Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis and bestselling author Jilly Cooper are among those recognized in the 2024 New Year honors list.
Actress Emilia Clarke is appointed MBE alongside England goalkeeper Mary Earps, while captain Millie Bright and singer Leona Lewis become OBEs.
Former rugby league players Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield become CBEs to raise awareness of motor neurone disease.
The founder of the JD Wetherspoon pub chain, Tim Martin, receives a knighthood.
Eavis is also given a knighthood and becomes Sir Michael, while Cooper, now Dame Jilly, is given the title of Dame in the Honors List – which recognizes the achievements of hundreds of people across the UK.
Kevin Sinfield has raked in more than £15 million since Rob Burrow, his friend and former Leeds Rhinos teammate, was diagnosed with MND in December 2019, aged 37.
Sinfield, who completed a seven-day ultra-marathon earlier in December, says receiving the honor is “really special,” but attention should be focused on Burrow’s courage in battling the incurable and life-threatening disease .
“Opening the front door and showing the world what it’s like to live with this has been incredible of him,” he says.
Sir Michael, 88, who founded the Glastonbury Festival on his farm in Somerset in 1970, is being knighted for services to music and charity. Each festival contributes over £2 million to charity.
“We started with 500 people and we ended up with millions of people wanting to come every year,” he says. “It’s quite extraordinary, isn’t it?”
Novelist Dame Jilly is best known for her popular Rutshire Chronicles series, including titles such as Riders and Polo, which detail upper-class adultery and scandals. Rivals is being adapted into a star-studded series for Disney+.
The 86-year-old, who was made a dame for services to literature and charity, said: “I am absolutely and incredibly overwhelmed. I can’t believe I am a DBE, which in my case also means ‘delighted, perplexed and ecstatic’.”
Meanwhile, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (RVO) for leading King Charles’ coronation service. This prize is awarded independently by the King.
Businessman Sir Tim Martin, 68, honored for his services to hospitality and culture, owns more than 800 pubs and hotels across the UK, employing more than 43,000 people.
He dedicated his award, which he said came out of nowhere, to his colleagues and clients. “In the pub world it’s a team effort. Even if you only have one pub there are lots of people involved,” he adds.
Game Of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke, who survived two brain haemorrhages, is being made an MBE alongside her mother Jenny, for setting up a charity, called SameYou, which helps others with similar conditions.
She says the award is “wonderful awareness for the cause.”
In sport, three Lionesses are among the winners. Captain Millie Bright is appointed OBE, while striker Lauren Hemp and goalkeeper Mary Earps – also voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2023 – become MBEs after finishing runners-up at the Women’s World Cup.
England fast bowler Stuart Broad, who retired after this year’s Ashes, is appointed CBE. He played 167 Test matches for England and retired as the fifth highest Test wicket-taker of all time.
Many well-known figures in entertainment and the arts are also on the list.
Author Kate Mosse, best known for her Languedoc trilogy, says she sees her CBE as recognition of the importance of the Women’s Fiction Prize, which she co-founded.
Oscar-winning lyricist Don Black, who has worked with artists including John Barry and Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, says it is “wonderful” to become a CBE for doing something he loves.
BBC Radio 2 DJ Steve Wright dedicated his MBE “to all those in broadcasting who have provided comfort and public service during the pandemic”.
His colleague Tony Blackburn says his OBE is “the icing on a very nice cake” after almost 60 years in the “top job” at the BBC and commercial radio stations.
Meanwhile, Dame Shirley Bassey, 86, who has sold 135 million records, says she is “truly honoured” to become the 64th living member of the Order of the Companion of Honour, which only has 65 members at any one time .
Singer-songwriter Leona Lewis, 38, who rose to fame after winning the X Factor in 2006, has been made an OBE for her services to music and charity.
And director and producer Sir Ridley Scott, whose works include Gladiator, Alien and Napoleon, is made a Knight Grand Cross, enhancing his previous knighthood.
Meanwhile, Oscar-winning actor James Martin says he “cried” after learning he was to be made an MBE. Martin, who has Down syndrome, hopes it will inspire people with learning difficulties.
TV baker Paul Hollywood is appointed CBE, while retail expert and broadcaster Mary Portas is appointed OBE for services to business, broadcasting and charity.
Former Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling and BBC presenter Hazel Irvine are made MBEs for their services to sport and charity.
Professor Sonia Boyce receives an award for services to art. She is a leading voice on the representation of black artists in Britain, both as an educator and an artist represented in major British collections.
Academic and author Alexander McCall Smith, best known for his No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, is receiving a knighthood for services to literature, academia and charity.
In politics, former Chancellor and Home Secretary Sajid Javid receives a knighthood, Dame Margaret Beckett has her status raised to Dame Grand Cross and Siobhain McDonagh, Labor MP for Mitcham and Morden, is appointed Lady Commander.
The honors system
Ranks commonly assigned:
- Companion of Honor – Limited to 65 people. Recipients have the initials CH after their name
- Knight or Lady
- CBE – Commander of the Order of the British Empire
- OBE – Officer of the Order of the British Empire
- MBE – Member of the Order of the British Empire
- BEM – British Empire Medal
Guide to distinctions
Ian Russell is appointed MBE for working to improve children’s online safety following the death of his daughter, Molly. He said the 14-year-old would have been “very proud” of her suicide prevention legacy.
Elizabeth Hall, founder of the Hygiene Bank which has donated more than £300,000 during the pandemic, and Laura Coryton, who campaigned for the removal of the so-called tampon tax on menstrual products, are becoming all two of the MBEs.
And a woman whose best friend was murdered by her husband is made a CBE for her work supporting those affected by domestic violence. Hetti Barkworth-Nanton says the honor would not have happened “without my beautiful friend Joanna Simpson, who lost her life so suddenly.”
More than 1,227 recipients are on the main list, announced by the Cabinet Office, of which 48% are women and 13.8% are from an ethnic minority.
There are 316 other recipients on the list announced by the Foreign Office recognizing overseas contributions, as well as separate lists for police, fire and ambulance personnel and military service. There are 84 on the Victorian Royal List, part of the King’s personal gift.
The majority of honors are given to people who are not in the public eye.
They understand Rizwan Javed, station assistant on the Elizabeth line in London, who received an MBE for saving 29 lives. He approaches and talks to people on the platforms who show signs of suicide.
Javed, 33, says his interventions have had an “emotional impact” and that his award gives him the confidence to expand his work.
“I grew up going through various challenges and I think, if we’re all honest, we all wake up in the morning and we fight some kind of battle. It’s how we deal with it,” he says.
The oldest person on the honors list is Jill Gladwell, 97, who has been a Poppy Appeal collector for more than 80 years. She became an MBE.
Nine-year-old Tony Hudgell is this year’s youngest winner, receiving a BEM for child abuse prevention services. He raised more than £1.8 million for the hospital that saved him after he suffered abuse as a baby and inspired a change in English law to increase prison sentences for people convicted of child cruelty and neglect.
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