Clive Marles Sinclair has been awarded a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
He said of the news:
"It was completely unexpected and a wonderful surprise - more than ever I find myself committed to achieving success here in, and for, Britain."
At 42, he is the founder of a company which has become the world's largest volume manufacturer of personal computers, and is largely responsible - with the ZX80, ZX81 and most recently the Spectrum - for making the micro-computer a household item in the UK.
After leaving school at 17, he worked for four years as a technical journalist before founding Sinclair Radionics in 1962. This company produced the Executive pocket calculator at the then revolutionary price of £79. In the late 1970s, he joined forces with the National Enterprise Board to produce the first pocket TV, the Microvision. And, in 1979, he established his present company, Sinclair Research.
In January this year a share placement valued the company at £135.9m, with Sinclair's personal holding being worth pound;129.1m.
Clive is now concentrating on the new flat-screen TV project, other research investigations - an electric car and a personal robot - and a joint publishing venture, Sinclair Browne.
He is the current chairman of Mensa and his interests include running, poetry and opera.
Sinclair Research has reached agreement with its major creditors to continue their support for the troubled micro company - at least in the short term.
The deal was hammered out last week between the five main creditors - Barclays Bank, Citibank, Thorn EMI, Timex and AB Electronics - which between them are owed around £15m. None of the parties were keen to enlarge on the nature of the deal, but it is understood to take Sinclair safely up to the peak sales period at Christmas. Then if Sinclair can hold its 44% market share, it will be looking again for additional finance.
Sinclair's chief executive Bill Jeffrey has also rearranged the management team and there will be changes to the board of directors. Sir Clive Sinclair, will remain as chairman and his 85% stake in Sinclair Research remains unchanged.
Sinclair Research has sold off its entire interest in the home computer business to Amstrad.
The £5 million deal gives Amstrad world-wide rights to sell and manufacture all existing and future computers and computer products. Amstrad have also bought the rights to use the Sinclair brand name. The Sinclair name will not however disappear. It is Amstrad's intention to continue producing 'Sinclair' computers for the "entertainment end of the market while existing and planned Amstrad machines will be aimed at the serious user and business sector."
At the press conference to announce the sale, Sir Clive said,
"We were the pioneers in the home computer field but we are now handing over, rather later than we perhaps should have done, to experts in marketing."
Alan Sugar, Amstrad's Managing Director, commented,
"It's a good deal for us. Sinclair has dominated the entertainment field in Europe and we are now adding an additional section to our business."
Asked about his plans for Sinclair machines, Alan Sugar said,
"We are going to look at quality control in the production of Sinclair computers and at enhancements. We plan to study the reasons why Sinclair products have given rise to rumours of poor quality. Part of the problem has been that producers of Spectrum software tend to try and get as much out of the machine as possible which leads to problems. At Amstrad we advise software houses on writing software for the machines."
"We would intend to set up a quality control software advisory service to help third party software houses. There would be a logo which would appear on approved software and consumers would be encouraged to buy this software."
One enhancement that Amstrad have in mind for the Spectrum is the addition of a built-in tape recorder.
"Many problems have come from using tape recorders and a way of overcoming this would be to glue on a tape recorder at the production stage."
Alan Sugar envisaged that the unmodified Spectrum + and 128 would still be sold "going into 1987."
As for the QL which has now ceased production the future is far more uncertain.
"We are committed to take over the whole of the Sinclair inventory and any work in progress. The QL did not attract the best publicity when it was launched and we would foresee a destocking of that product," said Alan Sugar.
Later when asked about whether he had plans for using the QL as the basis for a new product, he said,
"We would be prepared to look into the architecture of the QL and see if the product could be reborn perhaps with a disc drive rather than a microdrive."
Sinclair research has also "floated off" other parts of the company including the Winchester based business dedicated to innovatory telecommunications products and a new company is to be set up to develop wafer scale semiconductor products.
One product in the pipeline is a single chip with 40 megabytes of memory.
"Each satellite company will be able to attract finance, appropriate partners and exceptionally talented researchers. We will also go on building teams in other areas of technology and develop them into self-financing entities as they reach maturity."
Sinclair Research remains as a "project development" company and its development work still includes the Pandora portable.
"We are continuing with the project and will talk with Amstrad about it but if they are not interested then we will go elsewhere," said Sir Clive.
Under the new set up, if Sinclair Research dream up a new games machine they can offer it up to Amstrad to handle. But if Amstrad decline, Sinclair Research are at liberty to find an alternative marketing solution but without the use of the Sinclair name. Amstrad entered the home computer market only two years ago and have now incorporated Sinclair computers into their business. At a stroke Amstrad have increased their market share of home computers from 20% to 60%.