Michael Eavis and Jilly Cooper lead list

Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis and best-selling writer Jilly Cooper are among those recognised in the 2024 New Year Honours list.

Actress Emilia Clarke is named MBE alongside England goalkeeper Mary Earps, while captain Millie Bright and singer Leona Lewis become OBEs.

Ex-rugby league players Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield become CBEs for raising awareness of motor neurone disease.

Founder of pub chain JD Wetherspoon, Tim Martin, receives a knighthood.

Eavis also receives a knighthood and becomes Sir Michael, while Cooper, now Dame Jilly, is given a damehood in the honours list – which recognises the achievements of hundreds of people across the UK.

Kevin Sinfield and Rob Burrow

Kevin Sinfield and Rob Burrow, pictured at the inaugural Rob Burrow Leeds marathon in May, receive CBEs

Kevin Sinfield has raised more than £15m 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 challenge earlier in December, says receiving the honour is “really special”, but attention should be focussed on Burrow’s courage in fighting the incurable and life-limiting condition.

“To open the front door and show the world what it’s like to live with it has been incredible from him,” he says.

Sir Michael, 88, who founded the Glastonbury Festival on his Somerset farm in 1970, is awarded a knighthood for services to music and charity. Each festival contributes more than £2m to charity.

“We started with 500 people and we’ve finished up with millions wanting to come every year,” he says. “That’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 scandal. Rivals is being adapted into a star-studded series for Disney+.

The 86-year-old, who is awarded a damehood for services to literature and charity, says: “I am absolutely and incredibly bowled over. I cannot believe I am a DBE, which in my case also stands for ‘delighted, bewildered and ecstatic’.”

Meanwhile, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is made a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (RVO) for conducting King Charles’ coronation service. This award is selected independently by the King.

Emilia Clarke and Leona Lewis

Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke becomes an MBE and singer Leona Lewis an OBE

Businessman Sir Tim Martin, 68, who is honoured for 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 says came “out of the blue”, to his colleagues and customers. “In the pub world, it is a team effort – even if you’ve just got one pub, there are many people involved,” he adds.

Game Of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke, who survived two brain haemorrhages, is made an MBE alongside her mother Jenny, for establishing a charity, called SameYou, which help others with similar conditions.

She says the award is “wonderful awareness building for the cause”.

In sport, three Lionesses are among those recognised. Captain Millie Bright is appointed an OBE, while striker Lauren Hemp and goalkeeper Mary Earps – also voted 2023 BBC Sports Personality of the Year – become MBEs after finishing as runners-up in the women’s World Cup.

England fast bowler Stuart Broad, who retired after this year’s Ashes, is named 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 also feature on the list.

Author Kate Mosse, best known for her Languedoc Trilogy, says she considers her CBE as recognition of the importance of The Women’s Prize for Fiction, which she co-founded.

Academy Award-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 the people in broadcasting who gave comfort and public service during the pandemic”.

Fellow broadcaster Tony Blackburn says his OBE is “the icing on a very lovely cake” after almost 60 years in the “best job” on BBC and commercial radio stations.

Meanwhile, Dame Shirley Bassey, 86, who has sold 135 million records, says she is “truly humbled” to become the 64th living member of the Order of the Companion of Honour, which only has 65 members at one time.

Singer-songwriter Leona Lewis, 38, who shot to fame after winning X Factor in 2006, is named OBE for services to music and charity.

And film director and producer Sir Ridley Scott, whose works include Gladiator, Alien and Napoleon, is made a Knight Grand Cross, upgrading his previous knighthood.

James Martin holding his Oscar

James Martin starred in An Irish Goodbye, which won best live action short film in the 2023 Oscars

Meanwhile, Oscar-winning actor James Martin says he “cried his eyes out” after learning he was to be appointed an MBE. Martin, who has Down’s syndrome, says he hopes it will inspire people with learning difficulties.

TV baker Paul Hollywood is named CBE, while retail expert and broadcaster Mary Portas is appointed OBE for services to business, broadcasting and charity.

Former Sky Sports anchor Jeff Stelling and BBC presenter Hazel Irvine are named MBEs for services to sport and charity.

Prof Sonia Boyce receives a damehood for services to art. She is a prominent voice on the representation of black artists in Britain, both as an educator and an artist represented in major UK collections.

Academic and author Alexander McCall Smith, best known for his No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, is awarded 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 damehood upgraded to a Dame Grand Cross, and Siobhain McDonagh, Labour MP for Mitcham and Morden, is made a Dame Commander.

The honours system

Commonly-awarded ranks:

  • Companion of Honour – Limited to 65 people. Recipients wear the initials CH after their name

  • Knight or Dame

  • 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 the Honours

Ian Russell is made an MBE for working to improve online safety for children following the death of his daughter, Molly. He says the 14-year-old would have been “very proud” of her legacy around suicide prevention.

Elizabeth Hall, founder of the Hygiene Bank which delivered more than £300,000 of donations during the pandemic, and Laura Coryton, who campaigned for scrapping of the so-called tampon tax on period products both become MBEs.

And a woman whose best friend was murdered by her husband is named CBE for her work with people affected by domestic abuse. Hetti Barkworth-Nanton says the honour would not have happened “were it not for my beautiful friend Joanna Simpson, who lost her life so brutally”.

More than 1,227 recipients are on the main list, announced by the Cabinet Office – 48% of whom are women and 13.8% are from an ethnic minority background.

There are another 316 recipients on the list announced by the Foreign Office recognising overseas contributions, as well as separate lists for police, fire and ambulance personnel and military service. There are 84 on the Royal Victorian list, which is in the personal gift of the King.

Rizwan Javed

Rizwan Javed has received 29 suicide intervention commendations and other awards in recognition of his work

The majority of honours are given to people who are not in the public eye.

They include Rizwan Javed, a station assistant on London’s Elizabeth Line, who is awarded an MBE for saving 29 lives. He approaches and talks to people on platforms who are showing signs of taking their lives.

Javed, 33, says his interventions have had an “emotional impact” and that his award gives him confidence to broaden 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’re fighting a battle of some sort. It’s how we deal with it,” he says.

The oldest person on the honours list is 97-year-old Jill Gladwell, who has been a Poppy Appeal collector for more than 80 years. She becomes an MBE.

Tony Hudgell, aged nine, is this year’s youngest recipient, receiving a BEM for services to the prevention of child abuse. He raised more than £1.8m for the hospital that saved him after suffering abuse as a baby and inspired an English law change to increase prison sentences for those convicted of child cruelty and neglect.

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