England

Sir Richard Stilgoe knighted at Windsor Castle

  • 4 October 2012
  • From the section England
Sir Richard Stilgoe
Image caption Richard Stilgoe said he wanted to be known as just plain Richard

Songwriter Sir Richard Stilgoe has been knighted for his charity work which has seen him raise millions of pounds.

The lyricist, from Surrey, was honoured by the Princess Royal at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle.

Sir Richard, who lives near Oxted, used his old home to set up the Orpheus Centre, which gives disabled students the chance to try performing arts.

Playing down his efforts, he said he was simply doing the "right thing" and wanted to be known as plain Richard.

"I've been slogging away for years and years and nobody's given me anything to do with music which I think shows strong critical faculties on their part," he joked after the ceremony.

His knighthood was announced in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in June.

The musician became a household name in the 1970s for his clever wordplay and for composing music for BBC One shows like Nationwide and That's Life.

He has worked as a lyricist for Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage hits Starlight Express, Cats and The Phantom Of The Opera.

He has also featured in numerous BBC radio shows and hosted TV quiz programmes, as well as appearing frequently as the guest in Dictionary Corner on Channel 4's Countdown show.

Sir Richard was born in Camberley but raised in Liverpool, studying in Cambridge before working in cabaret and for a while as an advertising copywriter.

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