Oh, Your Majesty, that's cunning

The Queen has knighted Tony Robinson and made Rowan Atkinson a CBE.
The Queen has knighted Tony Robinson and made Rowan Atkinson a CBE.

In a cunning plan, Tony Robinson, who played Blackadder's dogsbody Baldrick, has been made a knight in the Queen's birthday honours in Britain. He trumped Rowan Atkinson, his scheming lord in the long-running comedy, who was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

Robinson, honoured for public and political service rather than entertainment, said he would use his title "with abandon to highlight the causes I believe in: the importance of culture, the arts and heritage in our society, and the plight of the infirm elderly and their carers. I also pledge that I'll slaughter all unruly dragons, and rescue any damsels in distress who request my help."

Knighthoods also went to Richard Olver, chairman of defence giant BAE Systems; Andrew Mayfield of retail chain John Lewis; Nigel Bogle, co-founder of ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty; Brendan Barber, former general secretary of the Trade Union Congress; and geneticist Professor Mike Stratton.

Menzies Campbell, the former Liberal Democrat leader, was made a Companion of Honour, while MPs Edward Leigh and Andrew Stunell become knights.

Scotland's most senior policeman, Stephen House, was knighted, and Sue Akers, the Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner who led the phone-hacking inquiry, was made a CBE.

Cinematographer Roger Deakins was also made a CBE in recognition of a career that has gained him 10 Oscar nominations for films including No Country for Old Men, Revolutionary Road and The Shawshank Redemption.

Jackie Collins, author of racy page-turners, was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to fiction and to charity. Kate Mosse, author of the best-selling Labyrinth, was another OBE.

There was also a knighthood for Wales-born Silicon Valley venture capitalist Michael Moritz, chairman of Sequoia Capital, who last year donated £75 million ($146 million) to help poor students attend Oxford University. Oxford English professor and literary critic Hermione Lee was made a dame.

Among the hundreds of others honoured were a veteran beekeeper, a boat-builder who created a barge for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and Helen Butler, for her work conserving the habitat of red squirrels on the Isle of Wight.

- Herald on Sunday

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