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Tuesday, 19 March, 2002, 14:35 GMT
Sir Ben: Knighthood beats Oscar
Sir Ben Kingsley collecting his knighthood
Sir Ben Kingsley was knighted at Buckingham Palace
Sir Ben Kingsley has told the Queen that being knighted is better than winning an Oscar.

Sir Ben said he was shaking and that his heart was pounding as he received his honour at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

Sir Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast
Sir Ben's role in Sexy Beast won him an Oscar nomination
He will now travel to Los Angeles as Sir Ben to hear whether he has won the Academy Award for best supporting actor at Sunday's ceremony.

"I told the Queen that winning an Oscar pales into insignificance - this is insurmountable," he said after the historic ceremony, which also saw actress Lynn Redgrave made an OBE.

"I've been nominated for an Academy Award but I will be sitting there, in Los Angeles, thinking I'm a knight bachelor," Sir Ben said.

"I'm fascinated by the ancient, by mythology, by these islands and their tradition of story telling.

"I feel that I am a story teller and to receive a knighthood is really recognition of that."

Lynn Redgrave
Lynn Redgrave: "We're certainly having a family party"
Sir Ben is up for the best supporting actor award for his role as a foul-mouthed, hardened criminal in Sexy Beast.

He has already won one Oscar, for best actor, for his role as Gandhi in 1982.

He has enjoyed a career spanning more than four decades, and has found new fans thanks to Sexy Beast and recently won acclaim for his role as Anne Frank's father in a TV mini-series.

Lynn Redgrave and singer and actress Barbara Dickson were made an OBEs, while veteran actress Googie Withers was made a CBE at the same ceremony.

Redgrave said that although she has lived in Los Angeles for more than 20 years, she still felt "very British".

"I don't think you can ever take the Brit out of a Brit. I like my Englishness and loose-leaf tea and tea pots," she said.

'Grand'

She is part of the acting dynasty that includes sister Vanessa, brother Corin, father Sir Michael and nieces Jemma Redgrave, Natasha Richardson and Joely Richardson.

"We are all keen to be individuals but we all love being Redgraves - it's just grand," she said. "We're certainly having a family party."

Redgrave had an Oscar nomination for Gods and Monsters in 1998, and won a Golden Globe Award in 1966 for her performance in the title role of Georgy Girl.

Googie Withers
Googie Withers began acting at the age of 12
She was made an OBE for her services to acting, the cinema and the British community in Los Angeles.

Googie Withers, 85, said it was "lovely" to be collecting her honour alongside Redgrave, with whom she appeared in Oscar-winning 1996 film Shine.

"I appeared six times with her father which I consider to be highlights of my career," she said.

Barbara Dickson was made an OBE for services to music and drama.

The 53-year-old Scottish performer had a string of hit singles during the 70s and 80s, including January February and I know Him So Well, with Elaine Page, taken from the musical Chess.

She also appeared in the critically acclaimed TV series Band of Gold.

See also:

31 Dec 01 | Film
Sir Ben's Sexy honour
10 Mar 99 | Entertainment
Kingsley: The craft of acting
25 Oct 01 | Film
Kingsley wins best actor award
13 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Redgraves hand over archive
31 Dec 01 | Scotland
OBE for musical actress Dickson
26 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Barbara's bonanza year
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