Captain Tom Moore is to be Knighted after walking laps of his garden to raise money for the NHS, he almost raised £40m.
The Second World War veteran who turned 100 on his birthday on 30 April was made an honorary Colonel.
Sir Tom told BBC Breakfast that his first reaction on receiving news of his knighthood was: “I thought: ‘This can’t be true.’
“I’ve always said: ‘This won’t happen’, and now it appears it actually has,” he said. “But I certainly was never anticipating that that letter would arrive for me.
“I’m certainly delighted and I am overawed by the fact that this has happened to me.”
The Prime Minister said that Sir Tom has “provided us all with a beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus.”
Sir Tom said he walked the laps of his garden in the village of Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire “with pleasure and without any hardship because as it got on and on the funds got better and better and it just went on and on.”
He added, “It was absolutely totally amazing because not only was it in this country but it seemed to go throughout the world.
“It seemed to have raised the spirits of so many different countries, which was absolutely amazing and to me it was delightful.”
He thanked the public and said they have been so “generous” and raising money for the NHS has been “such a good” cause.
Sir Tom said, “Thank you very much to all of you.
“You have been so generous, and the cause has been such a good one.
“I really do thank you from the bottom of my heart because you have been absolutely outstanding.
“Never ever did I anticipate that I should get such kindness from so many people and thank you all very much.”