ROGER Daltrey, the flamboyant rock icon who sang on Who classics such as My Generation and Pinball Wizard, received a CBE yesterday for his services to music, the entertainment industry and charity.
Daltrey, 60, who is a patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust, said it was "really great to be honoured by my country". The singer has raised more than 2 million for the charity by organising concerts at the Royal Albert Hall.
A trust spokeswoman said: "Roger is the most amazing spokesperson for the charity and has helped so many young people. He became involved with the trust because a lot of The Who’s success was down to teenagers supporting the band, and he wanted to give something back to them."
Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend are the only surviving members of the original Who line-up. Keith Moon, the drummer, died in 1978 and bassist John Entwistle died in 2002 on the eve of a United States tour.
Daltrey was not the only musician to be surprised by an award after decades in the industry. The veteran Scots duo the Alexander Brothers, who shot to fame with the country song Nobody’s Child in the 1960s, said they were "totally gobsmacked" to be awarded MBEs.
The musical careers of Tom and Jack, from Cambusnethan, near Wishaw, span almost half a century. Yesterday, Tom, 70, joked that the accolades were "nae bad for two painters from Wishaw".
He said: "We’ve known for some time that a lot of our fans were sending letters to Downing Street. But to get it was just completely out of the blue. It’s a high point in anybody’s career."
The brothers had instant success with Nobody’s Child, which saw them outsell the Beatles north of the Border. They have since released around 60 LPs, as well as scores of CDs and DVDs, and have a strong fan base throughout Scotland, the United States and Australia.
Pete Waterman, the record producer, songwriter and DJ, was awarded an OBE. He was the biggest player in 1980s pop and was part of the Stock, Aitken and Waterman "Hit Factory" which made stars of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Rick Astley and Bananarama.
"I’m shocked, I’m staggered and I’m speechless," said Waterman. "It’s difficult to believe that something I started 35 years ago as a part-time job would lead to this.
"To me, it’s a sign our industry has come of age, because there’s only a couple of other people in the music business who have received this type of honour."
Actors honoured included Geoffrey Palmer and veteran comedy star Eric Sykes, the co-writer of the classic radio series The Goon Show.
Palmer, 77, who has starred in some of Britain’s best-loved sitcoms for three decades, from Butterflies to The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, was awarded an OBE.
He rose to fame in 1976 playing Jimmy, the eccentric brother-in-law of Leonard Rossiter’s Reggie Perrin. Two years later, he was in the hit Carla Lane sitcom Butterflies, as Wendy Craig’s grumpy husband, and went on to appear alongside Dame Judi Dench in As Time Goes By.
Sykes, a TV and radio comedy actor for more than half a century, was awarded a CBE. He is best known for his television sitcoms with Hattie Jacques - the pair played brother and sister in a partnership that ran from 1960 until her death in 1980. The show, Sykes, regularly pulled in audiences of 17 million.
Often forgotten in a celebrity-dominated world, writers were also honoured. John Sullivan, a leading television scriptwriter whose successes include Only Fools and Horses, Citizen Smith, Heartburn Hotel and Micawber, was awarded an OBE.
And Ray Cooney, a prolific writer of West End comedies and farces whose hits include Chase Me Comrade, Run For Your Wife and Funny Money, also received an OBE.
The playwright Alan Plater, who contributed to television series such as Z Cars and The Beiderbecke Affair, and to dramatisations such as The Barchester Chronicles, was awarded a CBE for his services.
The veteran actress Anna Massey, who has appeared in numerous plays including The Doctor’s Dilemma, The School for Scandal, The Glass Menagerie and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, was awarded a CBE.
Massey, 67, said she was thrilled. She added: "In our profession you get quite a lot of rejections, so to receive something like this is lovely."
In the world of journalism, there was a CBE for the veteran globe-trotting TV commentator Alan Whicker, who, for about half a century, has roamed far and wide in search of the eccentric, the ludicrous and the socially revealing aspects of everyday life.
Alexandra Shulman, editor of the British Vogue magazine, was made an OBE. Since her appointment in 1992, she has helped Vogue’s circulation to soar to more than 200,000 copies a month.