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A knighthood for Olympics' Danny Bolye?—'Why I want to stay plain Mr'

PUBLISHED: 19:59 17 December 2012

Plain 'Mr' Danny Boyle

Plain 'Mr' Danny Boyle

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Olympic ceremony mastermind Danny Boyle switched on the Christmas lights in London's East End at Britain's first urban community land trust development—then spoke of his reluctance to accept a knighthood.

Danny meets young fans... Hartman sisters Jesica, 8, and Keira, 6, from Mile EndDanny meets young fans... Hartman sisters Jesica, 8, and Keira, 6, from Mile End

Widespread media speculation suggested today (Mon) that the famous film director has already turned down the title which would have been in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

Last Thursday, he laughed at the suggestion of a title when lighting up a 15ft Christmas bow on the front of the old St Clement’s Hospital—just yards from his home in Mile End.

“New Year Honours?—that’s not for me,” he said. “It’s not my cup of tea.

“I was very proud to have done the Olympics Opening ceremony.

St Clement's alight for ChristmasSt Clement's alight for Christmas

“But that world of titles is not for me.

“Plain ‘Danny’ suits me. I’m even embarrassed when people address me as plain ‘Mr’ Boyle. Just ‘Danny’ is fine.”

Whitehall’s Arts & Media Honours committee was reported to have approached the Oscar-winning director, but was turned down. Downing Street today refused to comment.

Danny joins legendary director Alfred Hitchcock who turned down a CBE in 1962—although Hitchcock eventually accepted a knighthood in 1979.

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson declined and OBE in 2001, followed by author JG Ballard refusing a CBE in 2003. Painter LS Lowry turned down several honours between 1955 and 1976, including a knighthood, while John Lennon returned his MBE in 1969 which he accepted four years earlier when the Beatles were at the height of their fame.

But on Thursday, plain ‘Mr’ Boyle was more concerned with illuminating the big red bow at St Clement’s—appropriately at the beginning of the Bow Road.

Jessica Hardman, aged 8, and her little sister Keira, 6, from Mile End, had the thrill of their lives when he asked them to throw the switch for him.

The big red bow on the front of the building symbolises the six-acre site being given as a gift to the East London Community Land Trust to help solve the chronic housing shortage.

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