31 Dec 2010

Annie Lennox heads New Year Honours List

Pop star Annie Lennox joins a host of entertainment stars, sporting heroes, top businessmen and unsung local heroes in the New Year Honours List. Samira Ahmed looks at who has been recognised.

Annie Lennox is among those honoured in the Queen's New Year Honours List (Reuters)

The former Eurthymics singer received an OBE in the list for her work fighting Aids and poverty in Africa. The 56-year old has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide in the group and as a solo star, and now splits her time between her music and campaigning.

She is an Oxfam global ambassador and launched the Sing campaign to raise money to prevent the spread of HIV in South Africa.

As usual, the majority of the awards in the New Year Honours List go to local heroes, including MBEs for Anne Buckingham, from Farnham, Surrey, and Eric Sutherns, the bridge master of London’s Tower Bridge.

But celebrities like Ms Lennox and sports stars also pack the list, including Poirot actor David Suchet, 64, and Ryder-Cup winning golfer Graeme McDowell, 31.

Actress Sheila Hancock, 77, is recognised, as well as England’s best performer at the World Cup – football referee Howard Webb, 39, who took charge of the final in Johannesburg.

Business honours

Some senior figures in the business world have also been honoured – some controversially.

There are knighthoods for the chairman of British Airways, Martin Broughton, 63, as well as for chairman of energy giant Centrica and former chairman of confectioner Cadbury, Roger Carr, 64, and the outgoing director-general of the CBI, Richard Lambert, 66.

However a trade union said today that Sir Roger did not deserve his honour, after allowing Cadbury to be sold to US company Kraft, causing job losses. In his role at Centrica this year, he also oversaw a hike in customer prices at British Gas.

It is our members, the workers of Cadbury…who should be receiving recognition. Roger Carr certainly does not deserve any awards. Jennie Formby, Unite national officer for food and drink

Jennie Formby, Unite’s national officer for food and drink, said: “I am sure that the thousands of Unite members working on Cadbury sites throughout the UK and Ireland will be surprised and disappointed to learn that Roger Carr is being honoured in the New Year Honours List.

“It is our members, the workers of Cadbury, whose hard work and decades of loyalty should be receiving recognition and honours. Roger Carr certainly does not deserve any awards.”

British Airways’ chairman Sir Martin, who has had a difficult year dealing with BA cabin crew strikes and massive flight disruption caused by volcanic ash and snow, said the award was a “real surprise”.

He said: “I have been lucky enough to be involved with some great British companies and institutions in my career, but it was a real surprise to receive such recognition.”

MPs have also made a return to the list for the first time since June 2008, when Peter Viggers – who later became embroiled in the MPs’ expenses scandal over his claims for a duck house – was knighted.

The New Years Honours List hands out OBEs, knight and damehoods, and CBEs (Getty)

The first full-time wheelchair user ever elected to Parliament, Anne Begg, 55, is made a dame for services to disabled people and equal opportunities. The 55-year old was elected as Labour MP for Aberdeen South in 1997.

The Conservative MP for West Worthing, Sussex – 66-year old Peter Bottomley – has been knighted for public service after serving for 35 years. The 66-year old was first elected in 1975 and served as a junior minister under Margaret Thatcher.

Other honours

Also honoured was Joe Brown, 80, a Manchester-born rock climber nicknamed the “human fly” for his climbing exploits. Rugby star Mike Catt, 39, was awarded an OBE, and best-selling biographer and widow of playwright Sir Harold Pinter, Lady Antonia Fraser, 78, is made a dame for services to literature.

Turner-Prize winning artist Steve McQueen, 41, who directed the 2008 film Hunger about the 1981 hunger strike in Northern Ireland, was awarded a CBE.

Also in the film world, costume designer Sandy Powell, 50, received an OBE, as did Burt Kwouk, 80, best known for playing Cato in the Pink Panther films.

Durham-born record producer Trevor Horn, 61, who worked with everyone from Paul McCartney to Frankie Goes to Hollywood, received a CBE, as did composer Howard Goodall, 52, who created the theme tunes for TV shows including Blackadder.

Former ITN foreign correspondent Sandy Gall, 83, was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in the Diplomatic and Overseas List for his work supporting disabled Afghans. Not the Nine O’Clock News producer John Lloyd , 59, and former BBC Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer, 55, got CBEs.

Nasa astronaut Piers Sellers, 55, also received an OBE in the Diplomatic and Overseas List.

Fashion designers including the founder of Ted Baker, Raymond Kelvin, 55 got a CBE and designer Alice Temperley, 35, got an MBE. The husband-and-wife team behind cosmetics company Lush, Mark and Mo Constantine, also received OBEs.