Ex-Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox is among the stars recognised with a New Year Honour – appointed an OBE for work fighting Aids and poverty in Africa. Actors Sheila Hancock and David Suchet become CBEs, while stage star Harriet Walter is appointed a dame. Football’s World Cup Final referee Howard Webb and US Open golf champion Graeme McDowell become MBEs. MPs feature for the first time since the expenses scandal. Peter Bottomley is made a knight and Anne Begg a dame. Dame Anne became the first full-time wheelchair user elected to Parliament when she took the Aberdeen South seat for Labour in 1997. She has been honoured for her services to disabled people and for being a supporter of equal opportunities.
Sir Peter, 66, the Conservative MP for Worthing West in Sussex who was elected in 1975, receives his knighthood for his public service. Some 120 military figures are honoured, including the chief of the defence staff, Gen Sir David Richards, who is made a Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Bath. Surgeon Professor Keith Porter, who co-ordinates the care of seriously-injured British troops flown back from Afghanistan, becomes a knight. The Armed Forces’ highest-ranking Muslim, Rear Admiral Amjad Hussain, becomes a Companion of the Order of the Bath. Meanwhile, Holocaust survivor Hermann Hirschberger, who chaired the Association of Jewish Refugees’ Kindertransport Committee, is appointed an MBE.
In broadcasting, former ITN foreign correspondent Sandy Gall, 83, is made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George for his decades of charity work supporting disabled Afghans. John Lloyd, 59, producer of Not The Nine O’Clock News, Spitting Image, Blackadder and QI, becomes a CBE while rugby league commentator Ray French is appointed an MBE. Artist Steve McQueen and record producer Trevor Horn are made CBEs. In a reference to the costume worn in the video to his former band’s single Video Killed The Radio Star, Horn joked he would “put my Buggles glasses on” for the investiture. Other entertainment figures to be honoured include National Ambassador for Singing Howard Goodall, and former Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer, who become CBEs, and director of the acclaimed film Fish Tank, Andrea Arnold, who is appointed an OBE.
Herbert Kretzmer, who penned the lyrics for hit musical Les Miserables, is made an OBE, along with ex-Fairport Convention songwriter Richard Thompson. Costume designer Sandy Powell, who picked up Oscars for Shakespeare In Love, The Aviator and The Young Victoria, is appointed an OBE, while English National Opera chairman Vernon Ellis, becomes a knight. In the fashion world, protest T-shirt designer Katherine Hamnett and Ted Baker founder Raymond Kelvin, 55, are made CBEs, while designer Alice Temperley, 35, becomes an MBE. Business figures honoured include BA chairman Martin Broughton, who brokered the recent sale of Liverpool FC. He receives a knighthood, with the same honour going to CBI chief Richard Lambert and Roger Carr, chairman of energy giant Centrica. Aberdeen-born Lennox, 56, who is an Oxfam ambassador and founded her Sing campaign to raise awareness of Aids in Africa, said she was “genuinely honoured” to be made an OBE. “As somewhat of a renegade, it either means I’ve done something terribly right – or they’ve done something terribly wrong,” said the singer, whose hits include Sweet Dreams, Thorn in My Side and Walking on Broken Glass. “In any case, whatever powers-that-be have deemed me worthy of such a recognition, I’m getting my fake leopard pillbox hat dusted and ready.” Webb, 39, a police sergeant from Rotherham, said his honour topped off “an unbelieveable 12 months”, during which he became the first person to referee both the Uefa Champions League and World Cup finals. “It will be a real treat to go to the Palace with my wife and family and it should be a marvellous occasion,” he said.
Hancock, who recently received a Women in Film and Television lifetime achievement award admitted that, as a practising Quaker, she had to clarify whether the award was compatible with the group’s beliefs on equality. “They said it was fine because it was for my work and it was earned,” she said And she vowed not to make the same mistake as when she accepted her OBE in 1974, when she borrowed a pigskin outfit only to return it with a large hole where the pin for the honour had to be forced in. Bert Kwouk, 80, is named an OBE. He is best known as martial arts expert Cato from the Pink Panther movies but more recently starred in Last of the Summer Wine and Channel 4 comedy betting show Banzai! McDowell, a key member of Europe’s Ryder Cup winning team, said his appointment to MBE was a “For my achievements as a professional golfer to be recognised in this way is truly special,” he said. As usual, the majority of the 998 honours go to ordinary people for work in their community.Examples include MBEs for beekeeper Anne Buckingham, from Farnham, Surrey, Dr Marjorie Ziff, who has funded numerous projects and events in Leeds over 60 years, and Eric Sutherns, the bridge master of London’s Tower Bridge. Metropolitan Police Constable Ivor MacGregor, 62, who disarmed a gunman who attempted to kidnap the Princess Royal in 1974, was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in recognition of his 43-year career. Further honours go to Lady Antonia Fraser, 78, the widow of playwright Harold Pinter and author of biographies of Marie Antoinette and Mary Queen of Scots, who is made a dame for services to literature. Meanwhile, the Queen Mother’s biographer, William Shawcross, is appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. Mountaineer Joe Brown, 80, nicknamed the “human fly” for his televised ascents, becomes a CBE, along with British Chamber of Commerce director-general David Frost and sculptor Richard Wentworth. Former Rugby Football Union chief Francis Baron and British Judo Association president George Kerr, 73, one of only five 10th Dans in the world, are also appointed CBE. Newly-appointed OBEs include Lush Cosmetics co-founders Mo and Mark Constantine, computer games designer Miles Jacobson, Nasa astronaut Piers Sellers, 55, and recently retired Grand National-winning racehorse trainer Toby Balding. Northern Ireland football great Jimmy McIlroy is made an MBE. – BBC