Lots of celebrities don't want to lord it over their fellow Brits.

Hundreds, including rocker David Bowie (search), actor Albert Finney (search) and comic John Cleese (search), have told the British government to take a hike over the years by rejecting knighthoods and other prestigious honors.

The government has never officially revealed the names of the snubbers - but they were bared yesterday in classified documents leaked to London's Sunday Times.

Other movers and shakers who have refused the awards have been authors Graham Greene (search), John le Carré, Roald Dahl, Evelyn Waugh and Aldous Huxley, as well as actor Trevor Howard.

Among the women rejecting awards that would make them "dames" were author Doris Lessing and actresses Vanessa Redgrave (search) and Helen Mirren (search).

The reasons for the refusals are many.

"Many people in America think being a sir is a big deal, but I think we should all be misters," said Finney, who's in Tim Burton's latest flick, "Big Fish."

"The 'Sir' thing slightly perpetuates one of our diseases in England, which is snobbery."

Bowie, who has made some of the greatest rock albums ever, said: "I seriously don't know what it's for. It's not what I spend my life working for."

Helen Mirren, star of the new flick, "Calendar Girls," added: "I feel very ambivalent about it actually . . . The whole idea of aristocracy I loathe."

The list also reveals that famed suspense director Alfred Hitchcock (search) first refused a knighthood in 1962, two years after directing "Psycho," but later relented and accepted the award shortly before he died in 1980. Many critics of the 700-year-old awards system have complained that it wrongly promotes respect toward a nonexistent empire.

"It makes us look like a laughingstock and encourages deference to the crown," said J.G. Ballard, author of "Empire of the Sun" and "Crash," who rejected a knighthood. "I can't take it seriously."