SINGER Rosemary Squires has been awarded the British Music Hall Society’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Squires, who had been booked to perform at the event, held in the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, said she was overwhelmed when the honour was sprung on her.

The ball was compered by veteran broadcaster Pete Murray, who recalled that he had known Squires since they first became acquainted on the legendary 1950s TV show Six-Five Special.

Since then, he said, she had “remained faithful to her particular style and talent, so widely admired as a true professional, yet never losing her natural personality”.

After being presented with an inscribed rose bowl to mark her achievement, Squires said: “Having celebrated 60 years in the business with two special tours of national venues for the Diamond Jubilee Year, including two appearances at the Royal Festival Hall, recognition by my peer group is the icing on the cake.”

The singer then treated the audience to 25 minutes of traditional cabaret, with every number receiving a standing ovation. It was a performance acclaimed by society president Roy Hudd as “the performance of a lifetime”.

Born in Bristol and raised in Salisbury, Squires moved to London when she was 20, returning home 35 years later.

In 2004 she was awarded an MBE and counts among her many career highlights a performance at the Cadogan Hall, with Dame Vera Lynn in the audience, as well as being involved with Prince Edward’s 30th birthday event.

For 40 years, she was the voice of the Fairy Liquid advert, singing Hands That Do Dishes, and earning the accolade Queen of the Jingles in the process.