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Arise, Sir Billy: Big Yin gets knighthood in honours list

Judy Murray, Emeli Sande and JK Rowling have also been honoured by the Queen.

Billy Connolly has been given a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honour's List in recognition of his services to entertainment and charity.

The Big Yin, who will turn 75 in November, will receive the honour and become a Sir 14 years after he became a CBE in 2003.

He joins more than 80 Scots receiving top honours from the Queen, including Judy Murray, JK Rowling, Emeli Sande, Professor Anton Muscatelli, former Labour MSP Dr Richard Simpson and north east businessman Professor Charles Skene.

It comes after Connolly won an award for outstanding contribution to Scottish television at the Royal Television Society (RTS) Scotland awards last month.

On learning of his knighthood, Sir Billy said: "I think there will be a big reaction. I think some people will say, 'It's high time.'

"And some of them will say, 'What the hell's that all about?' I don't know what to prepare for."

He added: "It hasn't really dawned on me yet. It won't really dawn on me until Glasgow people start calling me 'Sir Billy' - or whatever they come up with."

The world renowned Glaswegian continued: "I feel like I should be called Lancelot or something - Sir Lancelot, that would be nice.

"Sir Billy doesn't quite have the same ring."

The comedian described it as "an honour" and added: "I'll accept it, honourably."

Sir Billy: Comedian said knighthood was 'an honour'.
Sir Billy: Comedian said knighthood was 'an honour'. STV

Having entertained audiences across the world in a career spanning five decades with his irreverent brand of observational comedy, the Big Yin had huge murals put up in his honour in his native Glasgow this month.

He has also been the focus of two hugely popular documentaries on his life this year, one broadcast on STV in April and one for BBC two days ago.

In 2013, he revealed had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which led to him no longer being able to play his beloved banjo and guitar.

After his diagnosis, Connolly chose to mock his symptoms on stage by playing the song Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On.

Seven years ago, he was given the highest honour Glasgow could bestow upon him - the Freedom of the City.

Secretary of state for Scotland David Mundell said: "Billy Connolly's knighthood celebrates a truly great Scot, the irrepressible 'Big Yin' who has entertained millions, but also his dedicated charity fundraising.

"He is an ambassador for both humour and humanity, and this recognition is richly deserved.

"Judy Murray's OBE rewards her dedication and energy in inspiring future generations to play sport."

"My congratulations, too, go to JK Rowling, someone who has made Scotland her home and who supports so many good causes here," he added.

Here are some of the people who made the honours list:

JK Rowling

JK Rowling: Author received an OBE 16 years ago.
JK Rowling: Author received an OBE 16 years ago. © Marco Secchi/Rex Features

One of the most successful authors of all time, Harry Potter creator Rowling has now become a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour.

Rowling, who received an OBE in 2001, has been honoured for both her services to literature and philanthropy, following her founding of two charities.

She set up a charitable trust, Volant, which supports projects that alleviate social deprivation, particularly supporting women, children and young people at risk, and also established Lumos to help institutionalised children.

The latest honour comes days before fans of her boy wizard creation mark 20 years since Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone was first published.

The Harry Potter books went on to captivate a worldwide audience and become the best-selling book series in history.

Judy Murray

Services to tennis: Judy Murray honoured with OBE.
Services to tennis: Judy Murray honoured with OBE. SNS Group

The mother of two famous sons, tennis coach and former captain of Great Britain's Fed Cup team Judy Murray is being recognised for her work with an OBE.

She has been recognised for her efforts in growing the sport and for encouraging more women into sport generally, as well as her charity work.

World number one Sir Andy Murray, her youngest son, was knighted in the New Year Honours List, while his brother Jamie was made an OBE last year.

Emeli Sande

Emeli Sande: The 30-year-old Brit Award winner becomes an MBE.
Emeli Sande: The 30-year-old Brit Award winner becomes an MBE.

Singer-songwriter Sande, raised in Alford, Aberdeenshire, has been made an MBE for her services to music.

The Brit Award-winner Sande won acclaim with her debut album Our Version Of Events in 2012 and later that year performed at the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics.

The 30-year-old singer has also carried out charitable work to help those suffering from cancer and HIV/Aids.

She sang on the 2014 Do They Know It's Christmas recording to raise funds for the Ebola crisis in west Africa.

Professor Anton Muscatelli

Knighthood: Glasgow University principal receives top honour.
Knighthood: Glasgow University principal receives top honour. PA

The principal of Glasgow University has been knighted for his services to higher education and economics.

Professor Muscatelli, a world-class economist, chairs the Standing Council on Europe which advises the Scottish Government on securing Scotland's relationship with the EU.

He said: "I'm absolutely delighted to receive this honour, but this is, of course, an award for the whole of the University of Glasgow as much as it is for me."

Other notable Scottish figures honoured by the Queen include former Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon, who becomes a CBE, and the Very Rev Dr Lorna Hood, former moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Kirk's longest-serving woman parish minister until she retired last year, now an OBE.

Also getting an OBE is Hugh Shaw, the secretary of state's representative for maritime salvage and intervention.

He made headlines last year when he oversaw the operation to recover the Transocean Winner oil rig that ran aground on Lewis.

Mel Young, the co-founder of the Big Issue in Scotland and the founder of the Homeless World Cup, is made an MBE for services to sport and social entrepreneurship.

A full list of the Scots receiving honours from the Queen can be read below:

https://stv.tv/news/scotland/1391409-queen-s-birthday-honours-full-list-of-scots-honoured/ | default

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