OBE for Roy Hudd

... and for Nicholas Parsons

Veteran comedian Roy Hudd has been awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours.

He is joined by Just A Minute host Nicholas Parsons and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire's Chris Tarrant in the list.

Hudd has been entertaining the nation for almost 35 years ­ 28 of them fronting Radio 2's topical News Huddlines.

The 67-year-old is also an expert on the era of music hall, with a couple of books to his name, and recently appeared in Coronation Street as undertaker Archie Shuttleworth.

On being awarded the OBE for services to entertainment , he said: "I don't care whether it's the British Empire, the Croydon Empire, the Chelsea Palace or the Lewisham Hippodrome, I am just delighted to be thought of."

Parsons, though now primarily known as the slightly pompous chairman of Radio 4's 36-year-old panel game, has enjoyed an even longer period in the spotlight.

He was made resident comedian at London's famous Windmill Theatre for six months in 1952 ­ a strip joint that forged the careers of many budding comics fresh from wartime concert parties.

He performed in many revues of the Fifties and Sixties, and was the Straight Man to Arthur Haynes for a decade, when the now-forgotten comic was ITV's biggest draw.

Now 75, and still a regular face at the Edinburgh festival, Parsons has been honoured for his services to drama and broadcasting.

The Honours system has come in for renewed scrutiny in recent weeks after a series of leaks ­ including the fact that a number of stars, such as John Cleese, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, have refused gongs.

Published: 31 Dec 2003

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