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House star Hugh Laurie joins New Year Honours (2006)

Hugh Laurie in House

Feature by Jack Foley

HUGH Laurie, the star of hit US TV show House, has been made an OBE for his services to drama.

The honour recognises more than 20 years in showbusiness for the actor, who first found fame in UK TV sketch show, A Bit of Fry and Laurie alongside Stephen Fry.

Since then, Laurie has achieved global fame and millions of fans, as well as a Golden Globe for his performance in acclaimed medical drama, House.

Indeed, it’s that show that has helped transform Laurie from quirky comedian to world-wide hearthrob.

In it, he plays the eccentric doctor Gregory House, a brilliant diagnostician with a penchant for being rude to his staff and patients.

After just two seasons, the show has become one of America’s most critically acclaimed dramas, winning numerous awards and coming consistently high in the TV charts. A third season is currently airing in the States, which will be screened on Channel 5 in 2007.

The success of House is a long way from Laurie’s origins in A Bit Of Fry and Laurie – but is just reward for the talent and dedication the actor has shown throughout his career.

Laurie first entered the world of entertainment after a stint at Cambridge, where he became a member of the famous Footlights theatre review troupe and met fellow actress Emma Thompson.

She introduced him to Stephen Fry, who became his long-term comedy partner. A Bit of Fry And Laurie first aired in 1986 and ran on and off for nine years.

Laurie also appeared in all three Blackadder series and notched up several film roles, including Peter’s Friends, 101 Dalmatians, Maybe Baby and Stuart Little.

He was also one of the stars of the remake of Flight of the Phoenix, alongside Dennis Quaid, which helped to establish his credentials as a more serious dramatic actor.

Since taking on the role of House, Laurie has become one of the highest-paid actors on TV, as well as one of its most acclaimed.

Further New Year’s Honours were awarded to singer Rod Stewart, percussionist Evelyn Glennie, jazz pianist George Shearing, biographer Michael Holroyd, actress Penelope Keith, director Peter Greenaway, actor Johnny Briggs (aka Mike Baldwin in Coronation Street), presenter June Sarpong, pianist Imogen Cooper, composer and conductor John Rutter, fellow composer Guy Woolfenden, poet Christopher Logue, biographer Hilary Spurling, London’s Old Vic theatre chief executive Sally Greene, singer and broadcaster Archie Fisher, and writer and singer Shirley Collins.

Further details to follow…