People from all walks of life are recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list

Barry Gibb
Barry Gibb
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The Beatles’ Ringo Starr and Bee Gees co-founder Barry Gibb have been awarded knighthoods in the New Year Honours, alongside a string of political figures including former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and key Tory backbencher Graham Brady.

Gibb, who is recognised for his services to music and charity, dedicated the honour to his late brothers and former bandmates and said: “The magic, the glow, and the rush will last me the rest of my life.”

Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg

The musicians are joined on the list by Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell, 48, who said she was “truly humbled” to become a dame for services to dance, and War Horse author Michael Morpurgo, who is knighted for services to literature and charity.

Morpurgo, 74, who previously received an OBE, said he had Joey, the equine character from the 1982 children’s book which became a hit international play, to thank for his knighthood.

He said: “There was never a knight that has owed so much to his horse as this one - and in fact, we will give the knighthood to Joey and call him Sir Joey.”

Gibb, 71, the last surviving member of the Bee Gees, said he was “deeply honoured, humbled, and very proud” to be recognised, adding: “This is a moment in life to be treasured and never forgotten.

Lindsay Hoyle

Lindsay Hoyle

“I want to acknowledge how responsible my brothers are for this honour. It is as much theirs as it is mine.”

Two of the biggest names in line for honours were leaked, with 77-year-old Starr, whose real name is Richard Starkey, revealed to be in line for a knighthood for services to music days ahead of the announcement.

His award comes 52 years after he received an MBE as part of the “Fab Four” and about 20 years after fellow bandmate Sir Paul McCartney was honoured.

Details of the knighthood of former deputy prime minister and prominent Remain campaigner Mr Clegg, 50, were also the subject of early newspaper reports. His award has provoked criticism among some Brexiteers.

Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr

Conservative MPs Graham Brady, 50, chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, 64, and Christopher Chope, 70, receive knighthoods for political and public service while Cheryl Gillan, 65, vice chairman of the committee, is made a dame.

On the Labour side, Preston MP Mark Hendrick, 59, and Commons Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle, 60, are knighted.

Professor John Curtice, 64, who led the exit polls that accurately forecast the last four general elections including Labour’s shock gains in June, receives a knighthood for services to social sciences and politics.

“Just six months ago the exit poll I led surprised everyone with a shock prediction that went on to be uncannily accurate,” he said.

“Now it is my turn to be surprised - and humbled - by the gracious decision to grant me a knighthood. It is not something I ever expected to happen.”

Grime gets a “shout-out” on this year’s list, with Richard Cowie, aka Wiley, receiving an MBE for services to music along with Grace Ladoja, who manages Skepta.

Wiley, 38, who has been described as the “godfather of Grime” and a pioneer of the underground scene, said: “I’m honoured to be receiving an MBE. It feels like the school grade I wanted and didn’t get but now I’m finally there.”

Author and journalist Jilly Cooper is recognised for services to literature and charity, actor Hugh Laurie for services to drama and former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman for her contribution to fashion journalism. All have their OBEs upgraded to CBEs.

Also among the 1,123 people honoured is 80s star and self-described “maverick” Marc Almond, who receives an OBE for services to arts and culture.

The 60-year-old, who had hits including Tainted Love as one half of electric duo Soft Cell, said he was “totally excited” to be recognised, adding: “I can’t really be a rebel any more. I think it’s time to leave it to younger people.”

Breakfast TV veteran Eamonn Holmes, 58, who is also awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting, said it was a “wonderful accolade”.

He said: “It’s like getting a gold star for your homework - 2018 will be my 38th year as a broadcaster and I can’t think of a better way of marking that.”

David Johnston, chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation charity, receives an OBE just weeks after he resigned with the rest of the board of the Government’s Social Mobility Commission in protest at the lack of progress towards a “fairer Britain”.

He is recognised for services to social mobility and education.

In sport, women’s cricket is celebrated. Heather Knight, captain of the World Cup-winning England team is awarded an OBE, along with head coach Mark Robinson. Clare Connor, director of women’s cricket, is upgraded to a CBE.

World Cup player of the tournament Tammy Beaumont and player of the final Anya Shrubsole are given MBEs for their services to cricket.

The 2018 list is 6% smaller than last year, when 1,197 honours were awarded, and the smallest since 2013.

Women make up just under half of those being honoured, with 551 earning an award, and 9.2% of recipients come from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background.

The oldest people to be honoured are 101-year-olds Lieutenant Colonel Mordaunt Cohen, who receives an MBE for services to Second World War education, and Helena Jones, who is given a British Empire Medal for services to young people and the community in Brecon, Powys.

Lucia Mee, 18, is the youngest to be recognised with a British Empire Medal for her work raising awareness of organ donation.

Future honours lists will focus on those involved in the responses to the series of UK terror attacks in 2017 and the Grenfell Tower fire which left 71 people dead.