Margo Leadbetter, CBE

And Hugh Laurie's honoured, too

Hugh Laurie and Penelope Keith have been awarded gongs in the New Year Honours.

The stars are the only comedy names on the list, that also honours Rod Stewart with a CBE and Zara Phillips with an MBE.

Laurie, who has become an A-list star in the States for his starring role in House, gets an OBE. He won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Dr Gregory House earlier this year.

His honour comes for services to drama, rather than a 20-year comedy career, which started in the Cambridge Footlights where he met long-term comedy partner Stephen Fry.

Meanwhile sitcom star Keith, famed for her portrayal of snobbish characters in The Good Life and To The Manor Born, gets an MBE.

She has been president of the Actors' Benevolent Fund since 1990, taking over after the death of Lord Olivier. In 2002, she was High Sheriff of Surrey, being only the third woman to hold the post.

Keith began her acting career in repertory theatre, but early on she decided to concentrate on comedy.

'I was very tall and very plain - I wasn't going to get very far on looks - so I thought I'd better be the funny girl,' she said

Published: 30 Dec 2006

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