Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…

Did You Know…? REFUSING HONOURS • 2004

Alan Bennett in 1973, photographed by Allan Warren [Wikimedia]

Alan Bennett in 1973,
photographed by Allan Warren [Wikimedia]

‘I’m putting the phone down now, goodbye,’ said Alan Bennett when, following the leaked document that revealed last month that many notable people in various fields had turned down honours over the years, he was asked why he had turned down a CBE in 1988 and a knighthood in 1996.

Albert Finney turned down a CBE in 1980 and a knighthood in 2000. ‘Call me Sir if you like! Maybe people in America think being a sir is a big deal. But I think we should all be misters together. I think the sir thing slightly perpetuates one of our diseases in England, which is snobbery.’ Michael Frayn finds the system ‘slightly ludicrous’. He was reported to have rejected a CBE in 1989 and a knighthood last year. In December he said, ‘If I have been offered [an honour], I couldn’t possibly say could I?’

Interestingly, Dame Helen Mirren declined the first honour she was offered: a CBE in 1996 while the Tories were in power. She recently accepted a DBE under Labour and conceded that she felt rather ambivalent about it: ‘I see letters addressed to Dame Helen Mirren. It makes me feel peculiar.’ She thought long and hard before going for it. ‘It was surprising to me, slightly, because I thought of myself as the naughty one,’ she said.

The names John Cleese, Kenneth Branagh and Ken Loach were also on the document as having refused honours. Actor and presenter Nicholas Parsons, who was awarded a CBE this year, criticizes the ‘refuseniks’ (as the media has been calling them): ‘If someone offers you an honour which is really like a gift, you don’t actually return it — I think that’s a little bit small-minded and pompous.’

Pete Postlethwaite is ‘delighted to be honoured’ with an OBE. Spielberg’s comment that Postlethwaite was ‘the best actor in the world’ has been quoted everywhere. Postlethwaite said his OBE eclipses the Hollywood director’s praise which sounds, he said, like ‘an advert for lager’.

Virginia McKenna, an actress known latterly for her tireless work in the field of animal conservation was more than happy to accept an OBE for services to art and animals and dedicated to her late husband, Bill Travers, who starred with him in the film for which she is best known, Born Free. ‘I have accepted it joyfully on behalf of my colleagues with whom I work at the Born Free Foundation and all those people worldwide who strive with us to conserve wild animals and their environment, and to reduce animal suffering in all its forms.’

The Times 21-12-03
BBC News Online 31-12-03
The Times 31-12-03
Sarah Vernon © 2004
Originally published on R&V 06-01-04
Advertisements

2 comments on “Did You Know…? REFUSING HONOURS • 2004

  1. blondieaka
    04/20/2016

    Interesting article on to be or not to be 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ace News Desk

This site has been designed to provide reports together with news events as they happen when they happen across the world

Dave Plummer Saxophonist

Wedding & Events Saxophonist - Leicestershire and Hampshire

writerchristophfischer

Books, Reviews and bookish thoughts

Creative writing and art by Charlotte Begg

Creative writing and art by Charlotte Begg

Mallory James

Writer - Author - Historian

Act Professional

A How-To Guide for Actors from Someone Who Has No Idea What She's Doing

Iris Theatre

Supporting the next generation of professional theatre practitioners

thekeystonegirlblogs

The site for 'Madcap Mabel' - Mabel Normand

AADD-UK

The site for and by adults with ADHD

Scandalous Women

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

The Naptime Author

Anne Clare explores the world of writing, one stolen minute at a time.

FRENCH PAINTERS

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHY

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

ART BLOG

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

Woman the fuck up

Hear me roar. Writer, mother, actress, maker of beautiful things, witch. Not taking any more shit and neither should you.

solentaviatrix

Dedicated to Women Pilots of the Solent

cardboardcities

illustration, colour, fashion + lifestyle blog UK

Colossal

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

Improbability Archivist

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams, Doctor Who,

WCH On This Day

Working Class History anniversaries every day

janetbotanics

Yoga classes and aromatherapy products in Andalusia, Spain.

1stangel.co.uk/loisbryanphotography/

LOIS BRYAN Photography and Digital Art

History And Other Thoughts

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

THE VIRTUAL VICTORIAN

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

Catherine Meyrick

Historical Fiction with a touch of Romance

Secret Diary Of PorterGirl

The everyday adventures of the staff & students of Old College

juxtaposed

Subject to change.

The Müscleheaded Blog

"Nothing Exceeds Like Superfluous Jejunity "

Women of History

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

Jon Danzig's World

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

The pallet Junkie

Hand crafted furniture

Dreaming Reality

If Existence is a dream, let us dream perfection....

victimfocus

Exploring best practice and research in sexual violence. A loud voice in the fight against victim blaming. Written and Managed by Jessica Eaton, Doctoral Researcher in Forensic Psychology

Teagan's Books

Now available: "Murder at the Bijou - Three Ingredients I"

Padre Steve's World...Musings of a Progressive Realist in Wonderland

Musings of a Progressive Realist in Wonderland

The History Woman's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Art by Jess Miller

sculpture and artwork

Cooking on a Bootstrap

The #1 budget recipe website

surprise saffron

relishing in life's surprises, delighting in food, travel, art

Wish I Were Here

Journeys Through Place and Time

Doron Art

A journey into my world of Painting

Taylor Revert

An anything-and-everything blog from life's number one fan

Random Facts in History

History is complex, massive, and full of strange events and coincidences. Learn with me as I hunt those out and bring them into the light.

Life with an Illness

Sharing my chronic illness journey, while helping others. I spread awareness, love, and positivity along the way!♡

%d bloggers like this: