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ARKIB : 15/06/2003

Bond's Roger Moore knighted by Britain's queen, award for Beckham

LONDON June 14 - James Bond star Roger Moore was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in her birthday honours list published Saturday, while there was also a gong for troubled footballer David Beckham.

Moore was knighted for his tireless work for children's charity Unicef for which he has been a goodwill ambassador for the past 12 years.

Now to be known as Sir Roger, the 75-year-old becomes the second James Bond knight, his predecessor in the role Sean Connery was knighted three years ago.

On receiving his title, Moore said: ``I am so proud to be the recipient of this great honour. I am doubly proud because this is an acknowledgement of Unicef, the United Nations Children's Fund, an organisation I am honoured to work for as an international goodwill ambassador.

``I accept this title on behalf of the many thousands of volunteers and workers at Unicef who dedicate their lives to helping the millions of children in need around the world today.''

The actor, who recently had a pacemaker fitted after collapsing on stage during a performance on New York's Broadway, is resting at home in Monaco, France.

Moore starred in seven Bond films, beginning with ``Live and let die'' in 1973 and ``The man with the golden gun'' in 1974 and ending with ``A view to a kill'' in 1985.

Later this year Moore will be asked to kneel before the queen in a special ceremony where she will place a sword on his shoulders confirming his knighthood.

A host of other show business stars and sporting icons were also honoured.

Gordon Sumner, better known as Sting, received a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) as did Dave Gilmour, lead guitarist with Pink Floyd.

Gilmour recently donated 3.6 million pounds (US$6 million, five million euros) from the sale of his mansion to a project providing housing for the homeless.

Actress Kristin Scott Thomas, Oscar-nominated for her role in ``The English patient'' and who starred in ``Four weddings and a funeral'' was given an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the Diplomatic List.

On the sporting front, Beckham ended a week in which he was practically forced out of his employers Manchester United, with an OBE, the same honour given to England cricket batsman/wicketkeeper Alec Stewart.

Wales' Colin Jackson, who recently retired after a decade of dominating athletic's sprint hurdling, receives a CBE.

Britain announced earlier this week that the French managers of top English football clubs Arsenal and Liverpool were to be awarded honorary OBEs.

Elsewhere, Bombay-born Anish Kapoor, one of the most influential sculptors of his generation won a CBE and Jane Goodall, regarded as the world's foremost authority on chimpanzees having closely observed their behaviour for the past 25 years, became a Dame in the Diplomatic List.

There was even an OBE in the Diplomatic List for Harry Potter. Not the boy wizard but a man of the same name for his work as a natural resources and rural livelihoods adviser in Malawi.

All honours are awarded by Queen Elizabeth twice a year on the recommendation of the government to individuals in recognition of exceptional achievements or services to Britain.

The vast majority of the awards are to the nation's unsung heroes, such as long-serving public sector workers, or to officials. - AFP

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