Entertainment & Arts

Tony Robinson and Rowan Atkinson lead birthday honours

Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson in Blackadder
Image caption Blackadder saw Robinson and Atkinson play mismatched protagonists across different periods

Blackadder duo Tony Robinson and Rowan Atkinson have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Robinson, best known for his portrayal of hapless manservant Baldrick, has received a knighthood in recognition of his public and political service.

Mr Bean star Atkinson has been made a CBE for services to drama and charity.

Indian-born artist Anish Kapoor has been made a knight, while singer Adele, author Kate Mosse and comedian Rob Brydon are also among those honoured.

Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota has become a member of the Order of Companions of Honour, one of just 65 across the Commonwealth. Current members include Lord Coe, David Hockney, Doris Lessing and Lord Patten.

Robinson, 66, said he was "thrilled, flattered and a little gob-smacked" at the recognition.

"I'll use my new title with abandon to highlight the causes I believe in, particularly the importance of culture, the arts and heritage in our society, and the plight of the infirm elderly and their carers," said the former host of C4's Time Team, which was axed last year.

"I also pledge that from this day on I'll slaughter all unruly dragons, and rescue any damsels in distress who request my help," he joked.

Alongside his small screen success, Robinson has had a lengthy association with politics, first as a local Labour activist and later in a senior position at actors' union Equity. He joined Labour Party's National Executive Committee in 2000.

His Blackadder co-star Atkinson said the CBE came as a "genuine surprise" and a "great honour".

Image caption Kapoor gained huge public recognition with the ArcelorMittal Orbit at the Olympic Park

Sculptor Kapoor - the man behind the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the 115-metre-high twisted steel tower in the Olympic Park in Stratford, said he was "humbled" to receive his knighthood for services to visual arts.

The artist, 59, has lived in London since the 1970s and won the Turner Prize in 1991. His work, often based on geometric sculptures made from materials including stainless steel, granite, limestone and marble, is shown around world.

Fellow Olympic artist Thomas Heatherwick has also been recognised by the Queen. The award-winning designer, who created the London 2012 Olympic cauldron, said it was an "immense honour" to have been made a CBE for his services to the design industry.

"My passion is the public world around us that we share with each other and I'm proud to have had the chance in recent years to work on public projects of national significance," said the 43-year-old RIBA fellow, whose latest project is to design a pedestrian garden bridge to span the River Thames.

'Pond of culture'

"It is an immense honour to be awarded this distinction and I share it with my team and many others who play an important part in making our projects happen."

Another Turner prize-winning artist, Grayson Perry said he is already thinking about what outfit to wear when he goes to the palace to pick up his CBE for services to contemporary art.

The artist, who regularly appears in drag as his female alter-ego Claire, famously wore a Little Bo Peep outfit when he won the Turner Prize for his ceramics in 2003.

The 53-year-old admitted he had not expected the honour, saying: "I suppose I'm surprised that the tentacles of the establishment reach into my particular pond of culture."

Image caption Brydon currently hosts BBC One panel show Would I Lie To You?

Similarly, comedian and actor Rob Brydon expressed surprise at being made an MBE for services to comedy and broadcasting, and to charity: " I accept it not just for me but for short Welsh men everywhere," said the 48-year-old, who made his name in the black comedy Marion and Geoff and co-starred with Steve Coogan in The Trip.

Television's golden girl Clare Balding, who recently collected an honorary Bafta to recognise her on-screen achievements, has been made an OBE, also for services to broadcasting and journalism.

The 42-year-old Olympics host called the honour "the pinnacle" after "a year of unexpected delights".

Originally a racing commentator, she became a household name after presenting both the London 2012 Olympics and the Paralympics, and currently fronts Channel 4 racing.

Aled Jones, who Balding replaced as host of BBC Radio 2's Sunday morning show, joins her in being made an OBE.

"I'm delighted and deeply honoured to be recognised," said the 42-year-old, who first found fame as a choir boy performing The Snowman theme tune Walking In The Air.

"I've been really lucky to have worked with amazing people during my time in the music and TV industry, and now have the privilege to wake the nation up on Daybreak every morning."

Image caption Last year Mosse completed the third novel in her Languedoc trilogy, Citadel

Skyfall cinematographer and Coen brothers collaborator Roger Deakins also makes the list, being made a CBE for services to film - a possible salve to years of missing out on the Academy Award, for which he has been nominated ten times.

Fellow Skyfall collaborator, singer Adele - who picked up the Oscar for best song in March - has been made an MBE for services to music, alongside double Mercury winner PJ Harvey.

Harvey was the first person to play a rock concert at Tate Modern, written for a dance company and composed the soundtrack for a stage production of Hedda Gabler, as well as taking small film roles.

Novelists Jackie Collins, Kate Mosse and Joanne Harris have all been recognised for services to literature in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, with Collins and Mosse - of Labyrinth fame, both being made CBEs and Harris, best known for Chocolat, being made an MBE.

Harris, 48, said she hopes the honour gives people the message that "writing is important".

"It is always nice for the world of literature when writers get an acknowledgement or an honour," said the author of more than 15 novels. "It gets the message to people that writing is important and that it deserves praise."

Veteran actors Claire Bloom, who featured in hits such as the original Brideshead Revisited and Doctor Who, and Game of Thrones' Julian Glover have been made CBEs alongside such arts luminaries as Gailene Stock, Australian-born director of the Royal Ballet School; Michael Attenborough, formerly artistic director of the Almeida theatre and Jonathan Mills, who has received a knighthood in recognition of his eight years at the helm of the Edinburgh International Festival.