ibnlive » World

Jun 20, 2007 at 11:52am IST

Rushdie to become Sir Rushdie

London: Author Salman Rushdie, who was forced into hiding for a decade after Iran's spiritual leader ordered his assassination following the publication of the book Satanic Verses, and England's cricket legend Ian Botham will be knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours on Sunday.

Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran had issued a 1989 order for Muslims to kill Rushdie because his book allegedly insulted Islam.

Meanwhile, Botham’s inclusion came as a surprise for many because the cricketer has been denied the honour in a previous occasion for being suspended for smoking marijuana on a cricket tour to the West Indies in 1986.

NOTEWORTHY: Rushdie said, “I am thrilled and humbled to receive this great honour.”

"I am thrilled and humbled to receive this great honour, and am very grateful that my work has been recognised in this way,” Rushdie was quoted by news report as saying.

Besides the Booker Prize for Midnight's Children in 1981, he won the "Booker of Booker", a special award honouring the best novel in the 25-year history of the prize in 1993.

Well-known human rights activist NRI Shami Chakrabarti, will be named Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) along with CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, Glastonbury Fetival founder Michael Eavis and comedian Barry Humphries.

However, one of the most remarkable names on the list is former KGB agent Oleg Gordievsky, who also lived for years under the threat of assassination after his cover was blown and he was arrested while in the Soviet Union.

He was released due to a lack of evidence and he escaped by secretly boarding a train to Finland.

Other famous names on the list include singer Joe Cocker, soccer player Teddy Sheringham, Agent Provocateur fashion label founders Joseph Corre and Serena Rees, and actor Peter Sallis, the voice of Wallace in the "Wallace and Gromit" films.

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