Pop legend and world renowned artist among big names honoured in King’s birthday list

Entertainment

The King’s Birthday Honours list has been published, with leading artist Tracey Emin, pop icon Simon Le Bon and stage and screen actress Imelda Staunton among those recognised.

Other well-known faces being given honours include Strictly Come Dancing professional Amy Dowden, singer Heather Small and actor Alex Jennings, with the highest award, Companion of Honour, being given to former prime minister Gordon Brown for services to public and charitable services both in the UK and abroad.

Post Office victims campaigner Alan Bates is also being honoured with a knighthood for his services to justice.

Former subpostmaster and lead campaigner Alan Bates arrives at Aldwych House
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Alan Bates arriving at the Post Office inquiry in April. Pic: PA

Mr Bates, who inspired ITV drama Mr Bates Vs The Post Office, founded the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance and helped bring the Horizon IT scandal to light, while supporting the hundreds of sub-postmasters who were prosecuted for theft and false accounting, which turned out to be due to errors in the accounting software.

In total 1,000 people from across the UK have received honours, for the “immeasurable impact” they have had on the lives of people across the country, the Cabinet Office said.

Gordon Brown speaking during Lead 2024, the advertising industry's annual summit
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Gordon Brown said he felt ’embarrassed’ by the honour. Pic: PA

Former Labour leader Mr Brown said he felt “slightly embarrassed” about being made a Companion of Honour, which is limited to just 65 people at any one time, adding that he preferred to recognise “unsung, local heroes”.

Receiving a knighthood is Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish, 39, for services to cycling and to charity work.

The honour comes weeks after the cyclist achieved his 164th career victory, confirming him as one of the most successful men’s sprint cyclists of all time, the Isle of Man government – where Cavendish is from – said.

EMBARGOED TO 2230 FRIDAY JUNE 14 File photo dated 26/06/22 of Mark Cavendish winning the 2022 British National Road Championships road race in Castle Douglas. He has been made a Knight Commander for services to cycling and to charity work, in the King's Birthday Honours list. Issue date: Thursday June 13, 2024.
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Mark Cavendish will become a sir. Pic: PA

Historian Professor Niall Ferguson, 60, who first came to the attention of many in the UK with the hit 2003 Channel 4 series Empire: How Britain Made The Modern World, and a best-selling book of the same name, is also receiving a knighthood.

Artist Tracey Emin sits by her work 'My Bed' which is on the market for the first time offered for sale at Christie's in  central London to benefit the Saatchi Gallery's foundation. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 27, 2014. See PA story SALE Emin. Photo credit should read: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
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Artist Tracey Emin sits by her work ‘My Bed’. Pic: PA

British artist Emin, 60, and The Crown actress Staunton, 68, were given damehoods for services to art and drama and charity respectively.

Reacting to receiving the award, Emin, who is known for her autobiographical and confessional artwork, said: “Dame Tracey has a good ring to it. I’m very, very happy.” While Staunton said she felt “genuinely humbled” to be recognised.

Designer Anya Hindmarch speaks to media during London Fashion Week in London, Britain February 17, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall
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Designer and businesswoman Anya Hindmarch. Pic: Reuters

English designer Anya Hindmarch, 56, who is best known for creating clothes and accessories using logos of well-known brands including Pringles, Kelloggs and Sprite, was also made a dame for services to fashion and business.

Commander of the British Empire (CBEs) are the highest second class honour, bestowed to individuals for playing a leading role in regional affairs through achievement or service to the community, or for making a “highly distinguished, innovative contribution” in a particular activity.

Actor Alex Jennings poses for photographers on arrival at the 2019 BAFTA Television Awards in London, Sunday, May 12, 2019.(Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP)
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Actor Alex Jennings. Pic: AP

Scottish writer, director and performer Armando Iannucci, 60, is one of those receiving the honour for services to film and TV. The 60-year-old is best known for creating political sitcom The Thick Of It in 2005 and later HBO’s political satire Veep, for which he won two Emmy Awards.

Also gaining a CBE is actor Alex Jennings, 67 – best known for his portrayal of King Charles in 2006 film The Queen alongside Helen Mirren and more recently as Conservative MP James Arbuthnot in Mr Bates Vs The Post Office – for services to drama.

Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran during the Platinum Party at the Palace staged in front of Buckingham Palace, London, on day three of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2022.
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Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran performing in 2022. Pic: PA

Meanwhile, lead vocalist and lyricist of new wave band Duran Duran, Simon Le Bon, 65, gets a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to music and charity.

As does Amy Dowden, 33, best known for being one of the professional dancers on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. She was honoured for her services to fundraising and raising awareness of inflammatory bowel disease having being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was 19.

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Amy Dowden joins the panel of judges for this year's GoCardless JustGiving Awards gather to select the finalists ahead of the awards ceremony in September. Picture date: Wednesday May 15, 2024.
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Amy Dowden publicly shared her journey with breast cancer over the last year. Pic: PA

The dancer is one of the UK ambassadors for charity Crohn’s and Colitis and last year publicly shared her breast cancer journey and subsequent mastectomy.

Fellow Strictly Come Dancing star and former EastEnders actress Rose Ayling Ellis, 29, also receives an MBE for voluntary services to the deaf community.

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FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival, Britain - 10 Apr 2016
Susie Dent

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Susie Dent known for her knowledge of words. Pic: David Hartley/Shutterstock

EMBARGOED TO 2230 FRIDAY JUNE 14 File photo dated 13/09/21 of actor, writer and dancer Shobna Gulati who has been made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire), for services to the Cultural Industries, in the King's Birthday Honours list. Issue date: Friday June 14, 2024.
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Shobna Gulati. Pic: PA

MBEs mark outstanding achievement or service in and to the community which has delivered “sustained and real impact” and is as an example to others.

Also earning the honour is Countdown’s Susie Dent, 59, for services to literature and language and former Coronation Street and Dinner Ladies actress Shobna Gulati, 57, for services to cultural industries.

ARCHIVE PHOTO: Liz MITCHELL celebrates her 70th birthday on July 12, 2022, Boney M. feat. Liz MITCHELL,singer,vocal group,on stage.11/29/2006. Photo by: Frank Hoermann/SVEN SIMON/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
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Liz Mitchell is an original member of the band Boney M. Pic: AP

Liz Mitchell, the original lead singer of disco group Boney M is another MBE recipient. She is listed under her full name Elizabeth Rebecca Pemberton-Mitchell.

The 71-year-old, whose late father Norman Mitchell, also gained the honour in 2014 for his charitable work, said she “could not believe it” when she was told.

She said: “Everything is so raw with me because my dad just passed and the MBE was so important to him.”

EMBARGOED TO 2230 FRIDAY JUNE 14 File photo dated 07/07/22 of Heather Small who has been made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for Voluntary and Charitable Services, in the King's Birthday Honours list. Issue date: Friday June 14, 2024.
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Heather Small undoubtedly ‘proud’ of her MBE. Pic: PA

Proud singer Heather Small, 59, also gains an MBE for voluntary and charitable services. The 59-year-old actively supports several charities including Action Breaks Silence, which aims to protect women and girls from all forms of male violence.

Former X Factor contestant Rebecca Ferguson is also being honoured with an MBE for services to the music industry. The 37-year-old came second on the singing contest in 2010 and has since campaigned for the introduction of a regulatory body for the music industry, in a bid to ensure artist welfare.

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Kiran Shah

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Kiran Shah known for his stunt work on The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit films. Pic: Isa Harsin/Sipa/Shutterstock


British actor and stuntman Kiran Shah, 67, best known for his stunt work on The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit film series, has gained an MBE for services to the film industry.

Others honoured from the sporting world include ex-cyclist Chris Boardman and former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness who were given CBEs, while former England footballer Karen Carney was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

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