'No Edward Lear or Karl Marx': Beard award for Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen has penned a couplet to mark his gong at the National Beard Awards

Michael Rosen has penned a couplet to mark his gong at the National Beard Awards - Credit: Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen has paid tribute to his facial hair forefathers – after scooping a national prize for his beloved beard.  

The Muswell Hill author was bestowed a lifetime achievement award as part of National Beard Week 2021 (June 21-27), organised by the Beard Liberation Front.    

Michael, who last year spent 48 days in intensive care battling Covid-19, said: “I am honoured and delighted to receive this award even though, follicularly speaking, it doesn't match local specimens such as those sported by Edward Lear or Karl Marx – the one brought up in Holloway, the other buried in Highgate Cemetery.   

“It also marks the great effort I've put in throughout my life to not-shaving.

“Shaving is something that has only ever happened to me rather than by me, most recently in our great Whittington hospital when unbeknownst to me, nurses shaved me because (they said) it would prevent my tracheostomy from getting infected.

Michael Rosen said he was "delighted" and "honoured" to collect the prize

Michael Rosen said he was "delighted" and "honoured" to collect the prize - Credit: Michael Rosen

“As the Whittington saved my life, I'm not complaining. And evidence suggests, it's grown again.” 


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The National Beard Awards mark the finest of facial hair across the country, toasting “beard wearers who have made a positive impact over a sustained period”.  

In addition to his lifetime achievement award, Michael was named Hirsute Broadcaster of the Year for his beard’s standout status among peers in the media industry.

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Other winners in this year’s roster of celebrity beards include comedian Richard Osman, and England manager Gareth Southgate, who was given Hirsute Personality of the Year.

Keith Flett, the competition’s organiser, said that the decades-long commitment of Michael, who has won similar awards in previous years, gave him the edge over his rivals.  

“While Michael is an Arsenal supporter and Beard Liberation Front HQ is in Tottenham, there remains agreement on the positive impact of the Rosen beard over a sustained period which unites across North London and well beyond,” Keith said.  

After Michael made a remarkable recovery from his near-fatal Covid-19, the Muswell Hill poet’s beard has similarly spawned new life, and it is now back to its best.  

Celebrating his award, Michael penned a couplet:  

“How can I complain that I was shaved  

“When they ensured my life was saved?”

Muswell Hill poet Michael Rosen back at Alexandra Palace after spending 47 days in intensive care wi

Michael Rosen was named "hirsute broadcaster of the year" - Credit: Archant

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