Kingston’s Dame Jacqueline Wilson has been awarded the Special Award by BAFTA, recognising her contribution to children’s television through adaptations of her writing.

During her writing career of more than 45 years, she has created some of the nation’s best-loved children’s characters, including Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather.

Dame Jacqueline said: “I’m so pleased and proud to be given this very special award.”

Her books have sold more than 40 million copies in the UK and have been translated into 34 languages.

They have also been adapted for television, including the story of Tracy Beaker for the BBC, Girls in Love for ITV and The Illustrated Mum, which was broadcast on Channel 4 and was awarded an EMMY and two BAFTAs.

Helen Blakeman, chairwoman of the BAFTA Children’s Committee, said: “Jacqueline Wilson’s impact on children’s media has touched and inspired both audience and industry alike, with popular characters such as Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather providing the inspiration behind much-celebrated, long running series and single event pieces.

“Behind the scenes, Jacqueline has played an integral role in this process, allowing broadcasters and creators both the freedom and support necessary to adapt her stories into award-winning and often ground-breaking television.

“With this year marking the fifteenth anniversary of the Tracy Beaker-inspired drama series, there is no better time than now to award Jacqueline as 2017’s Special Award recipient.”