Arise, Sir Ringo! The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr to be knighted in New Year's Honours

Legendary The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr is to be given a knighthood for services to charity and music in the Queen's New Year's Honours list.

26th December 2017
/ By Andrew Wooding

The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr GETTY

The 77-year-old Liverpudlian icon – real name Richard Starkey – visited Buckingham Palace in 1965 at the height of Beatlemania to receive an MBE from Her Majesty.

But now he will join the ranks of bandmate Sir Paul McCartney by being knighted, according to The Sun on Sunday

"It's richly deserved, if a little overdue," said a friend of the drummer.

McCartney once said in an interview: "The last time I went by she was out. Otherwise, I would have popped in and said 'Look, love, Sir Richard Starkey.'

"Because I do think it's about time."

Ringo was already a success on the 60s music circuit with touring band Rory Storm and the Hurricanes before John, Paul and George asked him to join the band in 1962 after record producer George Martin complained to their manager Brian Epstein of drummer Pete Best's poor skills.

Just a few months later, The Beatles enjoyed their first number one chart success and Beatlemania began.

After The Beatles received their MBEs, 52 years ago, John Lennon claimed the band smoked marijuana in one of the palace toilets.

The Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds singer later returned his honour in protest of the Vietnam War.

But Ringo said of the move: "I was never sending mine back. It meant a lot."

John Lennon and George Harrison died before the chance of an honour was given.