Scotland

James Cosmo and Mark Beaumont on New Year honours list

James Cosmo Scottish actor
Image caption Actor James Cosmo is to receive an MBE

Actor James Cosmo is among those to receive awards in the New Year honours.

The Game of Thrones actor will get an MBE for services to acting and drama, alongside more than 100 other Scottish recipients.

Polling expert John Curtice and former Church of Scotland moderator the Very Reverend Iain Torrance will receive knighthoods.

Also honoured is Scottish long-distance cyclist Mark Beaumont, who will get a British Empire Medal.

Cosmo has starred in films including Braveheart, Trainspotting and Highlander. More recently he has appeared in the hit show Game Of Thrones and was one of the housemates in Celebrity Big Brother in 2017.

Cyclist Beaumont, who made headlines when he first broke the record for cycling round the world in 2008, is also recognised with a British Empire Medal.

Record-breaking trip

He made a second record-breaking bike trip around the world this year, completing the massive journey in a time of 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes.

He said: "It's an incredible surprise as you can imagine, simply getting a letter through the post marked 'from Her Majesty's Services' saying that the hard work this year, everyone involved in the 80 Days project and all the charity work over the years is being recognised is wonderful."

He said he was looking forward to picking up the gong at Buckingham Palace.

"It will be a huge adventure and a real privilege", he said.

"It'll be an amazing day when it comes.

"My world has been turned upside down since I got back to Paris and went around the world in 80 days, and it's all been a bit of a whirlwind. So to end up in the New Year honours list is wonderful and I'm sure when the day comes it'll be one I remember for a very long time."

Image copyright Artemis World Cycle
Image caption Cyclist Mark Beaumont is given the British Empire Medal

John Curtice is a politics professor from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow who is well known to the public from his media and television work on polls and elections.

His exit poll in June's snap election revealed Theresa May was set to lose her Commons majority, despite the Tories having had a massive lead in the polls over Labour when the contest started.

Prof Curtice is knighted for services to social sciences and politics, with the same honour also going to the Very Reverend Professor Iain Torrance, a former moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland who has been Pro-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen since 2013.

Tackling homophobia

He spoke up in support of the LGBT community and is credited with helping the Church of Scotland to combat homophobia. He said he was "literally speechless" to be included in the Honours list in recognition of his services to higher education and theology.

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Jo Swinson has been awarded a CBE for services to political and public life.

It comes six months after the 37-year-old MP, who recently announced she is expecting her second child, won back her East Dunbartonshire constituency from the SNP.

She was just 25 when she was first elected to represent the area in 2005 and held the seat for 10 years, serving as a junior minister in the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition government.

Image caption Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson is awarded an MBE

Los Angeles-based entertainment correspondent Ross King gets an MBE in the list. The Scot, who can be seen on the ITV morning shows Daybreak and Lorraine, was Britain's youngest daytime radio host when he was taken on by Radio Clyde, while his national TV career started after being chosen from over 3,600 hopefuls to host ITV's Young Krypton programme.

Also honoured is Susan Rice, the chairwoman of Scottish Water and the Scottish Fiscal Commission - the independent body set up to forecast tax revenues north of the border and spending on welfare, now these have been devolved to Holyrood.

She was the first ever woman to head a UK clearing bank when she was appointed chairwoman of Lloyds TSB Scotland in 2000. She now becomes Dame Susan in recognition of her services to business, the arts and charity.

Economics expert Professor David Bell of Stirling University is awarded a CBE, with the same honour also going to former Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Jim Martin and Ben Thomson, a former chair of the National Galleries of Scotland who also set up the think tank Reform Scotland.

Dr Lesley Sawers, the Equality and Human Rights commissioner for Scotland, is honoured with an OBE, while David Duke, the founder and chief executive of Street Soccer Scotland which uses football training programmes to help people make positive changes, receives an MBE.

The same award goes to James Robson, the long-standing doctor to the Scotland national rugby team and British Lions.

Outstanding service

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "The Queen's New Year Honours list illustrates the achievements of many exceptional people from across Scotland who have shown outstanding service and dedication.

"From those who work in the field of education and business, medicine and mental health, to those who promote our country on the world's sporting stage and on screen, the Honours are a fitting way of celebrating their work.

"I also want to extend my congratulations to emergency service personnel who have been awarded The Queen's Fire, Police or Ambulance Service Medals. Our emergency services deserve our continued gratitude for helping to keep people and communities across Scotland safe, every day of the year."

Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said: "I am pleased to see the New Year Honours 2018 recognise some of Scotland's most deserving volunteers, community leaders and public figures.

"From the achievements of prominent sporting greats such as Mark Beaumont to the inspirational local heroes of our communities whose tireless dedication, commitment and compassion benefit so many across the length and breadth of Scotland, it is right that we mark their dedication and commitment.

"I congratulate each and every recipient on their award - they truly deserve their recognition today and our thanks and praise for their contribution."

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