New Year Honours: CBEs for David Suchet and Sheila Hancock

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Actors David Suchet and Sheila Hancock are among the stars of stage and screen recognised in the New Year Honours.

Suchet, 64, and Hancock, 77, become CBEs, as do influential record producer Trevor Horn, sculptor Richard Wentworth and dance choreographer Wayne McGregor.

Writer Lady Antonia Fraser said she was "very pleased and surprised" to be made a dame for services to literature.

Folk musician Richard Thompson and Les Miserables lyricist Herbert Kretzmer are appointed OBEs.

Suchet is best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective Hercule Poirot in the long-running TV series that bears the Belgian sleuth's name.

The London-born actor has played a wide variety of roles on stage and screen during a career spanning more than 40 years.

Hancock, the widow of Inspector Morse star John Thaw, has also enjoyed a varied and successful career.

She has appeared in numerous plays and TV sitcoms and was seen this year in West End musical Sister Act.

"It is lovely, really lovely," the actress said. "I'm surprised how pleased I am.

"I got a letter saying the Prime Minister's office was going to ask the Queen to consider me and I immediately thought she would say no."

Lady Antonia, Sir Harold Pinter's widow, recently published an account of her 34-year relationship with the late playwright.

Image caption,
Dame Antonia Fraser (right) is the widow of playwright Sir Harold Pinter

She has also written best-selling biographies of Marie Antoinette and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Award-winning actress Harriet Walter is appointed a dame for services to drama.

The 60-year-old, who has appeared in scores of plays, TV series and films, previously became a CBE in 2000.

Turner prize-winning artist Steve McQueen, 41, is appointed a CBE, as are former Radio 4 controller Mark Damazar and Blackadder composer Howard Goodall.

Meanwhile comedy producer and writer John Lloyd - who counts Blackadder among his achievements - has been made a CBE.

Lloyd, 59, began in TV with Not the Nine O'Clock News, before going on to produce satirical show Spitting Image and Blackadder. In 1990 he was given a Bafta lifetime achievement award at just 39.

In the film world, costume designer Sandy Powell and film director Andrea Arnold are both appointed OBEs.

Powell, 50, won Oscars for her work on Shakespeare In Love, The Aviator and The Young Victoria, while Arnold directed Red Road, Fish Tank and the Oscar-winning short Wasp.

Burt Kwouk, the 80-year-old actor best known for his recurring role as Cato in the Pink Panther films, has also been made an OBE.

Trevor Horn, who was behind Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Welcome To The Pleasure Dome album, said he was "completely taken by surprise".

"I wondered what it was and thought it was tax," he said of the official envelope which carried news of his honour.