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Friday, 14 June, 2002, 23:00 GMT 00:00 UK
Sir Mick's 'surprise' at royal honour
Mick Jagger singing live
Sir Mick's father was the first person he told
Sir Mick Jagger has said his friends and family were amused at him being given a knighthood, while he was surprised at receiving the title.

The Rolling Stones singer, once seen as the scourge of the Establishment, added that it also led to merciless teasing as news of his honour spread.


It's a great recognition of what the band's achievements have been over the years

Sir Mick Jagger
Sir Mick, 58, said he was "very surprised" to receive the letter informing him of the honour.

The first person he told was his father, followed by his former wife Jerry Hall, with whom he is still good friends.

The Rolling Stones
Sir Mick is looking forward to the next Stones tour
"They thought it was very funny - they took a couple of days to get used to it," he said.

Jagger said he had not been waiting for a knighthood, although other pop stars from the 1960s such as Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Cliff Richard have received the honour.

"Noel Coward didn't get a knighthood until he was 80. Tom Stoppard's older than me - he didn't get a knighthood until recently," he said.

"I didn't expect to get one. I just didn't," he said.

But he ducked the question of whether or not he deserved the knighthood.

The Rolling Stones
The Stones once personified 1960s counter-culture
"I'm very happy to get one. Whether I deserve one or not is not my place," he said. "You've got to feel apart from that.

"I think the thing about honours is that you should never really ask for them, and you should never really expect them, but I think you should accept them if they are given to you.

But, he added: "It's a great recognition of what the band's achievements have been over the years we've been together."

Jagger said that his son Gabriel, four, told school friends that his father would now be able to wear armour.

"Gabriel was asked to talk about his news of the week to the class and he said: 'My father's going to be knighted. He's going to be a knight'."

Sir Mick Jagger
"I don't think it will change me," says Sir Mick
The honour would no doubt have surprised and puzzled both friends and foes of the band in their 1960s heyday, when the group seemed to personify counter-cultural depravity.

But Sir Mick said: "There's been a debate about whether I'm in the Establishment or not since about 1966, when I was first on the London social scene."

And, he added: "I don't think it will change me that much. I don't see any great changes in friends who have had similar things happen to them.

Two years off his 60th birthday, Sir Mick was also happy to lay a rumour to rest.

"I'm not going to retire," he said.

"I've no idea when I'll retire - I've not thought about it," he said - and added that he was looking forward to the next Rolling Stones tour, which starts in the US on 3 September.



Arise, Sir Mick

Other stars honoured

TALKING POINT
See also:

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