28 December 2019 04:34
Now Olivia Newton-John has been recognised in today's New Year's Honours by being made a dame. The 71-year-old heads a list of showbusiness figures to be honoured by the Queen that includes filmmakers Sam Mendes and Steve McQueen, actress Wendy Craig, TV presenter Floella Benjamin, Queen drummer Roger Taylor and singer Billy Ocean. Speaking about her award for services to charity and entertainment, Dame Olivia said she was 'grateful beyond words'. Olivia Newton as 'sexy' Sandy in Grease - 1978 - has now been recognised in today's New Year's Honours by being made a dame 'I am extremely excited, honoured and grateful beyond words to be included with such an esteemed group of women who have received this distinguished award before me. James Bond director Sam Mendes is knighted, as is London-born Steve McQueen, the first black filmmaker to win a best picture Oscar.
Liberal Democrat peer Floella Benjamin, 70, host of children's shows Play School and Play Away, has been made a dame for services to charity. Officials hailed this year's list for its diversity, with women receiving more than half of the awards and 44 per cent of the higher honours. Television sports presenter Gabby Logan tweeted: 'I am extremely proud and very chuffed to have been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours list. Prof Dame Sally Davies tweeted: 'I am thrilled to be recognised in the New Year Honours with a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. Only a few days ago, Sir Elton John reflected on his disbelief at enjoying the most successful year of his life at 72.
Though already knighted by the Queen in 1998, the special award in the New Year Honours list marks an upgrade for the superstar to mark his services to music and charity. Nadiya Hussain, 35, who rose to stardom after winning the 2015 Great British Bake Off, is awarded an MBE for services to broadcasting and the culinary arts. The 32-year-old, who has been capped 136 times, said she was astonished to be told of her award. The men behind England's historic victory at the World Cup have been recognised in the 2020 New Year Honours list, with Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler and Trevor Bayliss all awarded titles for services to cricket D-Day veteran Harry Billinge, 94, who helped raise almost £20,000 for a British memorial honouring his fallen comrades, has been awarded an MBE In her honours citation, Dame Alison was described as having given 'unstinting public service' to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), where she worked for more than 30 years. Other senior figures to be handed honours include John Manzoni, the chief executive of the civil service, and NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, who receive knighthoods. Dame Alison was expected to receive her honour last year in the months after she left the CPS, raising speculation it had been blocked. TV pioneer Baroness Floella Benjamin is being honoured for her services to charity Baroness Floella Benjamin has said she is 'happy and thrilled, honoured and privileged' to be made a Dame in the New Year Honours List. The 70-year-old TV pioneer is being honoured for her services to charity, having dedicated much of her career to campaigning for young people or and her various charitable interests. Steve Backshall has been recognised in the New Year Honours for services to charity and wildlife conservation Steve Backshall has said he has his parents to thank for his MBE as they instilled a love of wildlife and conservation in him from a young age. The nature conservationist and television presenter has been recognised in the New Year Honours for services to charity and wildlife conservation. Known for fronting an array of TV shows including children's series The Really Wild Show, and for being part of expedition teams in Lost Land Of The Tiger, Lost Land Of The Volcano and Lost Land Of The Jaguar while working for the BBC's Natural History Unit, Backshall said he is encouraged to have been made an MBE for his services to charity. Gok Wan made an MBE in New Year Honours TV presenter Gok Wan said he is "excited and humbled" to be recognised in the New Year Honours. People across the region who have committed themselves to improving the lives of others have been recognised in the New Year's Honours List 2020 Included on the list is John Cushing, the man behind the hugely successful Thursford Christmas Spectacular, which sees hundreds of thousands of people visit each year. PICTURE: IAN BURT Prince William and Kate Middleton attending a gala performance at the Thursford Christmas Spectacular in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust. PHOTO: IAN BURT Thursford Collection owner John Cushing outside the new George Cushing memorial hall. Picture: Ian Burt John Cushing at the Thursford Collection. Speaking about his latest honour, Mr Cushing said: "I told one of my sons first and he helped me tell all of the family at our Christmas Eve meal.