According to press reports, actor Brian Cox seriously considered turning down the CBE, for services to drama, that he was awarded this week in the Queen's New Year Honours list. The actor found it "very difficult" to accept because he does not agree with how the honours system is run in this country. After having discussed it with friends and family, he relented because "I felt it would be helpful to the theatre and film industry in Scotland if I accepted the honour." He was also influenced by his fellow actor Paul Scofield, who previously rejected a knighthood but, in 2001, was agreed to a Companion of Honour distinction. "If it's good enough for Paul Scofield, it's good enough for me," Cox told Ananova. Born in Dundee, Scotland, Cox was the first actor to play Hannibal Lecter on screen. His recent London stage appearances include the premiere of Dublin Carol at the Royal Court.