It's Sir Mark Tully in UK honors list
NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- The Indian-based journalist and commentator Mark Tully has been awarded a knighthood in the British Queen's New Year's honors list for his services to broadcasting and journalism.
Tully, who is a regular contributor on South Asian affairs for CNN.com Asia, was named a Knight of the British Empire (KBE) in the Diplomatic and Overseas list of the Queen's honors.
Speaking to CNN from his home in New Delhi he said he was "totally surprised" by the award.
He said he been told the news by the British High Commissioner in the Indian capital.
"I had rather thought I was yesterday's man," he said.
He added that he felt the award was a recognition of the team effort played by all those he had worked with during his long career in broadcasting that had enabled him to become a household name to millions across India and South Asia.
Born in Calcutta in 1936 he began his journalistic career broadcasting from India for the BBC from 1965 until 1994.
During that time his reports developed a reputation for their incisiveness and understanding of ordinary Indian life.
Since the mid-1990s he has been working as a freelance journalist from his home in New Delhi and has written several books on India and its leaders.
Asked to pick the story that had had the most impact on him he said there had been so many it was too difficult to choose.
During his career he has covered several assassinations, the 1971 war between India and Pakistan and the horrors of the Bhopal gas leak in which thousands were killed.
He said he would be celebrating the award by having dinner with close Indian friends.
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