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New Year’s Honours list: All the celebrities on New Year’s Honours list for 2020

The New Year’s Honours are part of the British Honours system and sees new members of orders of chivalry named while other official awards are also handed out. All citizens of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth nations can be nominated and non-citizens are eligible for honorary awards.

The most familiar honours see men knighted, women made dames, and recipients made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), or given a British Empire Medal (BEM).

OBEs are awarded to people who have made a great impact in their line of work, MBEs are for those who make a positive impact in their line of work, while BEMs are handed out for “meritorious” actions by civilians or military personnel.

Of the 1,097 honours awarded in the 2020 list, 556 are for women and 9.1 per cent are for people from BAME backgrounds.

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In total, 156 people were made dames, knights, companions of honour and CBEs, while 941 OBEs, MBEs and BEMs were handed out.

READ MORE: New Year’s Honours list IN FULL: Who has been honoured by Queen?

Olivia Newton-John and Sir Elton John are both on this year’s honours list (Image: Getty)

All the celebrities on New Year’s Honours list for 2020

Actor and singer Olivia Newton-John becomes a dame for services to charity, cancer research and entertainment.

The star of Grease, who played Sandy opposite John Travolta’s Danny, was born in Cambridge.

She said: “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.

“As a girl born in Cambridge, I am very proud of my British ancestry and so appreciative to be recognised in this way by the United Kingdom.”

Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody gets an OBE (Image: Getty)

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Sir Elton John was knighted in 1998 and in this year’s list he joins the most elite rank as he’s made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour, which is restricted to just 65 members.

Sir Elton was recognised for services to music and charity.

Other musicians recognised in this year’s list include Queen drummer Roger Taylor, who receives an OBE for services to music.

Gary Lightbody, the frontman of Snow Patrol whose 2006 hit Chasing Cars was this year named the most-played song of the 21st Century, also receives an OBE for services to music and charity.

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, 20, who played at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding was appointed an MBE.


Cricketers feature prominently in this year’s honours list thanks to England’s World Cup win in the summer.

BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner Ben Stokes receives an OBE for services to cricket.

England One Day team captain Eoin Morgan receives the higher CBE award, wicketkeeper Jos Buttler and England Test captain Joe Root become MBEs, while coach Trevor Bayliss an OBE.

Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd, 75, whose team dominated international cricket in the late 1970s and early 1980s has also been knighted.

Clockwise from top left: Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Trevor Bayliss, Joe Root and Ben Stokes (Image: Getty)

Jill Scott (left) is made an MBE, Olympic gold medallist Jade Jones (top right) receives an OBE and Gabby Logan is handed an MBE (Image: Getty)

England footballer Jill Scott gets an MBE for services to women’s football.

She said: “There’s been tough times – I remember going away on an England camp when I was 14, and I never got selected then for four years.

“It was really difficult because a couple of my teammates were being picked.

“Standing here now, I think I’ve got 146 caps for England, so I’m glad I made that decision not to quit.”



Jade Jones, world champion and double Olympic gold medallist receives an OBE for services to taekwondo and sport.

Scottish golfer Catriona Matthew, 50, who captained Team Europe to Solheim Cup victory over the US, has been appointed an OBE.

Matthew, who got an MBE 10 years ago, is recognised for her service.

There are also MBEs for netballers Serena Guthrie and Joanne Harten.

Elsewhere in sport, broadcaster Gabby Logan gets an MBE for services to sports broadcasting and promoting women in sport.

Footballer Aaron Hughes, who captained Northern Ireland, becomes an MBE for services to football.

The 40-year-old, from Cookstown in County Tyrone, won 112 caps and retired this year.

Paralympic champion runner Michael McKillop, from Co Antrim, who won gold in Beijing, London and Rio is made an MBE.

Two Academy Award-winning British directors have been knighted in this year’s list.

Steve McQueen, a Turner Prize winner and director of Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave is knighted for services to art and film.

Reading-born Sam Mendes, who won the Oscar for best director for his film American Beauty, receives a knighthood for services to drama.

He said: “I’m amazed, delighted and extremely proud. I have stood on the shoulders of so many collaborators and colleagues over the last 30 years – actors, writers, designers, producers, technicians – to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude. I would not be receiving this honour without them.”

Oscar winners Steve McQueen (left) and Sam Mendes are both knighted (Image: Getty)

TV chefs Ainsley Harriott (top left), Nadiya Hussain and Nigel Slater are all recognised for their culinary talents (Image: Getty)

Three TV cooks feature on the 2020 honours list, including former Ready Steady Cook presenter Ainsley Harriott.

He becomes an MBE for services to broadcasting and the culinary arts and said: “When I was first told about it, I immediately thought about my dear late mum – which really choked me up, because I know how proud she would have been.

“Her boy’s proud too – it’s a great honour for me and for everyone who has helped me on my way.”

Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain gets an MBE for services to broadcasting and the culinary arts while Nigel Slater becomes an OBE.

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith has been knighted (Image: Getty)

In politics, former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith has been knighted, as has fellow Tory MP, Robert Neil.

Labour MP for Hull North Diana Johnson is made a dame for charitable and political service.

Simon Stevens, the head of the NHS in England, has been knighted for services to health care.

In TV, Steven Knight – the writer and creator of Peaky Blinders – becomes for services to drama, entertainment and the community in Birmingham.

Broadcaster, actor and peer Baroness Floella Benjamin has been awarded a damehood for services to charity.


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