before splitting off to regional news programmes on BBC One. On 5 October 2007 it was announced that Natasha Kaplinsky was leaving the BBC to replace Kirsty Young on Five News, taking up her new role on 18 February 2008 presenting two half-hour evening bulletins, she left at the end of the Six O'Clock News on the same day. For a while Sian Williams filled in as co-presenter, but on 3 December 2007, the programme went single-headed, with George Alagiah as main presenter, Sian Williams as deputy presenter. A few months into the new arrangement Fiona Bruce took over from Sian as the main Friday presenter. On 28 January 2008, the programme moved studios, from N6 to TC7, as part of a restructuring across BBC News. On 21 April 2008 the programmes, along with the rest of BBC News, underwent a refresh, taking on new titles and a new set. On 17 March 2013, the BBC News at Six bulletin presented by Sophie Raworth was the final programme to be broadcast from TC7 in BBC Television Centre, after BBC Breakfast and Newsnight vacated the studio in 2012.
The studio will be demolished in 2013 as part of the redevelopment of the site. On 18 March 2013, the programme moved to Broadcasting House, along with the BBC News channel and the other BBC One bulletins, began broadcasting in high-definition. Alagiah was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014, took leave from presenting duties. Raworth and Bruce were the main cover presenters during this time, which saw regular appearances from Reeta
The Vicar of Dibley
The Vicar of Dibley is a British sitcom which ran on BBC One from 10 November 1994 to 22 January 1998. It is set in a fictional small Oxfordshire village called Dibley, assigned a female vicar following the 1992 changes in the Church of England that permitted the ordination of women. In ratings terms, it is among the most successful British programmes in the digital era, with the various Christmas and New Year specials in 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 all entering the UK top 10 programmes of the year; the Vicar of Dibley received multiple British Comedy Awards, two International Emmys, was a multiple British Academy Television Awards nominee. In 2004, it placed third in a BBC poll of Britain's Best Sitcom; the series includes six charity special shorts, for Comic Relief, the most recent in 2015. Hugh Bonneville as Reverend Jeremy Ogilvy Mel Giedroyc as Mary Tinker, Alice's sister Richard Griffiths as Bishop of Mulberry Miranda Hart as Suzie, speed dating host Alistair McGowan as a radio DJ Philip Whitchurch as Reg Dwight, blues singer Nicholas Le Prevost as Daniel Frobisher, financier Brian Perkins as Rowan Williams, Archbishop of CanterburyPam Rhodes, Kylie Minogue, Rachel Hunter, Terry Wogan, Jeremy Paxman, Martyn Lewis, Darcey Bussell and Sean Bean have each appeared as themselves in one episode.
Sarah, Duchess of York, Richard Ayoade, Orla Brady, Fiona Bruce, Annette Crosbie, Johnny Depp, Ruth Jones, Damian Lewis, Maureen Lipman, Jennifer Saunders, Stephen Tompkinson and Emma Watson have made guest appearances in shorts made for Comic Relief. The series was created by Richard Curtis and written for actress Dawn French by Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer, with contributions from Kit Hesketh-Harvey; the main character was an invention of Richard Curtis, but he and Dawn French extensively consulted Joy Carroll, one of the first Anglican female priests, garnered many character traits and much information. The Vicar of Dibley has had 20 episodes, spanning two series between 1994 and 1998, ten specials between 1996 and 2007. In addition there have been six short charity specials, between 1997 and 2015; the first series was broadcast on BBC One from 10 November to 15 December 1994, consisting of six episodes. Following the first series, an Easter special and a Christmas special were broadcast in 1996.
A four-episode second series was ordered and screened between the 26 December 1997 and 22 January 1998. Subsequent episodes consisted of Christmas and New Year specials, with the four "Seasonal Specials" airing from 24 December 1999 to 1 January 2000, the two-episode "A Very Dibley Christmas" screening between 25 December 2004 and 1 January 2005, the two-part finale, "A Wholly Holy Happy Ending", broadcast during Christmas 2006 and New Year 2007; the final 2006-2007 episode, in which Geraldine marries, was publicised as the "last-ever" episode, although there have been three Comic Relief charity specials since. On 15 March 2013, French reprised her role as Geraldine Granger as part of her French and Saunders marathon on BBC Radio 2, she was interviewed by Chris Evans on his Pause for Thought section. The episodes begin and end with funny vignettes. In earlier episodes, the opening credits were followed by a humorous village scene, such as a woman knitting directly from a sheep, a man sliding off a thatched roof, or the vicar building a tower of books to amuse Alice's baby.
After the closing credits Geraldine tells Alice a joke, to which Alice either overreacts, tries to interpret the joke or understands only after Geraldine explains the joke. There are a few exceptions: in "The Window & the Weather" Alice tells a joke to Geraldine. British Comedy Awards – 1997, 1998, 2000 National Television Awards – 1998 International Emmy – 1998, 2001 British Academy Television Awards – 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 Britain's Best Sitcom – No. 3In May 2007, Richard Curtis received a BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award for his humanitarian pursuits as well as his creative work including The Vicar of Dibley. The programme is set in the fictional Oxfordshire village of Dibley. Other television programmes and films, such as Midsomer Murders, Goodnight Mister Tom, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Went the Day Well?, Father Came Too!, Foyle's War have been filmed in the village. The exterior location for David Horton's manor was not located in Turville, but in the village of Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire.
The opening titles show aerial shots of the M40 motorway's Stokenchurch Gap, the Chiltern Hills of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, the village of Turville. Only two episodes, "The Window and the Weather" and "Celebrity Vicar", plus the 2013 Comic Relief sketch have scenes set in locations outside the village, it is not clear whether other scenes, such as the speed dating session in "Happy New Year", were meant to be located in the village or not. The theme music was a setting of Psalm 23 composed by Howard Goodall and was performed by t
Sylvie Lewis is a folk musician from London, England. Lewis was born in London to BBC journalist and broadcaster Martyn Lewis and ex-model and presenter Liz Carse, her grandfather was actor Duncan Carse. She moved to the United States in 1995 and studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. After graduation, Lewis relocated to Los Angeles in 1998. Two years upon reading an article in a Los Angeles newspaper which stated that in a survey of the worst paid jobs in the US, teacher was number 2 and musician was number 1 - she decided to return to being a singer/songwriter, her self-released EP Beautiful Mess was heard by Cheap Lullaby Records. She released her debut album Tangos and Tantrums under the label, with producer Richard Swift, in 2004 and has toured in the United States and Europe since then. In 2005, she relocated to Barcelona and her second studio album and third overall, Translations was released. Lewis was interviewed on NPR's All Things Considered on September 16, 2007.
In 2008, she toured extensively with Sondre Lerche and the pair wrote a song together for his album Heartbeat Radio, for which Lewis sings backing vocals. She played at SXSW in Austin, Texas in March 2009, moved to Rome, her current residence, where she was invited to join L'Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio to interpret Pamina in their adaptation of The Magic Flute which toured Europe in 2009 and 2010. Lewis wrote songs for, performed in, OPV's recent show "Il giro del mondo in 80 giorni" at Teatro Olimpico, Rome. In 2012, Lewis began working on her fourth studio album in Los Angeles; that year, It's All True was independently released by Lewis and produced by Swift. It was subsequently voted one of the best albums of the year by Performing Songwriter magazine. 2013 tours included dates with Dawn Landes, Josephine Foster and Scott Matthew. She began 2014 by collaborating once again with Sondre Lerche on the soundtrack for the film The Sleepwalker, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival, she shared the stage with Ed Harcourt, Eleni Mandell, Jesse Winchester, Jimmy Webb, Anais Mitchell, The Weepies and Jennifer Kimball among others.
It's All True was subsequently independently released by Lewis that year. Beautiful Mess - self-released Tangos and Tantrums - Cheap Lullaby Records Translations - Cheap Lullaby Records It's All True - self-released http://performingsongwriter.com/best-of-2012/ Official website Album Review for Translations @ BreakThruRadio.com The Deli Magazine: Sylvie Lewis. BreakThru Radio- Artist of The Week
Katharine, Duchess of Kent
Katharine, Duchess of Kent, is a member of the British royal family. Her husband, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, is a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II; the Duchess of Kent gained attention for her conversion to Catholicism in 1994, the first member of the royal family to convert publicly since the passing of the Act of Settlement 1701. The Duchess of Kent is associated with the world of music and has performed as a member of several choirs. Katharine Lucy Mary Worsley was born at Hovingham Hall, the only daughter of Sir William Arthington Worsley, 4th Baronet, his wife, Joyce Morgan Brunner, her mother was the daughter of Sir John Brunner, 2nd Baronet, granddaughter of Sir John Brunner, 1st Baronet, the founder of Brunner Mond, which became ICI. She is a descendant of Oliver Cromwell. Worsley was christened at All Saints' Church, Hovingham, on 2 April 1933, her godparents were her maternal uncle Sir Felix Brunner, 3rd Baronet, Major Sir Digby Lawson, 2nd Baronet, her paternal aunt Winifred Colegate, Margaret Fife of Nunnington Hall.
Katharine did not receive any formal education until the age of 10. She was educated at Queen Margaret's School, at Runton Hill School in North Norfolk. At school she was introduced to music, was taught to play the piano and violin, which she still plays today. In her final year at Runton Hill, she was formally elected music secretary, she left school with a pass in a "very good" in English literature. The Duchess has stated her admiration for the late cellist Jacqueline du Pré in the documentary Who is Jacqueline du Pré? by Christopher Nupen. She worked for some time in a children's home in York and worked at a nursery school in London, she failed to gain admission to the Royal Academy of Music, but followed her brothers to Oxford – where they were at the University – to study at Miss Hubler's Finishing School, 22 Merton Street, devoting much of her time to music. At Miss Hubler's, she was one of only eight pupils and was instructed by three different teachers: The principal herself, Miss Hubler, taught French literature and history.
Katharine met Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, the eldest son of Prince George, Duke of Kent, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, while he was based at Catterick Camp. Edward proposed to her with a ring consisting of "an oval sapphire with a round diamond on either side." On 8 June 1961, the couple married at York Minster, the first royal marriage in that location in 633 years. The bride's father escorted her, the best man was Prince Michael of Kent. Princess Anne was one of the bridesmaids; the Archbishop of York Michael Ramsey conducted the marriage service. Guests included actors Noël Coward and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as well as members of the British, Danish, Yugoslavian and Spanish royal families. 273 yards of fabric were used to make her white silk gauze dress which had "a high neckline and long sleeves and a commanding train," and was designed by John Cavanagh. The Kent Diamond and Pearl Fringe Tiara secured her veil. Together, the couple have three children: Earl of St Andrews. Katharine had an abortion in 1975 due to German measles and gave birth to a stillborn son, Patrick, in 1977, a loss that caused her to fall into a state of severe depression, about which she has spoken publicly.
"It had the most devastating effect on me," she told The Daily Telegraph in 1997. "I had no idea. It has made me understanding of others who suffer a stillbirth."The Duchess moved to the married quarters in Hong Kong and Germany while her husband was serving in the military. The couple took numerous royal engagements on behalf of the Queen, including the Ugandan independence celebrations and the coronation of the King of Tonga; the Duchess of Kent was received into the Catholic Church in 1994. This was a personal decision, she received the approval of the Queen; as she explained in an interview on BBC, "I do love guidelines and the Catholic Church offers you guidelines. I have always wanted that in my life. I like to know. I like being told: You shall go to church on Sunday and if you don't you're in for it!" Basil Hume Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and thus spiritual leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, warned the Church against triumphalism over the Duchess's conversion. Although the Act of Settlement 1701 means a member of the Royal Family marrying a Catholic relinquishes their right of succession to the British throne, the Act does not include marriage to an Anglican who subsequently becomes a Catholic.
Therefore, the Duke of Kent did not lose his place in the line of succession to the British throne. Since her younger son, Lord Nicholas Windsor, her grandson, Edward Windsor, Lord Downpatrick, her granddaughter Lady Marina Charlotte Windsor have become Catholics, her older son, the Earl of St Andrews, father of Lord Downpatrick, married a Catholic and thus had been excluded from the succession until the Succession to the Crown Act revoked that exclusion in 2015. The Dukedom of Kent is not subject to the Act of Settlement, so St Andrews' son and heir, Lord Downpatrick, is in line to become the first Roman Catholic Duke or Earl of Kent since the Reformation. In 1978, the Duchess was hospitalised for several weeks due to "nervous strain". Reports by the BBC stated that the Duchess suffered from coe
Mary Nightingale is British newsreader and television presenter, best known for her roles within ITV, as a newsreader for ITN on ITV News, as a presenter of the daytime cookery series Britain's Best Dish in 2011. Nightingale was educated at St Margaret's School, an independent school for girls, near the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in Exeter and King Edward VI School in Totnes, Devon, she obtained a BA in English from Bedford College, University of London, now merged with Royal Holloway, University of London. Nightingale started her journalism career as a presenter and writer on World Business Satellite for TV Tokyo, she went on to work for BBC World's World Business Report as a presenter and writer, covering economic and corporate news. Nightingale worked for Reuters Financial Television in 1994 as a presenter on the early morning financial programme, she co-presented Carlton Country, a factual series about life in the countryside, as well as presenting the Holiday Programme on BBC One. In May 1994 she became the first presenter of.
In 1991, she worked as co-presenter on ITV's coverage of the Rugby World Cup in Britain and Ireland, in 1995, presented from the following tournament in South Africa on the regular evening highlights programme. In 1996, Nightingale presented BBC Two's Ski Sunday; until April 1999, Nightingale was co-presenter with Alastair Stewart of London News Network's flagship news programme London Tonight and was the sole presenter of London Today, Carlton's lunchtime news bulletin. She presented the daily late news bulletins of London Tonight. Nightingale anchored ITV's flagship holiday programme Wish You Were Here...? from 1999–2001, presented The Really Good Food Show. In 2001, Nightingale was promoted to the ITV Evening News and she left her position on London Tonight, she was part of the ITN team covering the 2001 general election. In 2002, she broke the news of the death of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Nightingale has fronted various ITV programmes including: Holidays Undercover in 2006, The Girl Who Would Be Queen, Diana - A Service of Thanksgiving in 2007.
Nightingale is an occasional presenter of the ITV Lunchtime News and ITV News weekend bulletins, acted as a relief presenter on ITV News at Ten before the programme's restructure in October 2015. In April 2011, she took over from Mark Nicholas as the host of the ITV daytime cookery programme Britain's Best Dish. On 23 September 2012 she presented William & Kate: The South Seas Tour on ITV. On 13 December 2016 it was announced Nightingale would become the sole presenter of the ITV Evening News from January 2017 onwards. In 2002 and 2004, she won TRIC Awards in the category "Newscaster of the Year". Nightingale has been married since April 2000 to Paul Fenwick, the former Human Resource director of Trailfinders, they have two children. Nightingale is patron of a number of charities including the Rainbow Trust, The Willow Foundation, Mariposa Trust and Action for Children, she is an ambassador for The Prince's Trust. She donated $32,000 to Wellbeing of Women Charity after winning $64,000 in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with Des Lynam.
Carlton Country The Holiday Programme After 5 Ski Sunday London Tonight – Newscaster London Today – Newscaster Wish You Were Here...? – Presenter ITV News – Newscaster The Really Good Food Show – Presenter Holidays Undercover – Presenter The Girl Who Would Be Queen – Presenter Diana - A Service of Thanksgiving – Presenter The Royal Wedding – Reporter Britain's Best Dish – Presenter The Queen's Diamond Jubilee – Reporter William & Kate: The South Seas Tour – Presenter Official website Mary Nightingale on Twitter Mary Nightingale at itv.com Mary Nightingale on IMDb
Heathrow Express is an airport rail link between London Heathrow Airport and Paddington. It is an open access operator; the service is operated by Heathrow Express Operating Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Heathrow Airport Holdings, with some aspects of the operation now delivered by Great Western Railway. Heathrow Express was planned as a joint venture between BAA and British Rail, but was taken over by the former following the privatisation of British Rail. Construction began in 1993; the principal works were two 5-mile single-bore tunnels and underground stations at Heathrow Central and Terminal 4. Electrification of the Great Western Main Line between Paddington and Airport Junction, where the new line diverged from the GWML, was required. A flying junction known as Stockley Flyover was constructed to connect the tunnel to the GWML fast lines. Beginning in January 1998, an interim service called Heathrow FastTrain ran to a temporary station called Heathrow Junction, where a coach took passengers the rest of the way.
The full service began on 23 June 1998, with four trains per hour running in each direction, operated using Class 332 electric multiple units built by Siemens Mobility. From 1999 to 2003, in-town check-in service at Paddington Station was provided, allowing Heathrow Express passengers checking in and dropping luggage prior to flights, similar to the service provided on Hong Kong Airport Express. Checked baggage was transported to the airport by using the luggage space at the westbound first carriage; this service was withdrawn due to low usage and high cost of operation. In 2005, a service called Heathrow Connect was started, operating a twice-hourly stopping service along the route using Class 360 Desiro EMUs. In 2008, Heathrow Express was diverted to serve the new Terminal 5 in lieu of Terminal 4; the company employs 160 staff. Heathrow Airport Holdings have an agreement with Network Rail for access paths on the GWML until 2028. Trains depart Paddington every 15 minutes from 05:10 until 23:25, there is a similar quarter-hourly service in the return direction.
At Paddington they use dedicated platforms 7, although on occasions other platforms are used. There are two stops at Heathrow: Heathrow Central, serving Terminals 2 and 3; until the opening of Terminal 5 on 27 March 2008, Heathrow Express terminated at Heathrow Terminal 4. In 2010, Heathrow Express introduced a dedicated shuttle between Heathrow Central and Terminal 4 that would be timed to connect with the main Heathrow Express service to/from Terminal 5 to improve connections between the terminals; the service uses Class 332 electric multiple units built by Siemens Mobility. These incorporate video monitors and the ability to use mobile phones throughout the journey in tunnels; the monitors are used for advertising and for news and weather updates produced by BBC World News. Heathrow Express has been well received, not least because steps were taken to reduce the environmental impact, including disguising ventilation shafts as barns. In summer 2013, all units were refurbished inside and out, including new seating configurations, luggage storage and at-seat power.
Tickets can be bought at the two Heathrow Airport stations, from ticket sellers in the arrivals halls at all terminals and from the automatic ticket machines as-well as online or using mobile applications for Android and iOS devices. Express Saver and Business First tickets are valid within three months of date of travel and return journey valid within one month of outbound journey; as of February 2019 You can now use Oyster pay as you go and contactless debit or credit cards on Heathrow Express they are the same prices as a standard Heathrow Express ticket £22.00 off peak but peak fares are higher and does not count towards daily or weekly fare capping. Oyster cards loaded with a Zone 1-6 weekly monthly or yearly Travel cards are not valid on Heathrow Express Freedom passes are not Valid on Heathrow Express and Tickets Marked Heathrow Express only are not valid on TfL rail services. Standard class travel between Heathrow terminals is free. In May 2018 TfL Rail replaced the Heathrow Connect stopping service, jointly operated by Heathrow Express and GWR.
Airport workers can get a discount through the Airport Commuter scheme operated by Heathrow Airport Holdings. Performance for the first quarter of the 2013 financial year was 94.0% PPM, meaning that percentage of trains arrived at their destination within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. The service runs along Network Rail's Great Western Main Line from Paddington to Airport Junction; the line from Airport Junction to the airport terminals is owned by Heathrow Airport Holdings but maintained by Network Rail. The line uses Automatic Train Protection; the controlling signalbox for the entire route is the Thames Valley Signalling Centre in Didcot. Great Western Railway plan to replace the existing Class 332 units with a specially modified pool of its own Class 387 EMUs by December 2019; this will mean that Heathrow Express will no longer need to find a new depot after it vacates Old Oak Common. Former units operated by Heathrow Express include: Gatwick Express Stansted Express Heathrow Connect "Heathrow Express starts running public services to Airport Junction".
RAIL. No. 323. EMAP Apex Publications. 28 January – 10 February 1998. P. 6. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699. Haigh, Phil. "Take the FastTrain for Heathrow". RAIL. No. 326. EMAP Apex Publications. Pp. 58–62. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC