A galaxy of stars twinkle in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2015

house-of-cards-kevin-spaceyKevin Spacey, the Hollywood star who has spent so long running the Old Vic he has almost become a Londoner, has been given the ultimate establishment accolade — an honorary knighthood.

Spacey, whose charity work has earned him the support of the Prince of Wales, is named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, published today.

The star of The Usual Suspects and House of Cards said: “I am honoured and humbled by such recognition from the Queen. I must thank the British public for being so supportive of my efforts on behalf of the Old Vic. I feel like an adopted son.”

As a US citizen, Spacey, 55, will be able to wear the insignia of the award, but will not be called Sir Kevin. His citation says he has done much to secure the long-term future of the theatre.

The list also sees a knighthood for Van Morrison, the Belfast-born singer known as much for his truculent attitude as his longevity.

Van Morrison, 69, who is listed under his full name, George Ivan Morrison, had his first hits in the mid-1960s with the band Them, including Here Comes the Night — a gift for headline writers — while his 1968 album Astral Weeks regularly features in lists of the best albums ever made. He is still performing: on Monday he is playing in a concert at the Royal Albert Hall celebrating the blues legend Lead Belly. He is honoured for services to the music industry and tourism in Northern Ireland.

Among the 1,163 people honoured, there are knighthoods for Lenny Henry, the comedian and co-founder of Comic Relief, and the Welsh rugby star Gareth Edwards.

The “rivalry” between Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne continues. In a year in which Redmayne has won an Oscar and a Bafta for his performance in The Theory of Everything, he is appointed OBE, while Cumberbatch, who was nominated for The Imitation Game but lost out twice, goes one better, being appointed CBE.

The actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, nominated for an Oscar for12 Years a Slave, is appointed CBE, while Martin Clunes is appointed OBE. Steven Moffat, the driving force behind the TV shows Sherlock and Doctor Who, is appointed OBE. If Cumberbatch, 38, and Ejiofor, 37, are regarded as being young to receive such a prestigious award, the same could not be said of Michael Bond, the creator of Paddington Bear. He is appointed CBE at 89.

In sport, Jonny Wilkinson is appointed CBE, while there are OBEs for Frank Lampard, the former Chelsea and England footballer, the cricketer James Anderson and the former rugby player Jonathan Davies, who is honoured for charitable services to cancer victims. Jo Pavey, who won gold in the 10,000m at the European championships last year aged 40, is appointed MBE.

Anthony Steen, the former Tory MP, has been appointed CBE for his campaigning against human trafficking. Lord Woolf, the former lord chief justice, and the conductor Sir Neville Marriner, are appointed Companions of Honour.

Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat MP who lost his seat at the general election, is knighted. The composer James MacMillan is made a knight, while the economist Frances Cairncross and the biologist Anne Glover are both appointed dames. Loyd Grossman, the broadcaster, is appointed CBE, along with the opera director Jonathan Kent.

Many congrats to all these recipients who are an inspiration for everyone who aspires to achieve the best they can be.



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