Page last updated at 00:01 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Status Quo stars Parfitt and Rossi appointed OBEs

Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi

Status Quo rockers Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi have been appointed OBEs for services to music and charity.

The band, whose songs include Rockin' All Over The World, first had a hit in 1968 with Pictures Of Matchstick Men.

Rossi, 60, said he was "not sure we're worthy" while Parfitt, 61, said he had "given up hoping" for an honour.

Ex-Shadows bassist Jet Harris and wildlife presenter Simon King are among other entertainment figures in the New Year Honours list.

Harris, 70 - who left The Shadows in April 1962 before scoring hits as part of a duo with the band's former drummer Tony Meehan - is appointed OBE.

King, who appears on the BBC's Springwatch and Autumn watch shows, also becomes an OBE as does film producer Graham King, whose 2006 movie The Departed won a best picture Oscar.

'Wild past'

Parfitt said the pair deserved their honours because of their hard work ethic and "what we have done for charity".

The band have helped to raise funds for charities including the Prince's Trust, the Heart Foundation and Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy.

"I thought there had been a chance that we may have got something but I had kind of given up hoping," he said.

Francis Rossi on Top of the Pops in 1988
You start off rebellious, a teenager in a band, but you end up being part of the establishment
Francis Rossi

"Particularly with my wild past, if they'd reviewed some of my old newspaper cuttings.

"To be perfectly honest, with all the hard work we have put in over the years, I accept it graciously."

He and Rossi - the two remaining original members of Status Quo - had tried to keep the news a secret from their fellow bandmates, he said.

"I think the rest of the band knew something was up - we dropped some hints.

"We would walk around the dressing room and talk about what we were going to eat and say, 'just One Boiled Egg'.

"The clues were all there."

Rossi, meanwhile, said he was "so made up it's ridiculous".

"My partner [Parfitt] is even more excited about it - he's probably blubbing.

"You start off rebellious, a teenager in a band, but you end up being part of the establishment."

He added: "No matter how you feel about these things, it means that people have recognised what we've done."


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Earlier this week, Status Quo were named the hardest-working band in British music by PRS for Music, the body that collects royalties for songwriters.

It said they performed to more than 250,000 fans at 27 arenas in 2009 - more than any other British band.

Meanwhile, film composer Craig Armstrong, 50, whose scores include Moulin Rouge! and Romeo and Juliet, is also appointed OBE.

And Channel 4 controller of film and drama Tessa Ross, 48, a key figure in the success of Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire, becomes a CBE.

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