Actor John Hurt made knight in New Year Honours

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Media captionJohn Hurt told BBC Look East's Stewart White he was "amazed and delighted" to be honoured

Actor John Hurt has been made a knight in the New Year Honours for his work in some 150 films over a career spanning more than 50 years.

The 74-year-old said he was proud of the knighthood but thought the time for such an accolade had passed him by.

The actor, who lives in Norfolk, has won four Baftas, including Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema.

He has also been nominated for two Academy Awards for his roles in The Elephant Man and Midnight Express.

Other screen roles have included Ollivander, the wand maker in the Harry Potter films, and the character Kane in the 1979 film Alien whose stomach famously exploded open with an alien inside.

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Image caption He played the role of Caligula in I, Claudius
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Image caption He starred alongside Sinead Cusack in the Playboy of the Western World
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Image caption In Crime and Punishment, he took the role of Raskolnikov

The actor was appointed the first Chancellor of the Norwich University of the Arts in 2013.

Discussed knighthood

He told BBC Look East that when he set out as a professional actor he had no idea he would become a star and it took him a long time to recognise he had achieved this.

Playing Richard Rich in A Man for All Seasons with Paul Scofield as Sir Thomas More began a golden period, he said.

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Image caption John Hurt first appeared on television screens in the Alan Clark Diaries series

Leading roles in Crime and Punishment, Playboy of the Western World and I, Claudius followed.

He came to television screens in the Alan Clark Diaries and more recently appeared in the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings films.

He said he did not know what the knighthood entailed but had discussed it once with fellow star Sir Albert Finney.

"Albert said you've got to understand you have to do all the things that a knight has to do," he said.

"But he never told me what those things were."

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