The New Years Honours list for 2022 has finally been announced.
Damehoods have been given to a selection of the nation’s most loved actresses including Joanna Lumley and Vanessa Redgrave for their services to drama, entertainment and charity.
Meanwhile, other veteran stars including June Brown (Dot Cotton in EastEnders) and Bill Roache (Ken Barlow in Corrie) have received OBE’s, alongside actress Cherylee Houstin who receives an MBE for services to drama and to people with disabilities.
Speaking ahead of the announcement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “These recipients have inspired and entertained us and given so much to their communities in the UK or in many cases around the world. The honours are an opportunity for us to thank them, as a country, for their dedication and outstanding contribution.”
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Actress Joanna Lumley has said she is ‘astonished, thrilled and touched beyond words’ at being made a dame in the New Year Honours.
The actress, 75, known for her role as outrageously boozy Patsy Stone in Absolutely Fabulous, has been honoured for services to drama, entertainment and charitable causes.
She said in a statement to the PA news agency: “I am astonished and thrilled and touched beyond words to receive this colossal honour. It comes as a complete and unexpected surprise, and is the kindest and most beautiful present imaginable.”
Acting aside, she has also made a name for herself as a campaigner, fighting for the rights of Gurkhas to settle in the UK and also supporting numerous environmental campaigns.
The glamorous actress was made an OBE in 1995, and received the Bafta TV Fellowship at a star-studded ceremony in 2017.
Accepting the award on stage, she said: “This for me is paradise, I am in the company that I wished to keep ever since I was young. I wanted to be with the people who left race and religion and gender and shoe size outside the door.
“I wanted to be with those people, I wanted to hang out with the boys in the band, I wanted to be part of the sisterhood, I wanted to be in this real circus.”
In 2019 she was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Chester in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the arts.
Vanessa Redgrave is also over the moon about being made a Dame in the New Years Honours.
Regarded as one of the greatest actresses of her generation, the 84-year-old has already received numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Television Award, two Golden Globe Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Tony Award, making her one of the few performers to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting.
As she looks forward to her 85th year, Vanessa will now relish her new title after her years of service to drama, entertainment and charity.
The much-loved actress made her film debut starring opposite her father in the medical drama Behind the Mask in 1958 and rose to prominence with the satire Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment in 1966 which garnered her first of her six Academy Award nominations, winning Best Supporting Actress for Julia in 1977.
In recent years, Vanessa has graced the silver screen in blockbuster movies including Mission: Impossible, Atonement, Letters to Juliet, and The Butler.
EastEnders legend June Brown – who became a household name playing Dot Cotton – has also been honoured with an OBE.
Likewise, Coronation Street favourite Bill Roache has also received the accolade.
June, 94, and Bill, 89, are arguably two of the biggest soap stars in the UK – with the pair dedicating decades to their skill.
Actress Cherylee Houstin has also received an MBE for her services to drama and to people with disabilities.
The 47-year-old star plays Izzy Armstrong in Coronation Street, and she has appeared on the ITV soap since April 2010.
Daniel Craig has been given a special diplomatic honour after his final outing as James Bond in No Time To Die.
The departing 007 is made a companion of the Order of St Michael and St George – which is styled CMG and was also conferred on the fictional spy in the film series and Ian Fleming’s books.
The actor has been recognised for services to film and theatre in the New Year Honours, for his glittering career where he played the world’s most famous secret agent for a run of five movies.
A CMG is the honour often given to diplomats, and the fictional spy is described as holding it in both the films and the books by Ian Fleming.
Craig, 53, made his final outing as 007 earlier this year with the highly anticipated release of No Time To Die, which achieved blistering success at the box office.
The actor took up the mantle as the British spy with 2006’s Casino Royale and set the tone with a grittier and more brooding portrayal.
He also played the spy in 2008’s Quantum Of Solace, 2012’s Skyfall and 2015’s Spectre.
Meanwhile, James Bond franchise producer Barbara Broccoli will be made a CBE in the New Years Honours.
In the music department, Diversity member Ashley Banjo and former Spice Girl Mel B are both being made an MBE.
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Comedian Adam Hills, who is also to be made an MBE, said of his honour: “I am absolutely chuffed to bits to be given this honour. I’ve already Googled ‘Australian comedians who have received honours’, ‘when can I start writing MBE after my name?’ and ‘are Australians even eligible for an MBE?’.
“Turns out the answers are ‘Barry Humphries and Clive James, ‘when you receive the medal’ and ‘yes’.
“Honestly though, for a boy from the southern suburbs of Sydney, this is quite a massive deal.”
Good Morning Britain star Kate Garraway has also been honoured.
After documenting her husband Derek Draper’s battle with coronavirus, the TV presenter, 54, has been recognised for her services to broadcasting, journalism and charity.
In September 2021 she won the authored documentary prize at the National Television Awards for her hard-hitting documentary Finding Derek.
The programme charted her family’s struggle to get her husband home from hospital after he became seriously ill with Covid-19 in March 2020.
Olympic diver Tom Daley has also been honoured for 2022.
Specialising in multiple events, the 27-year-old is an Olympic gold medallist in the men’s synchronized 10-metre platform event at the 2020 Olympics and double world champion in the FINA 10-metre platform event – winning in 2009 at the age of fifteen, and again in 2017.
Tom is an Olympic bronze medallist in the 2012 platform event, the 2016 synchronized event, and the 2020 platform event, making him the first British diver to win four Olympic medals.