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Tonight’s the Knight: Rod Stewart awarded knighthood in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Rod Stewart (BBC / Kieron McCarron)
Rod Stewart (BBC / Kieron McCarron)

VETERAN singer Rod Stewart and orbiting British astronaut Tim Peake are among 1,149 people to be acclaimed in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Other well-known faces to be honoured include Forces sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn, TV duo Ant and Dec, actor Brian Blessed and actress Penelope Wilton.

London-born Stewart, 71 – full name Roderick David Stewart – received a knighthood for his services to music and charity.

In another record for Major Peake, his CMG – Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George – made him the first person to be honoured while in space.

Major Peake, awarded for space research and scientific research, said from the International Space Station: “I am honoured to receive the first appointment to the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George for extraordinary service beyond our planet.”

He added that the award was not just for him, and dedicated it to everyone who had made his mission possible.

Dame Vera, 99, joined the likes of Sir David Attenborough, Dame Maggie Smith and Stephen Hawking in becoming a Companion of Honour, as did former governor of the BBC, Lord Smith of Kelvin.

Ant and Dec received OBEs for services to broadcasting and entertainment, with Blessed receiving the same honour for services to the arts and charity.

He said: “This is a complete surprise. I am absolutely delighted.

“It is marvellous that the son of a Yorkshire coal miner should be given such an honour.

“A huge thank you to all of the people that nominated me. ”

Ant and Dec (ITV)
Ant and Dec (ITV)

Olivier award winning actress Wilton was made a Dame for her services to drama, one of 13 women to be bestowed the honour.

Nineteen men were awarded knighthoods.

Among them were Damon Buffini – recently appointed chairman of the National Theatre – for voluntary and charitable services, and artist Michael Craig-Martin for services to art.

Women made up 47% of the recipients, with 538 being recognised, and the list also saw the greatest number of people – 90 – from a Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background to be honoured.

A string of stars from the sporting world were also recognised for their achievements, with record-breaking England cricket captain Alastair Cook and former England football skipper Alan Shearer receiving CBEs for their services to cricket and charity, respectively.

Following Great Britain’s triumph in the Davis Cup, Andy Murray’s older brother Jamie Murray was given an OBE for services to tennis and charity, and Cup captain Leon Smith received the same honour for his services to the sport.

Despite calls for England’s 1966 World Cup winning squad to be knighted in The Queen’s 90th birthday honours – to mark the 50th anniversary of the famous win – none of them featured on the list.

Asked about this, Sir Jonathan Stephens, chairman of the Main Honours Committee, said: “We do not comment on names and nominations that are not on the list. A number of the World Cup squad have been included in the past.”

Quizzed about the number of civil servants on the list, he added: “Just under 10% are state servants, very considerably down – as a percentage – on what it used to be.”

Lord Smith and Jamie Murray receive honours (PA Wire & Getty Images)
Lord Smith and Jamie Murray receive honours (PA Wire & Getty Images)

Other knighthoods were awarded to Terence Morgan, the non-executive chairman of Crossrail, for services to UK Infrastructure, skills and employment. And in the year marking 400 years since Shakespeare’s death, Professor Stanley Wells, scholar and honorary president of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, was also knighted, for services to scholarship.

Joining them at the top end of the list were Professor Susan Black, director of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, and Louise Casey, director general of the Department for Communities and Local Government, who were both made dames.

Writer Paul Bede Johnson was given a CBE for his services to literature, and John Micklethwait, former editor-in-chief of the Economist, received the same honour for services to journalism and economics.

Others who were named OBEs were Susie Hargreaves, CEO of the Internet Watch Foundation, and Golden Globe winning television producer Gareth Neame, who was responsible for shows like Spooks and Hustle.

Actor and present Adil Ray was bestowed the same honour for his services to broadcasting, while writer Stella Duffy was recognised for services to the arts.

Named as MBEs were Felix Barrett, founder and artistic director of Punchdrunk, and playwright Rikki Beadle-Blair.

Another recipient of the honour was Martine Wiltshire, a Team GB sitting volleyball player and Paralympian, who lost both her legs in the London 7/7 bombings.

The 43-year-old said: “I believe the power of sport has healed me, and hopefully I am an example of that.

“But I am not accepting this award just for me. I am going to accept for all those volunteers and all those people that helped put me together, and those that support the power of sport.”

Featured on the diplomatic service and overseas list, was Baroness Amos, who was recommended to the Companion of Honour for services to the United Nations and emergency relief.

Nobel prize winner Professor Angus Stewart Deaton joined the Order of the British Empire and Knight Bachelor for his services to research in economics and international affairs.

He was accompanied by Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive of Universal Music Group – instrumental in the careers of artists like Amy Winehouse, The Rolling Stones and Sam Smith – for services to British business and inward investment.

Seventy per cent of the awards went to people who had undertaken outstanding work in or for their local community, either in a voluntary or paid capacity. Around 10.8% were for work in education and 7.3% in health.

Industry and the economy made up 12.8% of the list, with science and technology honours 3.3%.


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