Entertainment & Arts

Colin Firth made CBE in Queen's Birthday Honours List

Colin Firth
Image caption Firth won an Oscar earlier this year for playing The Queen's father King George VI

Colin Firth, already enjoying an Oscar-winning year, has been appointed a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

The actor, who won an Oscar for playing King George VI in the King's Speech, was recognised for services to drama.

It comes 16 years after he achieved heart-throb status as Jane Austen's brooding hero, Mr Darcy, in the BBC TV adaptation of Pride And Prejudice.

His other films include Bridget Jones's Diary, Fever Pitch and the Abba-themed movie musical Mamma Mia.

Firth also picked up a Bafta and numerous other awards for portraying the Queen's father in the King's Speech. The monarch herself may now present him with a CBE medal at a future Buckingham Palace investiture.

Radio 4 Woman's Hour presenter Jenni Murray and veteran actress Janet Suzman were both made dames in the honours list.

And Strictly Come Dancing host Bruce Forsyth received a knighthood for services to entertainment and charity.

'Incredible honour'

Sir Bruce told the BBC he was "so happy and so relieved in a way", after years of speculation about when he would receive a knighthood.

"When I got the CBE [in 2005] there'd been speculation every year and I think there's been too much talk about it, so I'm thrilled at last it has happened," the entertainer said.

"I feel very proud that my career hasn't been in vain. I just love getting out there and performing and this is a reward that I never expected and hope I'm worthy of."

The 83-year-old joked he would now insist his Strictly Come Dancing co-host, Tess Daly, would have to refer to him as "Sir Bruce" in future.

"What's the point in being a Sir if you can't be shown a bit of respect? Especially from Tess - she'll have to curtsey when we meet in the middle of the stage."

BBC director general Mark Thompson said: "I'm delighted that Bruce has received this honour, just as his millions of fans will be."

Singer Bryan Ferry, whose hits with Roxy Music include Love Is The Drug and Virginia Plain, said it was "a great honour" to receive his CBE.

Creators of The Goodies, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor, who both received OBEs for services to light entertainment, said they were thrilled with the recognition, after spending years poking fun at the honours system.

"It's quite ironic considering how rude we were about the honours all those years ago," Garden said.

Brooke-Taylor added: "I'm very, very pleased and not to say a little surprised - but very pleasantly so. At first I thought it was my son trying to con me."

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Media captionJulia Donaldson was made Children's Laureate in the same week as receiving her MBE

The award means that the entire Goodies trio have now been given the honour. Colleague Bill Oddie was given his OBE in 2003 for services to wildlife conservation.

OBEs also go to Nowhere Boy director and artist Sam Taylor Wood, veteran actor Bernard Cribbins, who narrated The Wombles, and BBC Radio 2 DJ "Whispering" Bob Harris.

The broadcaster said: "It's an incredible honour. I never would have dreamt it."

Author Julia Donaldson, who is best known for The Gruffalo and was appointed the new Children's Laureate earlier this week, received the same honour. Donaldon said her husband had teased her about her successful week.

"It was shortly after I'd heard I was going to be the Children's Laureate, and then a card came, or a letter came, through the letterbox on House of Commons notepaper, saying that the prime minister was going to recommend me to the Queen, so that was very exciting.

"And then, the next day, I got a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury, and my husband said, 'Maybe it'll be God next!' You... don't know what's going to come through the letterbox next."

Also in the arts world, Donmar Warehouse artist director Michael Grandage, National Portrait Gallery director Sandy Nairne, artist Gillian Ayres and textile designer Celia Birtwell were appointed CBEs.

Artists Gillian Wearing and Edward De Waal received OBEs while novelist Kate Atkinson, whose book Case Histories has been adapted for BBC One, was made an MBE.

Mark Huffam, whose film production credits include Saving Private Ryan and Mamma Mia, becomes a CBE, and there is an OBE for Alex Hope, who runs visual effects company Double Negative and won an Oscar this year for his work on Inception.