Saturday, December 30, 2006

Alternative awards list - those who turned down an honour

The Honours List rears it ugly head again. Don't get me started. It is a ridiculous sham. Some people, often those who have already been richly rewarded in life, are given an award for doing their job. Others, who deserve one, don't get one.

So let us raise an end of year glass to those who have turned down an honour:

Dawn French
Jennifer Saunders
David Bowie
Benjamin Zephaniah
Alan Bennett
Albert Finney
George Melly
Geraldine McEwan
Hank Marvin
Jim Broadbent
John Cleese
John Cole
Jon Snow
Keith Richards
Kenneth Branagh
Michael Frayn
Nancy Banks-Smith
Nigella Lawson
Paul Scofield
Peter Alliss
Polly Toynbee
Michael Winner (the only time he'll appear on a accolade list from me! And I nearly didn't put him on this list because he actually turned down the award because it wasn't grand enough for him!)

There is a full list here, and we ought to also raise a glass to the grandaddy of awards refusniks:

L. S. Lowry, artist (declined OBE in 1955, CBE in 1961, knighthood in 1968, and CH in 1972 and 1976; holds the record for the most honours declined)


  1. Hello there. I found this site (and, more specifically, this post) courtesy of a link on You can thank or curse them at your leisure.

    I just don't know. I can never make my mind up about these things (honours). On the one hand, they are, without the merest hint of a doubt, utterly pointless.

    On the other hand, however, they are also - without the merest hint of a doubt - utterly pointless. And, to a fair minded person like me, this presents something of a problem.

    It is their very pointlessness that finds me unable to muster the requisite rage to lambast them. Why bother? And it is their very pointlessness that makes them laughably attractive, in a British sort of a way, to the casually malign observer. Me.

    So, to turn down something which is utterly pointless to begin with seems like an extravagantly pointless thing to do. And do you not think there is just the teensiest bit of "look at me, I'm principled I am" about it? A slimey pat of self-congratulation on the backs of the ranks of the smug. That sort of thing.

    I can smell the self-satisfaction that emanates from those on your list - and it is a scent that smells remarkably like money. Show me a tramp turn down one of these things down, and I'll show you a man of honour.

    Incidentally, lest you think I am a complete gripe, my grandfather received an honour from the queen and it made him immensely proud. And it made me immensely proud, too.

    I leave you now, with my argument in tatters, a perfectly broken man.

    Kind regards etc...

  2. I certainly thank, rather than curse, the Daily pundit for bringing you here, as your comments are charming. Thank you. One thing I would add is that the likes of Dawn French have never said that they turned down an honour (in public) - it was revealed in a leaked document.

  3. The Dawn French thing - fair point. Damn.

    Nice to have "met" you in space, Happy New Year.

    Kind regards etc...

  4. You too. Happy New Year to you too. I hope things are well over there in County Cork. About three years ago we spent a very pleasant week at a cottage in Ballylickey.