New Year Honours: James Cosmo joins Ringo Starr and Darcey Bussell on list
Game of Thrones star James Cosmo and Scottish rugby legend Ian 'Mighty Mouse' McLauchlan have joined The Beatles' Ringo Starr and a host of other big names from the worlds of sport and entertainment in this year's New Year Honours list.
Cosmo, a veteran Scots actor who has starred in films including Braveheart, Trainspotting and Highlander, and McLauchlan, a former Scotland rugby captain, become MBEs for services to drama and sport respectively.
Also honoured is Bee Gees co-founder Barry Gibb, who has been awarded a knighthood, alongside awards for round-the-world cyclist Mark Beaumont, Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell and War Horse author Michael Morpurgo.
There were honours for big political names including former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, key Tory backbencher Graham Brady and elections expert Professor John Curtice from Strathclyde University.
Bussell, 48, said she was “truly humbled” to become a dame for services to dance.
And Morpurgo, 74, knighted for services to literature and charity, said he had Joey, the equine character from the 1982 children’s book which became a hit international play, to thank for his knighthood.
He said: “There was never a knight that has owed so much to his horse as this one – and in fact, we will give the knighthood to Joey and call him Sir Joey.”
Prof Curtice, whose exit poll in June’s snap general election revealed Theresa May was set to lose her Commons majority, said he never expected a knighthood but was “truly grateful”. The academic said: “Just six months ago the exit poll I led surprised everyone with a shock prediction that went on to be uncannily accurate. Now it is my turn to be surprised – and humbled – by the gracious decision to grant me a knighthood.
“It is not something I ever expected to happen. But it appears my attempts to analyse public opinion and outline its implications for the country’s political life are appreciated, and for that I am duly grateful.”
Mark Beaumont, who made headlines when he first broke the record for cycling round the world in 2008, is recognised with a British Empire Medal (BEM).
Also honoured is Scottish campaigner Lisa Stephenson, 48, whose efforts helped to raise more than £1 million for the Maggie’s cancer centre in Edinburgh. She said she was “incredibly flattered and humbled” to be receiving a BEM. The mother of two said of her honour: “I know people will be really pleased and I do feel that it belongs to every single person who has contributed to that fundraising.
“I’m here because of my doctors and Maggie’s. God willing I’ll be able to continue doing things for Maggie’s – we have got a couple of really exciting things in the pipeline.”
Barry Gibb, 71, the last surviving member of the Bee Gees, said he was “deeply honoured, humbled, and very proud” to be recognised, adding: “This is a moment to be treasured and never forgotten.
“I want to acknowledge how responsible my brothers are for this honour. It is as much theirs as it is mine.”
Gibb also dedicated the honour to his late brothers and former bandmates and said: “The magic, the glow, and the rush will last me the rest of my life.”
Two of the biggest names in line for honours were leaked, with 77-year-old Ringo Starr, whose real name is Richard Starkey, revealed to be in line for a knighthood for services to music days ahead of the announcement.
His award comes 52 years after he received an MBE as part of the “Fab Four” and about 20 years after fellow Beatles bandmate Sir Paul McCartney was honoured.
Details of the knighthood of former deputy prime minister and prominent Remain campaigner Nick Clegg, 50, were also the subject of early newspaper reports. His award has provoked criticism among some Brexiteers.
Author and journalist Jilly Cooper is recognised for services to literature and charity, actor Hugh Laurie for services to drama and former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman for her contribution to fashion journalism. All have their OBEs upgraded to CBEs.
Also among the 1,123 people honoured is 80s star and self-described “maverick” Marc Almond, who receives an OBE for services to arts and culture.
The 60-year-old, who had hits including Tainted Love as one half of electric duo Soft Cell, said he was “totally excited” to be recognised, adding: “I can’t really be a rebel any more.
“I think it’s time to leave it to younger people.”
Breakfast TV veteran Eamonn Holmes, 58, who is awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting, said it was a “wonderful accolade”.
He said: “It’s like getting a gold star for your homework – 2018 will be my 38th year as a broadcaster and I can’t think of a better way of marking that.”
Future honours lists will focus on those involved in the responses to the series of UK terror attacks in 2017 and the Grenfell Tower fire which left 71 people dead.