Inventor of Tunnock’s teacake given knighthood in honours

Boyd Tunnock, 86, received the award as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Shelley Kerr will recieve a MBE. <strong>SNS</strong>
Shelley Kerr will recieve a MBE. SNS

The man who invented the Tunnock’s Teacake said he is “deeply honoured” as he is knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Boyd Tunnock, 86, head of the Uddingston-based confectionery firm, has been recognised for services to business and to charity.

He invented the Tunnock’s Teacake in 1956 following the success of the firm’s other sweet treats such as the Caramel Wafer and Snowball.

The teacake has since become so popular that giant dancing teacakes featured in the opening ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.


In 2017, scientists in Renfrewshire launched a Tunnock’s Teacake “into space” attached to a weather balloon, which reached an altitude of 121,414ft.

Sir Boyd said: “When you get to my age, very few things surprise you but this certainly did and I am deeply honoured and grateful to Her Majesty the Queen.

“Our primary purpose in life is to help others who are less fortunate than ourselves. Our country is full of very worthwhile causes that we can all make a contribution to in some way.

“Often just a little of your time is more valuable than money.”


Recalling his previous awards, Sir Boyd joked that he had given them biscuit-themed alternative names.

“In 1987 I got the MBE – My Biscuits are Enjoyable – and in 2004 I got the CBE – Caramel Biscuits are Excellent,” he laughed.

“A knighthood is the premium award which Sir Arnold Clark had, I knew Arnold reasonably well and a very nice chap but very worthy of it because he has a fantastic organisation.

“I’ve just got a wee biscuit factory here.”

The teacake-inventor said that his knighthood is a great honour and one he will share with his family and the workforce at the factory.

“I’ll just have to make sure I live long enough to get used to it,” he joked.

Thomas Tunnock first established his bakery in Uddingston in December 1890 and it has grown into a firm with global reach.


The 250,000 sq ft factory, which employs 550 people, is now located in Old Mill Road in the South Lanarkshire town, around 100 yards away from where Thomas Tunnock opened his first shop more than a century ago.

Mr Tunnock is also known for his charity work and has long been a supporter of the RNLI and Salvation Army as well as Malin Court Housing Association, which runs a home for the elderly in Turnberry, Ayrshire.

In recent years he donated £250,000 to help purchase a new St Abbs lifeboat after the RNLI closed the station, and attended the launch of the new boat, named the Thomas Tunnock, in 2016.

Meanwhile Scotland women’s football manager Shelley Kerr has been awarded an MBE for services to women’s football.

Ms Kerr is currently in France with her squad as she prepares to lead the Scottish team to victory in their World Cup campaign.

The team will kick off their debut Women’s World Cup finals campaign with a clash against England.

They face the Lionesses on Sunday in Nice, and will also take on Japan and Argentina in Group D.

Meanwhile Oscar-winner Olivia Colman said she is “totally thrilled” to be made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, while stage actor Simon Russell Beale will be knighted.

Elvis Costello, 64, and former frontman of The Undertones Feargal Sharkey, 60, have both been made OBEs.

Authors Joanna Trollope and Lee Child have been made CBEs, while adventurer and television star Bear Grylls, 44, has been made an OBE.

You're up to date

You've read today's top stories. Where would you like to go next?