Emilia Clarke and Ridley Scott among celebrities on UK New Year Honours list

More than 1,200 artists, athletes and everyday champions recognised for contributions to British society

Emilia Clarke becomes an MBE after setting up a charity to help people with brain injuries. PA
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Star of Game of Thrones Emilia Clarke, director Ridley Scott and singer Shirley Bassey lead the UK's New Year Honours list.

Glastonbury music festival founder Michael Eavis has also been knighted as part of King Charles III's celebrations.

Clarke is made an MBE, or Member of the Order of the British Empire, for founding a brain injury charity, SameYou. Clarke's mother Jenny Clarke, who co-founded the charity with her, is also recognised with an MBE. The actress started the charity in 2019 after surviving brain haemorrhages in 2011 and 2013.

Jenny, who is also chief executive of SameYou, says: “Emilia and I are both extremely honoured to accept this award on behalf of every brain injury survivor who has struggled to access quality rehabilitation and has had to fight for their own recovery.”

Filmmaker Scott, who is best known for the Alien films, Gladiator and the recent Napoleon, has become a Knight Grand Cross, recognised for his services to the UK film industry. The South Shields-born director was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.

Welsh singer Bassey, who is already a dame, has become a member of the Order of the Companion of Honour. She was made a dame in 1999.

Eavis, who founded Glastonbury Festival in 1970, has been knighted for his services to music and charity. The festival founder was interviewed by his daughter, Emily Eavis, about the honour in a discussion shared on the Glastonbury website.

On the topic of why he may have been knighted, Eavis candidly says, “I’ve done quite a lot of stuff in my life and I’ve always been fairly sure that I was doing the right thing.”

Felicity Dahl, who set up a children's charity in memory of her late husband Roald Dahl in 1991, is awarded a damehood. Author Jilly Cooper is also made a dame.

Several England football players and executives are named on the list, including Millie Bright, who has been made an OBE, or Officer of the Order of the British Empire, after captaining England to the Women’s World Cup final in the summer, while teammates Lauren Hemp and Mary Earps receive MBEs.

Celebrity baker and host of The Great British Bake Off Paul Hollywood is awarded an MBE for his services to baking and broadcasting.

The public figures are among more than 1,200 people honoured, "marking the achievements and services of extraordinary people across the UK".

The New Year's honours, which have been awarded since Queen Victoria's reign in the 19th century, aim to recognise not only well-known figures but also those who have contributed to national life through often unsung work over many years.

– Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: December 30, 2023, 7:21 AM