New Year Honours: Knighthood evades Andy Murray

ACTRESS Penelope Keith, singer Katherine Jenkins and even the doctor who oversaw the safe delivery of Prince George have all been recognised by the Queen in the New Year Honours List – but there is no knighthood for Wimbledon champion Andy Murray this year.

Andy Murray won this year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Picture: BBC/PA

The Scots tennis hero, who was made an OBE last year after his Olympic gold medal, was tipped for a possible knighthood after becoming the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry 77 years ago.

Former footballer David Beckham, who announced his retirement earlier this year, also missed out on a knighthood after being tipped for the honour following his sporting success and work on the London 2012 Olympics bid. He was made an OBE in 2003.

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Some 1,195 people have received an award and for the first time since the Order of the British Empire was founded in 1917, there are more women (51 per cent) on the list than men.

Among those to be recognised from the world of showbusiness are actress Lynda Bellingham and writer and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig – who are made OBEs – while MBEs go to Gavin and Stacey co-creator Ruth Jones, DJ Pete Tong and Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud.

Jenkins said the honour left her feeling “incredibly humbled”. “To accept such an award after only a decade of service to music and charity comes as a wonderful surprise,” she added. “I share this award with the charitable bodies I am so privileged to work with.”

Loose Women panellist Bellingham, who recently announced she has cancer, said her award was “a fantastic way to move forward” following a “tough year”.

And actor Michael Crawford, who played Frank Spencer in 1970s sitcom Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, said his CBE for services to children’s charities was “the most wonderful surprise”.

Marcus Setchell, who delayed his retirement after being asked by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to oversee the birth of their son, is made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) – an honour in the personal gift of the Queen.

The 70-year-old looked after the duchess when she was taken to hospital with severe morning sickness in the early stages of her pregnancy, and he previously helped save the life of the Countess of Wessex in 2003 when she was eight months pregnant with her elder child Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor.

Also on this year’s list is Caroline Cassells, matron at the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London, where Kate was treated for morning sickness, and where the Queen has previously received treatment. She becomes a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO).

The Order of Merit (OM) goes to orchestra conductor Sir Simon Rattle and to world-renowned heart surgeon Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub.

Awarded to individuals of great achievement in the fields of the arts, learning, literature and science, there can be a total of only 24 OMs at any one time. Previous recipients include Florence Nightingale and Sir Winston Churchill, as well as honorary members Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela.

Actress Penelope Keith, who became a household name as Margot Leadbetter in 1970s sitcom The Good Life, becomes a dame in this year’s list, as does Murder, She Wrote actress Angela Lansbury, who is in the Diplomatic and Overseas List.

Knighthoods go to film and theatre producer Michael Codron; sculptor Antony Gormley; and former Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker, while former director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer QC receives a knighthood for services to law and criminal justice.

Gormley said he was “happy” to accept the honour, describing it as a “good thing for sculpture and a recognition of the aspect of sculpture that is about a collective vision”.

Two of Margaret Thatcher’s long-serving aides were knighted, nine months after the former prime minister died. Mark Worthington, who was Baroness Thatcher’s private secretary, was made a Knight Bachelor, as was the former director to her private office, Julian Seymour.

Football executive Karren Brady has been made a CBE.

Toksvig said she felt “honoured” to be recognised, adding a tribute to all the writers, production and technical staff she has worked with.

Jones, who set parts of Gavin and Stacey in her native South Wales, described her award as not “just tidy, it’s proper tidy”.

Elsewhere in the arts, composer and conductor Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, who is Master of the Queen’s Music, becomes a Companion of Honour. CBEs go to ballet dancer Carlos Acosta and presenter Nicholas Parsons, known for hosting the comedy radio game show Just A Minute.

Barry and Margaret Mizen, whose 16-year-old son Jimmy was murdered in London in May 2008, receive MBEs for services to young people. The couple set up the Jimmy Mizen Foundation to help young people play a positive role in their communities.

Mr Mizen said the award was not just a reward for him and his wife but for the whole family, who are all involved in some way in the foundation.

An MBE also goes to artist Derek Clarke, member of the Royal Scottish Academy of Arts, who turns 101 tomorrow.