The champagne is on ice, though those in the Southern hemisphere have already been celebrating the arrival of 2015 for a while. For us Brits, along with a hangover, the New Year also signals the arrival of the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List, a chance for the Queen and her government to recognise those who go above and beyond in services to their industry or charitable works.
Let’s be honest, it’s fantastic to see so many people honoured for work they have done within their communities, but we also really love to take a look at which celebs made the list too. So here, in no particular order, are the best known celebrities in the New Year’s Honours List.
1: John Hurt
Awarded a Knighthood for his services to drama, and about time too! It’s impossible to pick our favourite role of Hurt’s, but aside from being jolly marvellous in ‘The Day of the Doctor’, Hurt has wowed us across film, television and radio for many, many years. A true talent and gift to this country.
2: Joan Collins
Awarded a Damehood for services to charity, surprisingly not for her contribution to the literary world. Joan Collins is a tireless charity campaigner and a really lovely lady to boot. “When I first heard, I really couldn’t quite believe it. Although quite a few people have been saying for some time maybe it was going to happen, I never ever believed it. But I’m, delirious, thrilled excited and very, very honoured,” Joan said of her honour.
3: Esther Rantzen
Awarded a Damehood for services to children and older people. Again, hardly a surprise considering Rantzen has spent years raising awareness for Childline and The Silver Line, the presenter said: “I am thrilled that this honour recognises the contribution made by ChildLine and The Silver Line in transforming lives, and I am delighted that the talented teams at both charities have also been recognised for their inspirational work and devotion.”
4: James Corden
Awarded an OBE for services to drama. 2015 looks set to be a huge year for Corden, with his transfer to The Late, Late Show in the US, and this award will start it all off nicely for him. Corden said of his honour: “I’m thrilled, overwhelmed and honoured to be recognised in such a way. I feel very lucky to be born in a country where creativity is both encouraged and valued. My family are very proud. My mum is already fretting about what to wear.”
5: Sheridan Smith
Awarded an OBE for services to drama. “I’m sincerely thankful and humbled to be recognised with such an honour. I’m overwhelmed and hope to continue doing the work that I love for many years to come,” Smith said. A terrific actress, Smith thoroughly deserves this award, and it’s funny to see her getting recognised in the same year as Corden, considering the pair used to date and played brother and sister ‘Smiffy’ and Rudy on Corden’s hit show, Gavin and Stacey.
6: Kristin Scott Thomas
Awarded a Damehood for services to drama, Kristin Scott Thomas is definitely one of Britain’s finest talents. “I thought someone was playing a trick. But it’s true apparently, and I am thrilled, astonished and worried that I might suddenly wake up,” Thomas said.
7: Meera Syal
Awarded a CBE for services to drama and literature, Meera Syal is best known for her comedy work, especially The Kumars at No. 42. She will next be seen in series 2 of Broadchurch, playing a pivotal role, apparently. We only have to wait until Monday, January 5th to find out more!
8: Mary Quant
Awarded a Damehood for services to British fashion. A long time staple of the London fashion scene, Mary Quant is thrilled with her honour. “I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded this terrific honour. It is extremely gratifying that my work in the fashion industry has been recognised and acknowledged in such a significant way.”
Other recipients include sports stars as well as business entrepreneurs. Ceramic artist Paul Cummins and theatre designer Tom Piper are also both made MBE’s for their stunning and emotive ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ ceramic poppy installation which decorated the Tower of London during 2014’s remembrance celebrations.
For me personally, I am quite happy with this year’s selection. I am always eager to see artists recognised for their work, given that we all have a tendency to take the entertainment world for granted somewhat. Often it is more about the gossip, the who’s dating who or going on vacation and wearing what bikini (not John Hurt) and less about the works of art these people work hard to produce for our entertainment. So congratulations to all those on the list, and a very happy 2015!
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