CBE for comedy mastermind

John Lloyd honoured

John Lloyd, the producer behind a string of comedy hits from Blackadder to QI, has been appointed a CBE in the New Year Honours

The 59-year-old, who was also behind Spitting Image and Not the Nine O'Clock News, was given the honour for services to broadcasting.

He started his career in 1974 as a radio producer with the BBC, where he created or co-created The News Quiz, The News Huddlines, To The Manor Born and Quote... Unquote. He also co-wrote two episodes of the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy with his old university friend and flatmate Douglas Adams – making Lloyd the only person ever to have collaborated with him on a Hitchhikers script.

In 1979, Lloyd moved to TV, with the creation of Not the Nine O'Clock News. Four years later, he produced the first series of Blackadder, and the following year created Spitting Image with Peter Fluck and Roger Law for ITV.

In 1987, he eased off work, directing only the odd TV commercial, until 2003 when he returned with a new TV show: QI

Lloyd has narrowly avoided being a big star himself, having presented pilot episodes of both Have I Got News For You (which was then tentatively titled John Lloyd's Newsround) and QI. However, in both cases he decided other people would make better hosts, and stood aside for Angus Deayton and Stephen Fry. He does, however, present the Radio 4 series, The Museum of Curiosity. In 2007, he experienced a rare flop: launching an internet comedy company Comedy Box, which closed after two years.

Meanwhile Lloyd’s long-term collaborator Howard Goodall has also been awarded a CBE in today’s honours.

Starting with Not The Nine O’Clock News, he has provided music for a string of comedy hits, including Blackadder, Red Dwarf, Mr Bean, The Thin Blue Line, The Vicar of Dibley and The Catherine Tate Show. As well as providing the theme tuned to QI, he has also appeared twice as a panelist.

The 52-year-old is also a composer of musicals and of choral music. His honour is for his contributions to music.

And Burt Kwouk, who shot to fame in the Pink Panther films before becoming a regular in Last Of The Summer Wine has been made an OBE at the age of 80.

Today’s honours list has been described as ‘understated’, featuring few showbiz stars. Singer Annie Lennox has been honoured for her work with Oxfam, while actors David Suchet and actress Sheila Hancock have also been recognised for their contribution to British life.

Published: 31 Dec 2010

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