Olympians head UK honours listOn 03/01/2019 by admin
Britain\’s Olympic heroes have added a fresh haul of gongs to their sporting medals with awards in the New Year\’s Honours List.
Sportsmen and women are among the big names and unsung heroes recognised for their efforts, alongside figures from the entertainment and arts world.
Cyclist Chris Hoy, who notched up three golds in Beijing, heads the list, being knighted for his impressive track performance.
And in an unprecedented family double, Hoy\’s mother Carol was also honoured, being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to nursing.
It is the first time a mother and son have been named in the same list.
“It is, genuinely, just an amazing honour,” the 32-year-old sportsman said. “It\’s bizarre, it almost seems like it\’s not real.
Youngest ever recipient
“I was as delighted with my mum getting her MBE as I was with my knighthood,” said Hoy, who was crowned the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2008 earlier this month.
Britain\’s Olympic team won 47 medals in Beijing, in the best showing for Britain in a century. They came fourth in the overall medals table.
Swimming double gold medallist Rebecca Adlington, 19, was awarded an OBE, while cycling double gold winner Bradley Wiggins became a CBE.
Christine Ohuruogu, Britain\’s sole track and field gold medallist,was made an MBE, and sailor Ben Ainslie, who has won gold at three successive Olympics, was awarded a CBE.
And 14-year-old Paralympic swimmer Eleanor Simmonds became the youngest person ever named on the Honours List, handed an MBE for her double gold-winning performance in the pool.
No-one under the age of 18 has received an honour before.
Away from Beijing, Lewis Hamilton, the world\’s youngest ever Formula One champion, was made an MBE.
Fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, was knighted.
“There are times when phrases such as \’totally astonished\’ just don\’t do the job,” said Pratchett, 60, a campaigner for more research into Alzheimer\’s disease since he was dignosed with the illness last year.
“I am of course delighted and honoured and – needless to say – flabbergasted.”
He will be joined at Buckingham Palace by Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, a Grammy-award winning musician and singer, who was made a CBE.
Others honoured included actor Michael Sheen, who portrayed Prime Minister Tony Blair in the film The Queen and journalist David Frost in both the stage and screen versions of Frost/Nixon. He will receive an OBE.
“It\’ll be nice to meet the real Queen at last,” the 39-year-old told the BBC, adding that he was “thrilled and slightly mystified” by the award.
\’Ordinary\’ Britons honoured
Historian David Cannadine, known for his 1996 book The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy, was handed a knighthood.
Nigel Lightfoot, the chief adviser to Britain\’s Health Protection Agency, was honoured with a CBE for coordinating protection of the public after former Russia security agent Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in London in 2006.
Lightfoot\’s team found traces of polonium-210 – a radioactive isotope – at more than 25 sites in London and estimated that as many as 1,500 people may have been put in danger.
Fashion designer Anya Hindmarch, best known for her handbags and eco-friendly shopping bags, was made an MBE.
Six heroes of the 2005 London bombings were among many \’ordinary\’ citizens named on the list – alongside foster parents, campaigners and charity workers.
Honours range in descending order from knighthoods, to the CBE, OBE and MBE.
Though the honours are bestowed by the Queen, the recipients are selected by committees of civil servants from nominations made by the government and the public.