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Last Updated: Friday, 15 June 2007, 23:36 GMT 00:36 UK
Veteran actor given MBE accolade
Johnny Beattie
Johnny Beattie appeared in the BBC drama River City
River City star Johnny Beattie has been appointed an MBE in the Queen's 2007 Birthday Honours list.

The Glaswegian received the accolade for his lifelong services to entertainment and charity.

Charles Gray, former convener of education at North Lanarkshire Council, was awarded a knighthood for services to education in Scotland.

James Douglas, former general manager of Glasgow Underground, was honoured for his services to transport.

Det Ch Supt John Carnochan of Strathclyde Police received the Queen's Police Medal.

Since leaving a shipyard job as an electrician, Mr Beattie's showbusiness career has spanned more than 55 years - and is still going strong.

I am very happy about it. It was a lovely surprise
Johnny Beattie

The father-of-four, from Govan in Glasgow, currently plays pensioner Malcolm Hamilton in BBC soap River City.

He said: "It must be a medal for good attendance. I am a good one for acronyms - and told my daughters the award stood for 'Mr Beattie, Entertainer'.

"But it's very nice, and I am very happy about it. It was a lovely surprise."

The widower, who now lives in Glasgow's west end, started out writing comedy after leaving Fairfield shipyard in Govan in his 20s.

Favourite causes

He went on to perform in the musical hall and variety showtime tradition, alongside the likes of comedians Rikki Fulton and Stanley Baxter.

He has appeared in programmes such as Taggart, alongside stars Liam Neeson and Billy Connolly, and as host of the long-running show Now You See It.

Mr Beattie has also raised thousands of pounds for charity. One of his current favourite causes is St Margaret's Hospice in Glasgow, which helps terminally ill cancer patients.

He added: "It's wonderful to be doing something that you enjoy doing.

"I really feel I have been blessed so far, and everything is going better than ever."

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