No, I was extremely surprised. When the High Commissioner called me to say that the Queen would like to confer on me a knighthood, and would I accept, I told him: "I thought I was yesterday's man."
Is this a slap on the face of bbc for throwing you out?
No, not at all. I had letters from senior people in the bbc congratulating me. The first to telephone was the head of the World Service. I see this as an award in part for bbc World Service.
Is it also an award for your work in India?
Yes, almost all of South Asia. I would be nowhere if I had not been broadcasting to South Asia.
How does it feel to be Sir Mark?
Strange. It is nothing in my wildest dreams that I expected to happen. To be called Sir Mark, I'm wholly unused to it.
Has it changed you in any way?
I am still getting over the shock.
Will it change your career?
At 66, I hope I don't have to begin a new career. I've had a long and happy career and have a more peaceful life now.
When will you become Sir Mark?
I will be going to Britain for the conferment.
Is this the first time a broadcaster has been knighted?
No, there was Sir Jimmy Young, David Frost and Robin Day.
Are there any perks to a knighthood?
There are no financial rewards. One does not look for perks in anything.
What has been the response?
Fantastic. I've been getting telephone calls, personal congratulations, e-mails, letters.