Arbitrary knighthoods for all!

Bruce Forsyth though? Really?

Apologies. SIR Bruce Forsyth. Something has gone very wrong in the world. I always feel that fresh batches of knighthoods and dame-making (doesn’t have the same ring to it…) are a decent barometer of where society is headed, and on this year’s evidence we’ll all be searching out the gin and the aspirin in no time! (N.B. Rantraverelax now comes with 100% more gags recycled from the previous post. It’s for the environment.)

Our Brucie has been knighted alongside Robert Edwards, a man who pioneered IVF and thereby directly enabled a good many people to be alive, and Jenni Murray, who has been fighting for the feminist cause as well as about 15 billion others since before I was born. As far as I can tell, Brucie has achieved his knighthood simply by making it this far. How many people heard the announcement “Beloved entertainer and showman Bruce Forsyth has…” and thought the next words were “…been knighted.”

None. Everyone thought “died”. Everyone. Sorry Brucie.

But the longevity of the man is outrageous! He must be powered by the same radioactive batteries that have kept the Voyager probes going. In many ways Sir Bruce does resemble the ageing spacecraft: he’s looked way past it since the mid-1980s, he takes sixteen hours to get any kind of coherent message to humanity and the world is consistently amazed when he carries on functioning. I was genuinely shocked to find out he is only 83.

“Functioning” is actually a fairly strong term for what it is that the venerable knight actually does; which is read a simple autocue. Badly. And then try to dance. Badly. Which sounds harsh but it’s the truth. I like Our Brucie, he looks like Dick van Dyke’s long lost grandfather, and for that he should be commended, but a knighthood? Too far. Especially when said knighthood was largely the result of a Facebook campaign. I didn’t know we got to vote on who gets major honours now…

If I were Robert Edwards I’d be flinging my own poo in the general direction of Buckingham Palace right now, apoplectic at being overshadowed by the bastard love child of Dot Cotton and some wax.

“I created life you pricks!”

Sir Bruce aside, there were further comedy awards dished out by her maj this year, and they both involve cricket. Notably, Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook have been awarded an OBE and MBE respectively. Strauss is the beneficiary of the higher award, presumably for some kind of charity work because lord knows his cricket is terrible. The only possible cricket related honours he could receive would be for services to shattering stumps, perhaps services to suicidal wafts outside off stump, conceivably even services to getting trapped plumb AGAIN.

Cook on the other hand must feel rather hard done by, although if Brucie and Strauss are anything to go by then it seems the more resoundingly successful you are at your job the lower the award you receive, so if he wants an OBE or higher he’d best stop with this double century imperious batting nonsense and start working on some serious ducks.

The one thing going for Andrew Strauss, however, is that he has given possibly the most British response ever to receiving a prestigious accolade from the Queen. His thoughts:

“It is a great honour to receive this accolade. It’s one of the better items of post you get through the letterbox – certainly better than a gas bill.”

Better than a gas bill. Inspired.

Who missed out?


Some deserving souls who, looking at the actual list, should have been safe bets. Feel free to add your own, British or otherwise…

Sir Ryan Giggs – Services to monogamy

Dame Sarah Palin – Services to vocabulary

Sir Benedict XVI – Services to children (sorry)

Sir David Cameron – Services to society

Sir Simon Cowell – Services to modesty

Dame Melanie Phillips – Services to sanity

Sir Brian Souter – Services to tolerance. Wait a second…