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Thursday, February 18, 1999 Published at 17:00 GMT


Queen honours Full Monty star

Robert Carlyle: Says the Queen asked him "What are you doing here?"

Full Monty star Robert Carlyle and veteran singer David Essex have been given OBEs by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Carlyle commented of the occasion: "It feels very nice, it is a great honour. The Queen was very sweet and nice."

The actor said that he joked with Her Majesty about his latest film role. When she questioned him about what work he was doing, he replied: "Well, I have been trying to kill James Bond this week."

Carlyle 37, is playing the villain Renard opposite Pierce Brosnan's secret service agent in the next Bond film, The World Is Not Enough.

[ image: David Essex: Plans to keep his OBE with his football medals]
David Essex: Plans to keep his OBE with his football medals
His close cropped hair - cut especially for his role in the film - created a stir at the palace. Carlyle said when the Queen first saw him she asked: "How did you get in here?"

As well as finding international fame in the acclaimed The Full Monty, Carlyle also starred in Trainspotting, as well as a host of television dramas.

David Essex, who was given his award for his work for the charity Voluntary Service Overseas, said: "It is something very special. I will put it with all the football medals that I won when I was a boy."

Essex had many hit records in the 1970s and 1980s including Hold Me Close, Gonna Make You A Star and A Winter's Tale.

The artist Bridget Riley was made Companion of Honour, making her part of a very select group - no more than 65 people may be Companions of Honour at any one time.

Miss Riley, 67, creates abstract paintings. Her work became known as Op Art in the 1960s. She plans to stage a major exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery later this year.

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