Irish singer/songwriter/ saxophonist/ Celtic apologist/mystic/poet and self-confessed curmudgeon VAN MORRISON has been awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

Acknowledged by many as the truest blue-eyed soul singer the UK has ever produced, the knighthood was given for the man’s “services to music and tourism in Northern Ireland”. To that end Van is playing a series of low key gigs in Irish hotels this summer while his wonderful ‘Coney Island’ is one of the best travel ads for the Ulster countryside.

Six time Grammy winner Sir Van, who is 69, was previously an OBE and, famously reticent towards the media, has commented; “Throughout my career I have always preferred to let my music speak for me, and it is a huge honour to now have that body of work recognized in this way. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fans who supported me on my musical journey.”