The Yorkshire Post says: Awards are for all as Sir Michael Palin is knighted

AS the knight who said '˜ni' in television's Monty Python, Sir Michael Palin was already accustomed to the title before the Sheffield actor received formal recognition in the New Year honours.

Sheffield actor Michael Palin has been knighted in the New Year honours.
Sheffield actor Michael Palin has been knighted in the New Year honours.

However, while the 75-year-old will always be synonymous with the classic comedy which defined his early career, his knighthood is in fact for his wider contribution to travel, culture and geography, hence its inclusion on the diplomatic list.

By bringing the world to the people in his easy-going style, he has enabled viewers to broaden their horizons – and become more adventurous – as a result of his broadcasts.

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And although the list will inevitably be overshadowed by the political fallout from the knighthood given to veteran Tory MP John Redwood, a prominent Brexiteer, this should not detract from a far more diverse set of awards.

From the stars of sport to unsung heroes like the Thai cave rescuers and those who responded so heroically to last year’s terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, these are all individuals whose personal success – or actions – have had a lasting impact and made a difference to others.

This also applies to the Yorkshire recipients from a pioneering NHS hand surgeon to all those volunteers recognised for giving something back to their local community. And while most recipients will be flattered, even embarrassed, to be honoured so publicly, the country should recognise the unstinting efforts of those who go beyond the call of duty to help, encourage and inspire others. Just like the boundless Sir Michael Palin, they, too, have been on the journey of a lifetime.