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Last Updated: Friday, 31 December, 2004, 00:02 GMT
Comic Sykes leads showbiz honours
Eric Sykes

Veteran comedian Eric Sykes, actress Anna Massey and rock star Roger Daltrey are among the stars recognised by the Queen in the New Year Honours.

Sykes, 81, a sitcom star of the 1960s and 70s, was made a CBE, as was Massey, 67, a screen and stage favourite since the 1950s.

Daltrey, singer with 1960s and 70s rock legends The Who, became a CBE for services to music and charity.

Broadcaster Alan Whicker and playwright Alan Plater were also made CBEs.

Children's illustrator Quentin Blake became a CBE while the OBE roll-call includes actors Tom Wilkinson and Geoffrey Palmer and pop producer Pete Waterman.

Anna Massey in He Knew He Was Right
In our profession, you get quite a lot of rejections so to receive something like this is lovely
Anna Massey

Only Fools and Horses creator John Sullivan and author Leslie Thomas are among the others from the entertainment world to be made OBEs.

Sykes, who is deaf with deteriorating eyesight, is best-known for his TV comedy Sykes, starring opposite Hattie Jacques, from 1960-79.

He was made an OBE in 1986 and his latest honour comes after MPs tabled a Commons motion earlier this year for further recognition.

In recent years, Sykes has attacked the quality of modern comedy, saying: "Watching television is worse than not being able to see."

He also recently appeared on the West End stage in Caught In The Net and starred opposite Nicole Kidman in 2001 movie thriller The Others.

Massey, meanwhile, has been a stalwart of British productions, often in supporting roles.

Roger Daltrey (right) on stage with The Who bandmate Pete Townshend
It is really great to be honoured by my country
Roger Daltrey (right)

Her films have included 1960's Peeping Tom, Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy in 1972, comedy The Tall Guy in 1989 and The Importance of Being Earnest in 2002.

She also had acclaimed TV parts in The Mayor of Casterbridge, Rebecca and Hotel du Lac - for which she won a Bafta in 1987 - as well as numerous stage roles.

"I am absolutely thrilled to receive this," she said. "It was a lovely surprise to have my name put forward.

"We live in a country full of tradition and this is a wonderful tradition. In our profession, you get quite a lot of rejections so to receive something like this is lovely."

Daltrey said he was "so pleased" to get his honour. "It is really great to be honoured by my country," he said.

Alan Whicker in 1966

The 60-year-old star formed The Who in 1964 and went on to have hits including My Generation, Pinball Wizard and I'm A Boy.

He is also patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust, which has raised more than 2m with concerts at the Royal Albert Hall.

Quentin Blake is best-known for his illustrations for Roald Dahl books while classical pianist John Lill is also made a CBE.

Alan Plater has written TV series including Dalziel and Pascoe, A Very British Coup, The Barchester Chronicles, The Beiderbecke Affair, Oliver's Travels and Fortunes of War as well as numerous works for radio and theatre.

Tom Wilkinson's OBE comes after roles in The Full Monty, Shakespeare in Love and his Oscar-nominated role in In the Bedroom.

Quentin Blake

And Geoffrey Palmer is a star of TV sitcoms including As Time Goes By, Butterflies and The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin, as well as the film Mrs Brown, starring Dame Judi Dench.

Pete Waterman's OBE is for writing and producing more than 200 hit singles in 25 years for acts from Kylie Minogue to Steps.

Stage star Ray Cooney is also made an OBE, as is composer Karl Jenkins while actor Hugh Lloyd and TV doctor Mark Porter are made MBEs.


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