THE playwright Peter Nichols has been made a CBE in the New Years Honours in recognition of his prolific and successful career,

The Summertown man, who celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this year, was recognised for his services to Drama.

Mr Nichols, who lives with his wife Thelma, is regarded as one of the UK's greatest living playwrights winning numerous awards for his work, which is housed in The British Library.

A special 'Peter Nichols at 90' evening was held at The British Library in September to celebrate his careers.

Actors, including Roger Allam and Stephanie Cole, read out extracts from his plays and Mr Nichols himself gave a talk on his works.

He began writing television plays while working as a teacher after completing an acting course at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

He shot to fame in 1967 with A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, written for stage as he thought it unacceptable for TV.

It opened on the West End that year and on Broadway in 1968 and has since been revived twice including a 2001 run starring Eddie Izzard.

The play centres on a British couple who use black humour to cope with looking after their disabled child - based on his own experiences bringing up a disabled child.

His theatrical debut was followed by plays such as The National Health (1969), Privates on Parade (1977) and Passion Play (1981), with all three winning an Evening Standard award.

Several of his plays have been re-produced in many countries and also made into films.

A number of significant figures from the world of theatre were also made CBEs at the turn of the year, including Oxford-born Hugh Laurie, and director Julia McKenzie while Harry Potter and the Cursed Child director John Tiffany was made an OBE.

All those recognised will receive their awards at Buckingham Palace later this year.