Consumer champion Martin Lewis has been made a CBE in the latest New Year Honours list for services to broadcasting and consumer rights.
But the finance expert said he almost missed out after Buckingham Palace sent his nomination to an old address.
He told the PA news agency: “I was genuinely very surprised. I knew some people had nominated me but it was way past the time when you’re supposed to receive a letter.
“I then found out they had sent the letter to an old address and when I hadn’t responded they got in touch, so I was properly gobsmacked.”
The founder of the Money Saving Expert website added: “The timing of this is pertinent and I’m not surprised because it’s been a difficult couple of years for everyone.”
It comes after a period in which he got to grips with helping households and businesses navigate the pandemic and ensuring people could claim what they were entitled to under various Government support schemes.
He said: “I had to learn quite a lot in a short time in helping to communicate to the public what help they could get and where they needed to seek it, along with communicating with the Government to point out the holes in what they were offering, and, let’s be clear, there are holes.”
Asked whether he thinks the latest honour, which follows an OBE in 2014, will lead him to be less critical of the Government, he said he will not let up his campaigning.
“Whilst I do not have an axe to grind with any political party, I will grind my axe over specific issues. I was grinding my axe after I got my OBE in 2014 and I hope to be grinding my axe until my hair is white.”
The broadcaster added: “Now my hope is all our lives soon return to normal, and my little girl, who was just a baby when I got presented (with) the OBE, can this time join my wife and I, when I get to receive this priceless honour.”
Mr Lewis is also founder of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute charity, and presenter of the Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV.