Let’s face it, you don’t usually associate Celebrity Big Brother housemates with the New Year Honours recipients, right?
But then again, Scottish actor James Cosmo was never your typical CBB star!
The Game of Thrones and Braveheart actor, who appeared in Celebrity Big Brother at the start of this year, has been awarded an MBE for services to acting and drama.
James, 69, was introduced to a new audience of fans thanks to his CBB stint, but he was already well known to many as a veteran of the screen, with nearly 200 roles to his name.
As well as starring opposite Mel Gibson in 1995’s Braveheart, he has appeared in Trainspotting, Emma, Troy, Wonder Woman and Highlander, to name just a few.
He also played Jeor Mormont in Game of Thrones and has TV credits including Sons of Anarchy, Silent Witness, Death In Paradise and Midsomer Murders.
James’ decision to enter the CBB house in January was a surprise to many, given his hugely successful and ongoing career… because, let’s face it, the show is often seen as a way for faded stars to kickstart a comeback, or lesser known stars to find greater fame.
When he was evicted from the house in fourth place, even host Emma Willis asked him why he did it.
James, however, had a simple reason.
He said: “Obviously there are financial things, mainly, but I also wanted to come in and be part of something very few people experience.
“To be stuck in a room with 18 people to begin with… it was fascinating to see how people from all sorts of different aspects of life came together, separated and argued.
“For an actor, it was terrific to observe all that going on.”
In an interview with Herald Scotland afterwards, he cited both the pay cheque and chance to live with so many different personalities as the key factors in his decision.
And as for whether doing the show could ‘hurt’ his career, he said: “I thought hang on, I am 69 – when we are talking about [my] career it is not going to last that much longer anyway.
“So I had to just say ‘well, that is the way it is’.
“I have had a great career and have been so privileged to do lots of stuff and so if it has affected my career, well that’s okay, I’ll go and take the dog for a walk.”