OSCAR award winning film director Sir Christopher Hampton has received his knighthood.

The screenwriter, a former Lancing College pupil, collected his knighthood awarded in the 2020 New Year’s Honours list for services to drama on Thursday after a delayed caused by Covid-19.

Sir Christopher, who co-wrote the Academy Award winning The Father, described collecting his knighthood from the Princess Royal as “great” and “lovely” after a scaled-down ceremony at London’s St James’s Palace.

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He said while lockdown had taken a little while to get used to, he is “certainly now as busy as ever”.

“At the very beginning [of lockdown] it was quite bewildering and then I suddenly realised that this is what writers are always asking for – quiet and time – so I actually got quite a lot of work done,” he said.

“It has been lovely and generally speaking all of this easing up is just great, but I am slightly concerned that they are doing it too quickly. We shall see.”

Born on the Portuguese island of Faial in 1946, Sir Christopher spent his early childhood living in Aden, Egypt, Hong Kong and Zanzibar, before his family were caught up in the Suez Crisis in 1956.

He went on to attend the independent boarding school Lancing College in West Sussex at the age of 13, where he won house colours for boxing and distinguished himself as a sergeant in the Combined Cadet Force (CCF).

He went on to study French and German at Oxford University.

The Argus: Film director Sir Christopher Hampton has received his knighthoodFilm director Sir Christopher Hampton has received his knighthood

The now 75-year-old is in pre-production with his next film, which he joked “is slightly unimaginatively called The Son”, which will start shooting on August 16.

It is part of a trilogy – The Father, The Mother and The Son – by French director Florian Zeller.

Sir Christopher was also the writer behind the film Dangerous Liaisons, as well as acclaimed stage adaptation of the book Les Liaisons Dangereuses and his subsequent screenplay for the 1988 film version starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer.

It won him both an Oscar and a Bafta for best adapted screenplay.

He also received a nomination from the Academy for his screenplay for the 2007 film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s Atonement.

Sir Christopher also co-wrote the libretto for Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Sunset Boulevard, earning two Tony awards.

He became the youngest writer to have a play staged in the West End after When Did You Last See My Mother? – which he wrote around his 18th birthday – caught the eye of theatre director William Gaskill.

The show, an exploration of angst and homosexuality, played at the Royal Court Theatre in London, and soon transferred to the West End’s Comedy Theatre in 1966.