Sporting heroes to the fore in Britain's New Year honours
Bradley Wiggins, by winning the Tour de France and an Olympic gold this year, is to be knighted in Britain’s 2013 New Year honours.
Wiggins heads a sparkling list of sporting heroes, including sailor Ben Ainslie, who gets a knighthood, paracyclist Sarah Storey, who is made a dame, and Jessica Ennis, Victoria Pendleton, Mo Farah and David Weir, who all get CBEs.
There was also recognition for those behind the games. Lord Coe becomes a companion of honour, while Jean Tomlin, who led the Games Maker programme, gets an OBE. Danny Boyle, creator of the epic opening ceremony, is missing, amid speculation he turned down an honour.
Away from sport, the companion of honour goes to Prof Peter Higgs, namesake of the Higgs boson or so-called “God particle”, which was finally proved to exist in July, 48 years after he first proposed it.
There is a knighthood for illustrator Quentin Blake and CBEs for artist Tracey Emin, choreographer Arlene Phillips and singer/songwriter Kate Bush. Bush said she was “deeply honoured”, while former Strictly Come Dancing judge Phillips said: “I am very pleasantly surprised but mostly absolutely thrilled and delighted to receive such a wonderful honour”.
Tony Blair’s wife, Cherie, is given a CBE in recognition of her service to women’s issues and to charity in the UK and overseas; actor Ewan McGregor and fashion designer Stella McCartney get OBEs; while former England cricketer Mark Ramprakash gets an MBE.
Metropolitan police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe gets a knighthood, while Jonathan Evans, head of MI5, is made a knight commander of the order of the bath.
Young Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, who got an MBE, said she hoped it could help continue to draw attention to the importance of classical music and the arts in British society.”
A High Court judge, a consumer affairs expert and a 90-year-old woman are among the North’s recipients. Mr Justice Tom Burgess is awarded the CBE, as is Eileen Evason for services to disadvantaged people. She has played a key role in tackling social deprivation, domestic violence and in women’s aid. Ms Georgina Dickson (90), from Ballynahinch, Co Down, was honoured for her charitable fundraising.