King holding a pen not long ago (4,4)
I believe the answer is:
'not long ago' is the definition.
(only a year ago)
'king holding a pen' is the wordplay.
'king' becomes 'lear' (King Lear).
'holding' means one lot of letters goes inside another.
'pen' becomes 'sty' (both can mean an animal enclosure).
'lear' placed around 'asty' is 'LAST YEAR'.