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Comedy veterans centre stage in Queen's Birthday Honours

Billy Connolly, June Whitfield and Julie Walters among celebrities honoured by the Queen

Comedy legends top the bill in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Billy Connolly, known as The Big Yin, has received a knighthood for his services to entertainment and charity at the age of 74.

Billy Connolly, who has been awarded a Knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday June 16, 2017.

The Glasgow-born comedian and actor, who has Parkinson’s Disease, rose to fame using his own experiences to captivate, delight and move his devoted fans. His knighthood comes just months after an ITV documentary celebrating his career and his impact on comics such as Peter Kay.

There are damehoods for Ab Fab and Terry And June star June Whitfield, 91, who also appeared in Last of the Summer Wine, and for Julie Walters, 67, who starred with the late Victoria Wood in numerous comedy creations as well as securing accolades for her acting on stage and screen. Gone With The Wind star Olivia de Havilland has also been made a dame as she prepares to turn 101.

Others to be honoured include Harry Potter author J K Rowling becomes a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for her services to literature and philanthropy and TV favourite Gloria Hunniford, who gets an OBE for services to cancer charities. In 2004, she lost her daughter Caron, who was also a TV presenter, to breast cancer.

Chart-topping singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran receives the MBE for services to music and charity.

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