A former hostage who was held captive for almost five years has said he has hit one of life's "peak" achievements after being included s he is included on the honours list.

Sir Terry Waite CBE has been made a Knights Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the first King's Birthday Honours list for his services to charity.

The humanitarian is the co-founder and president of Hostage International, which supports families of those taken captive.

He said: "It really is a big surprise.

"I had no idea that this was coming up.

"Of course, whenever this sort of award is given I recognise that there are a lot of people to whom one shares that award with, particularly with Hostage International and Emmaus for the homeless.

"They have worked incredibly hard and still do over the years to make those organisations what they are today.

"I'm just a figurehead really."

East Anglian Daily Times: Sir Terry Waite currently resides in Suffolk. Credit: NewsquestSir Terry Waite currently resides in Suffolk. Credit: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

The 84-year-old, who lives in Hartest, near Bury St Edmunds, spent almost five years in captivity after being kidnapped by Islamic terrorists in Lebanon from January 1987 to November 1991.

He went to Beirut, the capital, to negotiate the release of hostages, but was captured himself.

He spent much of the time he was held captive blindfolded and chained to a wall and was kept in solitary confinement.

He also faced a mock execution and was beaten.

He continued: "It is a very significant honour and I'm really amazed that I've got it.

"I suppose it's a peak really.

"I was given an MBE many years ago and then I got a CBE several years afterwards.

"Now this is the next one up and I think I've been very fortunate to get this because there are many other people who are deserving of honours who don't get mentioned."