Rolf Harris receives top honour in London

Rolf Harris holds the Officer of the Order of Australia award, which was presented to him by High Commissioner John Dauth at Australia House in central London. REUTERS/John Stillwell
Rolf Harris holds the Officer of the Order of Australia award, which was presented to him by High Commissioner John Dauth at Australia House in central London. REUTERS/John Stillwell
Entertainer Rolf Harris has accepted his latest accolade, insisting he has no intention of retiring.

The 82-year-old singer, painter, musician and television presenter has been invested as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) during a ceremony in London.

Asked by reporters afterwards if he had considered retirement, the bubbly Perth-born artist was resolute.

"I equate it with lying down and dying," Harris said of retiring.

"I've no interest in stopping what I'm doing because I love it so much. I enjoy getting up early mornings and painting. I enjoy entertaining and meeting people and why would you stop doing all that? Why would you retire? (I have had) no thoughts of it."

A resident of the UK for some 60 years, Harris remains fiercely Australian and said the AO, announced as part of the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours in June, was "marvellous" because is was from the people of his homeland.

"I'm so very much an Australian living over here ... I had a marvellous childhood in Australia and a marvellous set up for my life," he said.

Harris's AO is for his service to the arts and promotion of Australian culture.

He said that through his work he has delivered "larrikinism" to the world.