New Year's Honours: Lansbury and Keith become dames

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionLizo Mzimba reports on those that have been recognised for honours in 2014

Actresses Angela Lansbury and Penelope Keith become dames in the New Year's Honours list, which features more women than men for the first time.

Women - 611 of them - make up the majority (51%) of the list - the previous highest proportion was 47%.

Football boss Karren Brady and ex-Wimbledon champion Ann Jones become CBEs, while Gavin and Stacey co-creator Ruth Jones becomes an MBE.

Angel of the North sculptor Antony Gormley receives a knighthood.

Gormley, 63, said he was "very humbled, but also delighted," and accepted his honour as "a recognition" for the art form.

Composer and conductor Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, who is Master of the Queen's Music, becomes a Companion of Honour, while DJ Pete Tong receives an MBE.

Penelope Keith, 73, who became a household name as Margot Leadbetter in 1970s sitcom The Good Life, said of her honour: "It's a recognition for not only my 54 years being an actress but also for all the charities with which I'm associated and I think they'll be thrilled."

Murder, She Wrote actress Angela Lansbury, 88, receives hers for services to drama and to charitable work and philanthropy. She told the BBC: "I'm joining a marvellous group of women I greatly admire like Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.

"It's a lovely thing to be given that nod of approval by your own country and I really cherish it."

Apprentice star Karren Brady, 43, vice-chairman of West Ham Football Club and former Birmingham City managing director, gets a CBE for services to entrepreneurship and women in business. She said she felt "very privileged and very proud, particularly to be recognised for the work I do for other women in business".

Other prominent women include actress Lynda Bellingham, singer Katherine Jenkins and writer and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig, plus the founders of parenting website, Siobhan Freegard, Cathy Court and Sarah Russell, who all receive OBEs.

In science, Met Office chief scientist Prof Julia Slingo becomes a dame for her services to weather and climate science.


Former director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer QC receives a knighthood for services to law and criminal justice, with film and theatre producer Michael Codron and former Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker also receiving the honour.

CBEs go to ballet dancer Carlos Acosta, former FA chairman David Bernstein, actor Michael Crawford, who played Frank Spencer in 1970s sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, and presenter Nicholas Parsons, host of the comedy radio game show Just A Minute.

Artist Derek Clarke, a member of the Royal Scottish Academy of Arts, whose career has spanned more than 70 years and who turns 101 on Tuesday, also receives an MBE.

BBC cameraman Darren Conway, who has worked in nearly every major war zone and most recently in Syria, has been awarded a CBE.

While acknowledging the "incredible honour", he said it was humbling to be recognised in a year when colleagues had lost their lives or their freedom.

Some 1,195 people have received an award and in total, 74% of awards in the New Year's Honours List are for people who are actively engaged in charitable or voluntary work within their local community.

Barry and Margaret Mizen, whose 16-year-old son Jimmy was murdered in London in May 2008, are created MBEs for services to young people. They set up the Jimmy Mizen Foundation to help young people play a positive role in their communities.

Mr Mizen said: "To us, it's about the hundreds and hundreds of people that support us, it's about all the work the rest of our family do, and it's in memory of a fine and decent young lad whose legacy will be one of peace and community cohesion."

Some other examples are:

  • Trevor Jarvis, Ambassador for Dementia with the Alzheimer's Society, who has used his own experiences to improve the lives of people affected by dementia.
  • Christina Selby, who founded Hats4Heroes in 2010 and has since sent nearly 10,000 knitted hats, each containing a chocolate bar, to the British forces in Afghanistan as a way of boosting morale.
  • Julie Bailey, who set up the campaign group Cure the NHS after being appalled by the care she witnessed her mother and others receive at Staffordshire General Hospital, and Helene Donnelly, a nurse at the hospital who became a whistleblower.

Ms Donnelly said: "I hope this [honour] is recognition for lots of other people trying to raise concerns and this is also for the positive change we're trying to encourage now."

The Order of Merit, which is awarded to individuals of great achievement in the fields of the arts, learning, literature and science goes to orchestra conductor Sir Simon Rattle and world-renowned heart surgeon Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub.

There can be only 24 OMs at any one time, making it highly-exclusive. Previous recipients include Florence Nightingale and Sir Winston Churchill, plus honorary members Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela.

Doctor Marcus Setchell, who delayed his retirement after being asked by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to oversee the birth of Prince George is made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) - an honour in the personal gift of the Queen.

Awards for sport make up 4% of the total, with an OBE going to England and Arsenal Ladies footballer Rachel Yankey and former long-distance runner David Bedford, who was race director of the London Marathon for more than 20 years, while England women's rugby team captain Katy McLean gets an MBE.