Former prime minister Tony Blair has been awarded a knighthood as a host of famous faces have been recognised in the New Year Honours list – including actress Joanna Lumley, Spice Girl Mel B and tennis star Emma Raducanu.
Team GB and Paralympic heroes dominate the list, with cyclists Jason and Laura Kenny – a married couple who have 12 Olympic gold medals between them – receiving a knighthood and damehood respectively.
Wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft, a seven-time Paralympic champion, has been recognised with an OBE alongside Olympic diver Tom Daley, swimmer Adam Peaty and gymnast Max Whitlock.
Gold medal-winning boxers Lauren Price and Galal Yafai, who have been made MBEs, are also among the Olympic heroes to have been honoured.
Eight-time Paralympic gold medallist Jody Cundy has been honoured with a CBE, while OBEs have also been awarded to Tokyo Paralympic champions Natasha Baker, Kadeena Cox, Aled Davies, Bethany Firth, Hannah Russell, David Smith and Sophie Wells.
Raducanu ‘extremely proud’ to have been made an MBE
Outside of the Olympics, tennis champion Emma Raducanu, who was just 18 when she shocked the world by winning the US Open in September, has been made an MBE.
Raducanu said: “It makes me immensely proud and grateful to be listed to receive an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen.
“This year has been full of amazing surprises for me so to end 2021 with this appointment is very special.”
Steve Holland, the assistant manager of the England men’s football team, has been awarded an MBE in recognition of helping the side to the final of Euro 2020, their first major final appearance in 55 years.
Former prime minister given most senior order of knighthood
Tony Blair is to be knighted with the highest possible ranking in the New Year Honours List, Buckingham Palace has said.
The former Labour prime minister, who held the keys to Number 10 between 1997 and 2007, will be appointed a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the oldest and most senior British Order of Chivalry.
He said: “It is an immense honour… I am deeply grateful to Her Majesty the Queen. It was a great privilege to serve as prime minister.”
Baroness Valerie Amos is the first black person to be appointed Lady Companion of the Order, while the Queen has appointed the Duchess of Cornwall to be a Royal Lady of the Order.
TV presenter recognised after husband became seriously ill with COVID
Kate Garraway has been made an MBE in the New Year Honours after documenting her husband Derek Draper’s battle with coronavirus.
The TV presenter, 54, has been recognised for her services to broadcasting, journalism and charity.
In September 2021 she won the authored documentary prize at the National Television Awards for her hard-hitting documentary Finding Derek.
‘Scary Spice’ and Britain’s Got Talent winner honoured
Melanie Brown of the Spice Girls has been made an MBE for her work with domestic violence charity Women’s Aid.
The 46-year-old singer, known to fans as Mel B or Scary Spice, has been recognised for her services to charitable causes and vulnerable women.
Dancer and choreographer Ashley Banjo, who found fame in 2009 as part of Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity, has said he is “humbled and extremely proud” to have been made an MBE for services to dance.
Soap star ‘honoured and humbled’ after being recognised
Coronation Street actor William Roache, who debuted as Ken Barlow in the first episode of the soap, said he is “delighted” to have been made an OBE in the New Year Honours list.
The 89-year-old, who holds the Guinness World Record for the longest-serving TV soap star in the world, has been recognised for his services to drama and charity.
Coronation Street actress Cherylee Houston, 47, has said she is similarly “honoured and humbled” to have been made an MBE for services to drama and to people with disabilities.
Meanwhile, actress June Brown, best known as chain-smoking Albert Square stalwart Dot Cotton in EastEnders, has been made an OBE.
007 producer and much-loved actresses recognised
James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has been made a CBE in the New Year Honours List.
The 61-year-old, who has been the driving force behind the blockbuster film franchise for more than 20 years, is recognised for her services to film, drama, philanthropy and to skills.
Absolutely Fabulous actress Joanna Lumley, 75, has said she is “astonished, thrilled and touched beyond words” at being made a dame for services to drama, entertainment and art.
Meanwhile, acclaimed actress Vanessa Redgrave, whose career has spanned more than six decades, has also been made a dame for services to drama.
Sky and BBC journalists feature in New Year’s Honours list
Veteran broadcaster Moira Stuart has said “it hasn’t been easy” but she is “moved and lifted” to be made a CBE in the New Year Honours.
The 72-year-old, who was the first African-Caribbean woman to read the news on British television, is recognised for her services to media.
Trevor Phillips has been knighted in the New Year Honours list.
The news anchor and former politician, 68, has been recognised for his services to equality and human rights.
He currently fronts Sky News’ Sunday morning news programme, having taken over from colleague Sophy Ridge in May 2021 while she is on maternity leave.