Tuesday, 30 April 2013
MY ORDER OF MERIT Now that there is a vacancy, following the death of Baroness Thatcher, here are some recommendations for Her Majesty: in alphabetical order 1. Peter Ackroyd, CBE (* 1949) for his biography of London 2. Rowan Atkinson (* 1955) for Blackadder, Mr Bean and Johnny English 3. Trevor Baylis, OBE (* 1937) for the wind-up radio 4. David Beckham, OBE (* 1975) on spec, now he is fabulously rich and might do good with it 5. Tony Benn, PC (* 1925) for conviction politics 6. Alan Bennett (* 1934) for observing Englishness 7. Sir Richard Branson (* 1950) for trying to shame the government into making the national lottery not-for-profit 8. Richard Davenport-Hines (* 1953) for writing about interesting things 9. Dame Judi Dench, CH, DBE (* 1934) for Mrs Brown, and M 10. Clarissa Dickson-Wright (* 1947) for a healthy attitude to, and sheer enjoyment of, food and the countryside 11. Colin Firth, CBE (* 1960) for A Single Man and the King’s Speech 12. Jackie Fleming (* 1955) for elegantly witty cartooons 13. Stephen Fry (* 1957) for Peter’s Friends and increasing awareness of depressive illness 14. Barry Humphries, CBE (* 1934) for Dame Edna and Sir Les 15. Tony Juniper (* 1960) for services to the planet and parrots 16. Sir Ian McKellen, CH, CBE (* 1939) for civil rights campaigning and making difference acceptable 17. Jan Morris, CBE (* 1926) for Conundrum, and other writings 18. Frances Dominica Ritchie, OBE (1942) for Helen & Douglas House 19. Joanne (J. K.) Rowling, OBE (* 1965) for making small children read 20. Dame Maggie Smith, DBE (* 1934) for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 21. Rowan Williams, Baron Williams of Oystermouth, RVC, PC (* 1950) for Lost Icons 22. Shirley Williams, Baroness Williams of Crosby, PC (* 1930) for religious and political integrity 23. Robert Winston, Baron Winston of Hammersmith (*1940) for popular science and work on fertility 24. Victoria Wood, CBE (* 1953) for brilliant songs David Attenborough and David Hockney are disqualified, as they are already members.