His fame may have run its course – it’s not what it once was. Maybe this CBE business, Dr. Strange and Hamlet will resurrect his sagging career.
At this point graciously turning down the CBE would be the best idea. It would speak better of him while ingratiating him with his peers as well as the general public. He can still get that or an even higher honour in the future anyway. Besides, that would be sure to annoy SH to no end which is always a plus.