Wednesday, December 31, 2014 12:32 am
Veteran actor John Hurt was given a knighthood and 1960s fashion designer Mary Quant, pioneer of the mini-skirt and hotpants, made a dame in Britain’s New Year Honours List released Tuesday.
Other stars to be honoured include “English Patient” actress Kristin Scott Thomas and campaigning television presenter Esther Rantzen.
Hurt, who starred as John Merrick in 1980 classic “The Elephant Man” and as Winston Smith in the 1984 adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984”, was made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 2004, but will now become a Sir.
Quant is one of the women who make up 50 percent of the honours list, recognising her 60-year career in fashion.
She opened her first boutique in London’s fashionable Chelsea district in 1955 and became a key figure in the Mod and other youth movements of the 1960s.
Other damehoods were given to Scott Thomas, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and children’s campaigner Rantzen.
Actress Emily Watson, who made her name in Lars von Trier’s “Breaking the Waves”, is made an OBE.
However, reports that England rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson — scorer of the points that won the 2003 World Cup — was to receive a knighthood proved wide of the mark.
Sport stars who were honoured include former middle distance runner Steve Cram, who is now a CBE, one rank below knighthood, and Commonwealth judo champion Euan Burton, who becomes an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), the lowest class of award in the Order.
The twice-yearly list of the great and the good — issued at the New Year and on the queen’s birthday in June — recognises those who have succeeded in their personal field, or those who have contributed to their community.
Two TV stars who are carving out reputations in serious theatre, James Corden and Sheridan Smith, were all made OBEs (Officers of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), one rank above MBE.
The oldest recipient was 103-year-old runner and charity supporter Fauja Singh, who received a British Empire Medal (BEM)
In total, 1,164 people were given an award, 579 of whom were women.