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Michael Sheen reveals surprising reason why he returned royal honour  

The actor spoke about his decision to return the honour 

michael sheen
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
December 30, 2020
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Michael Sheen has opened up about the surprising reason why he returned his Order of the British Empire (OBE). The Welsh actor was awarded the OBE for services to drama back in 2009.

MORE: Michael Sheen looks utterly unrecognisable in teenage throwback snaps

He admitted that he decided to give the honour back after researching the history of Wales and it's difficult relationship with the UK ahead of speaking at the 2017 Raymond Williams Society lecture.

WATCH: David Tennant and Michael Sheen in Staged

Speaking on Owen Jones' YouTube channel, he explained: "In my research to do that lecture, I learned a lot about Welsh history. I remember sitting there going, 'Well I have a choice - I either don't give this lecture and hold on to my OBE or I give this lecture and I have to give my OBE back.'" 

He continued: "I didn't mean any disrespect but I just realised I'd be a hypocrite if I said the things I was going to say in the lecture about the nature of the relationship between Wales and the British state." 

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Fans were quick to comment on Michael's revelation, with one tweeting: "Dare I say that this looks like... integrity? How infrequently we see its shining face anymore!" Another added: "Good for him. Huge respect to someone who has the courage of his own convictions."

michael obe

He was awarded the OBE in 2009

Michael recently revisited his childhood home of Port Talbot alongside his friend Jennifer Saunders for ITV's Jennifer Saunders’ Memory Lane. 

In the show, he chatted about his teenage years, explaining: "I was obsessed with football. I played for Baglan Boys Club at the Evans Bevan pitch. My memory of playing football here was the stinging feel of rain on ten-year-old legs. I used to feel a mixture of joy at playing and utter terror. One [because I] wanted to play as well as possible and also there was always a sense of latent violence constantly." 

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