Call him Sir Roger: James Bond actor Roger Moore receives knighthood

Thursday, October 9th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LONDON (AP) _ He's Sir Roger Moore now but the actor, who received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, says he doesn't mind if fans still refer to him as 007. Rock star Sting also was honored by the queen.

Moore, 75, was knighted not for his portrayal of the unflappable British secret agent James Bond but for his charity work, including 12 years as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund.

``Her Majesty said I'd been involved with charities for a long time but she supposed that people will always call me 007,'' Moore said. ``I said that I didn't mind because I was paid money for it!''

Earlier this year, Moore had a pacemaker fitted after collapsing on stage during a performance on Broadway. He is the second James Bond actor to be knighted _ Sir Sean Connery was honored three years ago.

``I had the worst attack of stage fright in my life,'' Moore said of his meeting with the queen at Buckingham Palace.

``When you realize the gravitas of the situation, it's slightly nerve-racking,'' he said. ``It was like a costume drama and I was Sir Ivanhoe _ a part I have played, incidentally.''

The current Bond, Pierce Brosnan, collected an honorary Order of the British Empire in July. It was honorary because he is an Irish citizen.

Moore made seven Bond movies between 1973 and 1985, the same number as Connery, and previously starred in hit TV shows ``The Saint'' and ``The Persuaders.''

Rock star Sting also met the queen Thursday and was made a CBE, or Commander of the British Empire, a lesser honor than a knighthood.

Announced at the palace as ``Gordon Sumner, known as Sting,'' the 51-year-old singer and songwriter took a bow before the queen.

``I've never met the queen before. It's a little bit like a dream,'' said Sting, formerly a member of the hit rock group The Police.

``I'd be surprised if she knows my music _ I know (Prince) Charles listens to it _ but there's always hope.''

The honors are bestowed by the queen but largely selected by the government. The recipients were announced in June.