Knighthood is ‘pinch me’ moment for Sir Tommy Steele

The singer and actor was honoured at Windsor Castle for his long career in showbusiness and charity work.

Helen William
Wednesday 01 December 2021 17:29
Sir Thomas Hicks – better known as the entertainer Tommy Steele – after being kinghted (Steve Parsons)
Sir Thomas Hicks – better known as the entertainer Tommy Steele – after being kinghted (Steve Parsons)

Entertainer Tommy Steele has said being made a knight is the “highlight of the highlights” of his 65-year career in showbusiness.

The 84-year-old, who in his early career was regarded as Britain’s first rock and roll star and teenage pop idol, was honoured for services to entertainment and charity.

After collecting his honour from the Princess Royal at a ceremony in Windsor Castle Sir Tommy said it had been like “a dream”.

Of the moment he received his knighthood, Sir Tommy said: “(I thought) I’m in the throne room at Windsor Castle.

Tommy Steele in 1966 (PA)

“I am being honoured and I am going to walk out a knight.

“Getting in the car (to go home) and I will be thinking ‘go on pinch me and say it is all a joke.’

“It is wonderful.”

The singer and actor rose to fame with ’50s hits like Singing The Blues, which earned comparisons with Elvis Presley.

His film roles included Arthur Kipps, the lead in movie musical Half A Sixpence in 1967.

Sir Thomas Hicks (better known as the entertainer Tommy Steele) is made a Knight Bachelor by the Princess Royal at Windsor Castle (PA)

Sir Tommy, born Thomas Hicks in Bermondsey, south-east London, has also appeared on Broadway and in the West End.

He was made an OBE in 1980.

Sir Tommy said the Princess Royal spoke to him about his career “and she knew all about it”.

He said it had been a time of “magic” for him and added: “It has been like a very important first night in the theatre.

“It is like you are blessed by something that has been happening for centuries and then all of a sudden, you find that as an actor you have got the part.”

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