ARISE, SIR SOUEEZEBOX; Jimmy Wins Knighthood with a Little Help from His Friends

By Wilson, Jim | Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), December 31, 1998 | Go to article overview

ARISE, SIR SOUEEZEBOX; Jimmy Wins Knighthood with a Little Help from His Friends


Wilson, Jim, Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)


THE first Laird of Auchtermuchty becomes a knight of the realm today - a Hogmanay victory for people power.

Scots music legend Jimmy Shand becomes Sir Jimmy in the New Year's Honours List, published this morning.

Fans of the accordionist, who will be 91 in January and whose career has spanned seven decades, launched a campaign to win him a knighthood in April.

Today, their goal is achieved as Shand's name nestles with almost 1000 others on Tony Blair's second December honours list.

But the former miner from East Wemyss, Fife, has remained his endearing modest self.

His son, also Jimmy, said: "He'll still ask you to call him Jimmy."

The honours list includes a host of celebrities, sports stars and politicians, as well as unsung heroes from every walk of life across Britain.

There was a CBE for the comedian Lenny Henry and OBEs for the singers David Essex, Tom Jones and Dusty Springfield.

Last night, Sir Jimmy, who is suffering from a chest infection, spoke of his delight at his knighthood and dedicated it to the loyal fans who have stuck by him.

He said from his Auchtermuchty home: "It's quite an honour. This is an award not just for me but for Scottish dance band music and for Fife."

His son said: "He was told a while ago he was being considered for it but we were told to keep it a secret. The news has given him a boost because his health is not too good at the moment."

The Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs urged Shand's fans and those he helped through his charity work to lobby Downing Street for a knighthood.

They also enlisted the help of Scottish dance music associations in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US, where Shand has sold millions of records.

The drive won backing from Scots Home Affairs Minister and Fife MP Henry McLeish, who wrote to Scots Secretary Donald Dewar to support it. The knighthood comes on top of the MBE he was awarded in 1972.

At the younger end of showbusiness, Full Monty star Robert Carlyle, 37, gets an OBE for his services to drama.

It's the latest accolade for the versatile Glaswegian, who has also starred in Trainspotting as the marauding thug Begbie and as TV's Hamish Macbeth.

He said last night: "I am truly delighted. It's a great honour, especially for doing a job that I love."

Nigel Hawthorne, famed as Sir Humphrey Appleby in Yes Minister, becomes a knight in his own right.

And while once again there is no award for film legend Sean Connery, one of his successors as James Bond, Roger Moore, has been honoured with a CBE for his work with children's charity UNICEF. Actress Maureen Lipman was also awarded a CBE.

Dusty Springfield, 59, who is seriously ill with cancer, was given her OBE for her services to popular music.

The star, most famous for the hit single I Only Want To Be With You, said: "I'm deeply and genuinely honoured. This is the biggest surprise of my life."

There was also an honour for the Singing Kettle. Husband and wife team Cilla Fisher and Artie Trezise and colleague Gary Coupland are among the Scots awarded MBEs.

Artie, 51, said: "This is the first public acknowledgement of all the work we have done."

He puts the show's success down to its simplicity - and the fact that adults love it as much as their children.

"If the adults didn't like it, they wouldn't take their kids to see it," he said.

The show's mixture of song, dance and comedy has battled with the influence of computer games and the pop industry - and won. Their videos have sales figures second only to Walt Disney.

Scots bowls star Richard Corsie gets an MBE. Richard, the three-times world singles champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, said: "I am very, very pleased to be honoured and very proud that my services to bowls have been recognised in this way. …

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