A host of leading lights from the worlds of entertainment, fashion, art, publishing and literature have been singled out for recognition in the New Year Honours.
Philip Pullman, the best-selling author of the His Dark Materials fantasy trilogy, is to be knighted for his services to literature.
“It’s a huge surprise and a great pleasure,” said the 72-year-old, who began a new trilogy – The Book of Dust – in 2017 with La Belle Sauvage.
Conservationist and broadcaster Chris Packham also has cause to hoot with joy, having been appointed a CBE for his services to nature conservation.
He’s been a Knight of the Round Table and a Knight who says Ni with Monty Python. Now, comedian turned globetrotting broadcaster Michael Palin is to be an actual Knight Bachelor.
“I have been a knight before with my Monty Python colleagues but I suppose this is the real thing,” said the 75-year-old, who is recognised for services to travel, culture and geography.
Five decades on from the swinging 60s in which she made her name, actress, model and singer Lesley Lawson – aka Twiggy – is to become a dame.
“I haven’t quite touched the ground since I found out,” admitted the 69-year-old, adding that she felt “very proud” to be recognised for services to fashion, charity and the arts.
Also recognised for her contribution to fashion and charity is Glenda Bailey, editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar. She is made a dame for her services to journalism, the Great Britain campaign and UK prosperity.
Another leading light of the fashion world, Burberry’s outgoing chief creative officer Christopher Bailey (no relation), is made a CBE.
Choreographer Richard Alston, former artistic director of Ballet Rambert, who now runs the Richard Alston Dance Company, is to become Sir Richard after receiving a knighthood for services to dance.
Two talents from the world of music, violinist Nicola Benedetti (left) and composer Nitin Sawhney, have been appointed CBEs for their services to the artform.
Scottish-born Benedetti was previously made an MBE in 2013.
Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason (left) is also appointed a CBE for his services to music, while Mike Peters – lead singer of The Alarm – is made an MBE for his work for cancer charities in his native north Wales and abroad.
“MBE must stand for a multitude of brilliant efforts because that’s what lies behind everything that I’ve achieved,” said the 59-year-old.
Creating The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and Stick Man turned Julia Donaldson into one of Britain’s best-loved authors and saw her made an MBE in 2011.
Now her services to literature see the former Children’s Laureate upgraded to a CBE in the New Year Honours.
With such films as Dunkirk, Inception and his blockbuster Dark Knight trilogy, Christopher Nolan has become one of Hollywood’s top directors.
A CBE for services to film is the latest accolade to come the 48-year-old Londoner’s way. Can an Oscar be far behind?
Fresh from her award-winning triumph in Antony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre, Sophie Okonedo (left) begins the New Year with a CBE for services to drama.
Okonedo was previously appointed an OBE in 2010 – the same accolade fellow actress Thandie Newton receives this year for her services to film and charity.
Two leading British artists – Tacita Dean (left) and Gillian Wearing – are both appointed CBEs for their services to art.
Dean, the subject of a BBC Imagine documentary this year, was appointed an OBE in 2013, while Wearing – whose statue of suffragist Millicent Fawcett was unveiled in Parliament Square in April – was made an OBE in 2011.
Other artists receiving gongs include Yinka Shonibare, who is made a CBE, while Sonia Boyce is appointed an OBE.
Chris Riddell‘s distinctive illustrations have graced publications ranging from The Observer and works by Neil Gaiman to the pages of his own Ottoline and Goth Girl books.
Now the former Children’s Laureate has an OBE to accompany the Kate Greenaway Medals he received in 2001, 2004 and 2016.
Millions know actor Jim Carter for portraying Mr Carson the butler in Downton Abbey – a role he’ll be seen reprising next year in the eagerly awaited film.
But the 70-year-old has more than that to celebrate in 2019, having been appointed an OBE for services to drama – the same honour his wife Imelda Staunton, now a CBE, received in 2006.
Two more figures from the world of music, guitarist Gordon Giltrap (left) and singer turned voice coach David Grant, are appointed MBEs.
Composer Shirley Thompson is made an OBE, while Claire Turnham, founder of the Victims of Viagogo ticketing campaign group, becomes an MBE.
Finally, Canadian author Margaret Atwood is to become a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour – a special award held by only 65 people at any one time.
News credit : Bbc