Alan Bennett

Alan Bennett

2006 So You Think You're Funny? finalist
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From Dame to CBE

Barry Humphries honoured

Dame Edna Everage creator Barry Humphries has been made a CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours.

Meanwhile comedy scriptwriters Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, and Last Of The Summer Wine actor Sallis all become OBEs.

Humphries, who also responsible for slobbish ‘Australian cutural attache’ Sir Les Patterson, was given the award for services to entertainment.

‘I'm deeply honoured. At last I can address Sir Les Patterson and Dame Edna Everage on an improved footing,’ the 63-year-olds said.

Melbourne-born Humphries started his showbiz career in Australia before heading to the UK in 1959, where he became friends with the leading players of the Sixties comedy boom including Dudley Moore, Peter Cook, Alan Bennett, Spike Milligan and Willie Rushton.

He contributed to Private Eye and acted in several London productions before the creation that changed his life, Dame Edna, made her UK debut in the 1976 West End show Housewife Superstar!

Wallace and Gromit actor Peter Sallis received his OBE for services to drama.

The 86-year-old said: ‘I'm flattered. I don't even dream about these things, which is probably just as well. I didn't particularly expect it. I suppose if I didn't get one I wouldn't have lost any sleep, but it means a lot to me.’

Clement, 69, and La Frenais, 70, have been honoured after a comedy writing career spanning more than 40 years. Their breakthrough came in 1964 with The Likely Lads, and they were also responsible for Porridge, and Auf Wiedersehen Pet.

Sylvia Syms, the veteran actress who has appeared in a number of comedies, including playing Tony Hancock's wife in The Punch and Judy Man, also becomes an OBE.

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Published: 16 Jun 2007

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