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Poliakoff and Humphries lead arts honours

Published April 17, 2008

Playwright/director Stephen Poliakoff and actor/writer Barry Humphries lead the names of arts personalities named in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2007, both receiving CBEs. Other stars to be honoured include singers Emma Kirkby, Stuart Burrows and Rosalind Plowright, and actors Carmen Munroe, Peter Sallis, Sylvia Syms and Bill Pertwee.

Poliakoff's career has seen him equally happy writing for either stage or screen. His work for television includes Gideon's Daughter, Friends And Crocodiles and The Lost Prince, while his most recent London stage work was a revival of Sweet Panic in 2003. Performer Humphries is best known for playing his alter-egos Sir Les Patterson and Dame Edna Everage, though his West End credits also include Oliver!, in which he played both Mr Sowerberry and Fagin, and Maggie May.

Former toymaker Torquil Norman, the founder of the Roundhouse Trust, which saved and renovated the North London venue, was awarded a knighthood for services to the arts and disadvantaged young people. Soprano Kirkby, who made her London debut in 1974 and specialises in Early music, was made a Dame for services to music.

Burrows, whose work with the Royal Opera includes Don Pasquale and La Sonambula, and Plowright, who will appear in the Royal Opera's Ring Cycle this autumn, both receive OBEs for services to music. The distinction of OBE was also given to former Executive Director of Arts for Arts Council England, Kim Evans.

Syms, who receives an OBE for services to drama and charity, made her stage debut at the Haymarket in the 1954 production of The Apple Cart. Her last London appearance came at the London Coliseum in 2005, when she starred in On The Town.

Sallis also receives an OBE for services to drama. Though he is best known as the voice of Wallace in the Wallace And Gromit animations, or for his long-running role in The Last Of The Summer Wine, he has a number of London theatre credits to his name in productions as varied as Three Sisters, Timon Of Athens, The Rivals and Rhinoceros. Monroe, who is known for her directing as well as her acting, also receives an OBE for services to drama.

Actors Bill Pertwee and Glen Murphy are both honoured with MBEs for their charitable services.

MA

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