Biggest names in UK showbiz and culture receive New Year honours

A variety of celebrities and cultural personalities have made the list

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Queen guitarist Brian May is among the celebrities and cultural icons to earn New Year honours.

Both Sir Brian and artist Grayson Perry received knighthoods.

Actors Stephen Graham and David Harewood were appointed OBEs.

Mary Quant, the ground-breaking 1960s fashion designer who is already a dame, has been made a Companion of Honour.

Brian May

Brian May from Queen on the roof of Buckingham Palace, where he was performing the national anthem for the Queen's Golden Jubilee concert. PA

As the virtuoso guitarist in rock band Queen, the 75-year-old is responsible for some of the biggest riffs in popular music, from the solo on Don’t Stop Me Now to the melodic strums of Somebody To Love.

Alongside late frontman Freddie Mercury, bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor, he scored numerous number ones during the group’s 80s heyday, touring the world.

The musician, astrophysicist and animal welfare advocate is being recognised for his services to music and charity.

May said he feels a renewed responsibility to “behave in a way which benefits the country and the rest of the population” after receiving a knighthood.

Grayson Perry

Sir Grayson, the 62-year-old artist, writer and broadcaster who is known for his tapestries and ceramic works is knighted for services to the arts.

John Akomfrah

The acclaimed artist is known for video installations dealing with post-colonialism and migration, and has also received a knighthood.

Mary Quant

British stylist Mary Quant in 2004. AFP

Designer Dame Mary Quant, who is widely credited with popularising the mini skirt, has been appointed a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour.

The award is granted to those who have made a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine or government.

It is sometimes regarded as the junior honour to the Order of Merit and is made up of the sovereign, plus no more than 65 members, who may use the letters CH after their names.

She was one of the most influential figures in the fashion scene of the 1960s and was appointed for services to fashion.

The 92-year-old fashion designer is credited with making fashion accessible to the masses with her sleek, streamlined and vibrant designs.

Roland Keating

Roland Francis Kester Keating, who is a former BBC Two controller and the current chief executive at the British Library, has received a knighthood for services to literature.

George Fenton

Composer George Richard Ian Howe (George Fenton) has received a CBE for services to music.

Sonia Friedman

Theatre producer Sonia Friedman has received a CBE for services to theatre.

Stephen Graham

British actor Stephen Graham at the Royal Albert Hall in London. AFP

Stephen Graham has become an OBE for services to drama.

The 49-year-old Merseyside-born actor has won plaudits playing Irish, English and American criminals and police officers in various blockbuster Hollywood films and hit TV dramas across his three-decade career.

He starred in the 2000 crime comedy film Snatch alongside Brad Pitt and Jason Statham, as well as 2019’s gangster epic The Irishman, where he played real-life mobster Anthony Provenzano alongside Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.

Graham also played criminals Stephen Shang in Gangs Of New York in 2002, Baby Face Nelson in Public Enemies in 2009 and infamous mobster Al Capone in period crime drama series Boardwalk Empire.

He is perhaps best known for his role of short-fused English nationalist Andrew “Combo” Gascoigne in the 2006 film This Is England.

David Harewood

David Harewood has been made an OBE. PA

Actor and broadcaster David Harewood has been made an OBE for services to drama and charity.

The 57-year-old, who found widespread fame playing CIA director David Estes in the US drama series Homeland, has been honoured for his services to drama and charity.

In 2019, Harewood created a one-off BBC documentary titled Psychosis And Me, which saw him retrace his steps and delve into his breakdown after being sectioned aged 23.

Harewood, who has spent the best part of the past decade in the US and Canada, previously said it is easier for a black person to get more substantial roles in the US than in Britain.

The acclaimed actor also backed the launch of a new online platform, (Just ask a question), which helps prevent people with mental health problems “reaching crisis stage”, from founder Danny Gray, who previously appeared on Dragons’ Den.

During his career, Harewood has used his platform to advocate for causes close to his heart.

Anne Diamond

Anne Diamond has been made an OBE. PA

Journalist Anne Diamond is also made a CBE for services to public health and charity after campaigning to stop cot death.

The broadcaster, 68, dedicated the achievement to her late son Sebastian.

Beginning her career in regional news, Diamond became a star of daytime in the 1980s and 1990s.

She presented programmes like BBC One’s Good Morning With Anne And Nick, TV-am’s Good Morning Britain and TV Weekly.

In 1990, she and her then husband Mike Hollingsworth lost their son Sebastian after he died from sudden infant death syndrome (Sids) – commonly called cot death.

She then joined forces with the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), now known as The Lullaby Trust, and the Department of Health, to launch the successful Back to Sleep campaign.

The national media campaign, started in 1991, warned parents that babies should sleep on their backs not their fronts, and has been credited with a reduction in deaths.

In the 1980s, The Lullaby Trust says about 2.35 per 1,000 live births ended with cot death.

In 2015 in England and Wales, there were 0.27 unexplained infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

This means there was a reduction of more than 2,000 deaths between the 1980s and 2010s.

Diamond was also awarded a college medal by the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health for her work on the campaign.

She has also worked with other charities like Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, the National Obesity Forum, the Royal National Institute for Deaf People and Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, a national charity empowering limbless military personnel since after the First World War.

Diamond has also been a presenter on radio shows on LBC, Radio Oxford, BBC London and BBC Berkshire as well as a panellist on Loose Women and The Wright Stuff, which was a topical debate show hosted by journalist Matthew Wright.

She has also filled in for journalist Jeremy Vine on his Channel 5 show of the same name, which replaced Wright’s programme.

YolanDa Brown

Saxophonist and broadcaster YolanDa Brown has said she is “excited and honoured” to have been made an OBE in the New Year honours list.

The 40-year-old, the winner of two Mobo Awards, is honoured for her services to music, music education and broadcasting.

Originally from Barking in London, her music brings together reggae, jazz and soul, and she has collaborated with acts such as Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones and Rick Astley.

In July, she was appointed chairwoman of the British Phonographic Industry, which represents UK record labels and organises The Brit Awards and the Mercury Prize.

Brown, who is also chairwoman of the Youth Music national charity, praised the body for “making a difference and impact” and “filling those gaps” where schools cannot provide music education.

“I think it’s really important because there is a power in music,” she said.

“It sounds cliche but there is a power of music that just breaks through anything else that’s going on in the world.”

Brown is also an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust and London Music Fund and sits on the advisory board of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

During the pandemic, she offered bespoke online music lesson plans to teachers, parents and pupils in primary schools nationwide, with an estimated 30,000 children using the resource.

Her work extends further, with her recently composing music for Sesame Street, an animated series called Bea’s Block, and the Netflix series CoComelon Lane.

As a broadcaster, she has hosted various programmes including Gospel Choir Of The Year for BBC One and the BBC Young Jazz Musician annual award.

David Sutherland

David Sutherland, an artist who has drawn for the Beano for 60 years has been made an OBE for services to illustration.

Mr Sutherland, who was born in 1933, has been drawing The Bash Street Kids since 1962 and was responsible for Dennis the Menace from 1970 until 1998.

Mr Sutherland joined Rex Studios in Scotland where he learned about art and illustration while attending evening classes at Glasgow School of Art.

In 1959, Mr Sutherland entered a drawing competition organised by DC Thomson in Dundee.

Although he did not win, his entry made a good impression and he was offered the chance to illustrate adventure strips for the comic.

He began to work on Beano on adventure strips including Danny On A Dolphin and The Great Flood Of London.

His talent was recognised and he was soon working on some of the most famous Beano strips, and understudied for established comic creators.

Between 1970 and 1998, he drew more than 1,000 episodes of Dennis The Menace, but it was on The Bash Street Kids that he created his legacy.

He started on the strip in 1962 and continues to draw it to this day, delivering the Bash Street Kids comic strip every week for the past 60 years.

Celebrities who received MBEs

The first black actor to have a leading role at London's National Theatre, Cleo Sylvestre, received an MBE for for services to drama and charity.

Comedian and presenter Frank Skinner has been recognised for his services to entertainment.

Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon received an MBE for services to literature.

Countdown co-host Rachel Riley is made an MBE in recognition of her efforts to raise awareness of the Holocaust and combat anti-semitism.

Investigative journalist Catherine Belton who was sued by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich over claims of his close relationship with Vladimir Putin has been made an MBE.

Singer and actress Janet Kay, 64, who is known for the 1979 Lovers' Rock hit Silly Games, has been made an MBE for services to music

Playwright and screenwriter Rachel De-Lahay has also been appointed an MBE for services to drama.

DJ Spoony, 52, whose real name is Johnathan Joseph, has been recognised for his services to charity through music during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Updated: December 31, 2022, 5:40 AM