NY Honours for poppy duo, Joan Collins, and John Hurt

media captionJoan Collins: "Dame Joan, wow"

The creators of the World War One ceramic poppy display at the Tower of London have joined acting grandees Joan Collins and John Hurt on the New Year Honours list.

Ceramic artist Paul Cummins and theatre designer Tom Piper are both made MBEs in recognition of the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation which attracted five million visitors.

The acting profession is strongly represented on the list, with Collins and Kristin Scott Thomas becoming dames and Hurt knighted. There is an OBE for Emily Watson, as well as James Corden and Sheridan Smith, who appeared together in TV sitcom Gavin & Stacey.

A total of 1,164 people are honoured by the Queen on the New Year list, three-quarters of whom have been recognised for work in their communities. The awards are split equally between men and women. And a further 87 recipients are named on the Foreign Office list which recognises service overseas.

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image captionAbout five million people visited the poppy installation

Dame Joan, who was made an OBE in 1997 for her contribution to the dramatic arts, is recognised this time for services to charity. She said she was "thrilled and truly grateful". Dame Kristin, who is shortly to play the Queen on stage in The Audience, said she was "thrilled, astonished and worried that I might suddenly wake up".

Among the other new dames are fashion designer Mary Quant; broadcaster Esther Rantzen, founder of the Childline and Silver Line charities, and Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

Trevor Hicks and Margaret Aspinall, who campaigned for a quarter of a century for the families of the 96 football fans who died in the Hillsborough disaster, are made CBEs. A new inquest into the deaths is still going on.

Women's Rugby World Cup winners Sarah Hunter and Rochelle Clark are among the sports stars recognised with MBEs.

Athlete Steve Cram, a former 1500m world champion, becomes a CBE in recognition of his recent work as chair of the English Institute of Sport.

The same honour goes to novelist Ali Smith.

Meanwhile, an inquiry is to be carried out into the apparent leaking of a string of names from the list before they were officially announced. Sir Bob Kerslake, the outgoing head of the Civil Service, said he was "concerned", describing the situation as "highly regrettable".

New Year Honours 2015


people honoured

  • 69% for outstanding work in their communities

  • 49% are women

  • 22 men receive knighthoods

  • 16 women become dames

The poppy installation saw 888,246 ceramic flowers gradually fill the moat of the Tower of London, each one representing a British and colonial military death in World War One. The Queen referred to the artwork in her Christmas message.

Mr Cummins said he felt "taken aback and extremely happy to receive this unexpected honour".

He said everyone who had worked on the project "should feel a part of this MBE, without them this installation wouldn't have been created".

Mr Piper added: "I am extremely proud of the part I have played in this unique collaboration. It has been a real privilege to co-create an artwork which has meant so much to so many people."

Dame Esther said: "I am thrilled that this honour recognises the contribution made by Childline and the Silver Line in transforming lives, and I am delighted that the talented teams at both charities have also been recognised for their inspirational work and devotion to the most vulnerable children and older people in our society."

image copyrightPA
image captionJames Corden is made an OBE for his work in film and television

Corden, whose career has taken in a series of theatre and film roles, said he was "thrilled". He added that his mother was "already fretting about what to wear" when he is presented with his OBE medal at a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony.

Games success

Among the political honours, former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Paddy Ashdown is appointed a member of the elite Companions of Honour. Stirling MP Anne McGuire becomes a dame and Southend West MP David Amess is knighted.

Baroness Ashton, the former EU foreign policy chief, and former MI6 head Sir John Sawers have both been promoted to the highest class of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Dame Mary Peters, who won a gold medal in the women's pentathlon at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, also joins the Companion of Honour.

The honours for sport acknowledge the work of ex-West Bromwich Albion footballer and racial equality campaigner Brendon Batson, who becomes an OBE.

Great Britain hockey captain Kathrin Richardson-Walsh, as well as Northern Ireland boxer Patrick Barnes and Scotland judo player Euan Burton, who both won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, all get MBEs.

media captionDame Esther Rantzen: "I am used to very grand people being Dames and I can't really adjust"

The success of the Games itself is recognised, with a CBE for Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson and an OBE for Commonwealth Games Scotland chief executive Jon Doig.

Others from the world of entertainment on the list include comedian and author Meera Syal, and Grammy-winning producer Peter Asher, one half of 1960s pop duo Peter and Gordon. Both become CBEs.

Brinsley Forde, a founding member of reggae group Aswad and a presenter on BBC Radio's 6 Music, becomes an MBE for services to the arts.

Aldeburgh Music chief executive and former BBC Proms director Roger Wright, who receives a CBE, said he was "thrilled to be honoured for my work in the service of music".

Oscar-nominated screenwriter William Nicholson, whose work includes Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Les Miserables and Gladiator, collects an OBE.

In the world of business, wind-up radio inventor Trevor Baylis is appointed CBE, as are entrepreneur James Caan, who appeared on TV show Dragons' Den, and Brent Hoberman who co-founded travel website lastminute.com with Martha Lane Fox in 1998. There is an OBE for Julie Deane, co-owner and founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company.

Youth channel

There is a knighthood for Dr Simon Campbell who played a key role in the development of Viagra while he was senior vice-president at pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer.

media captionJamal Edwards, one of youngest people to be awarded an MBE

Jamal Edwards, who founded influential youth broadcasting channel SBTV, becomes an MBE. The 24-year-old entrepreneur from west London, who helped launch the career of Ed Sheeran among others, said: "I'm overwhelmed. My gran doesn't know yet. My mum and dad know but that's it."

Former Lord Mayor of London, Fiona Woolf is named a dame for services to the legal profession, diversity and the City of London. She stood down as the head of the inquiry into how public bodies dealt with historical child abuse allegations earlier this year.

media captionTrevor Hicks: "I'm a bloke who's done a job of work to the best of his ability"

Kate Lampard, who oversaw the NHS investigation into Jimmy Savile, and Britain's most senior female police officer, Cressida Dick, who is to leave the Metropolitan Police after 31 years to take on a role in the Foreign Office, both become CBEs.

There are knighthoods for HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Tom Winsor and former Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable Matt Baggott.

David Verey, the former Art Fund chairman who funded the Verey Gallery at Eton College, now opened to the public, is knighted.

Two Network Rail executives are on the list. Patrick Hallgate, a route managing director involved in the repair of the flood-hit line at Dawlish in Devon, becomes an MBE for services to the economy in the South West. David Ward, route managing director for the South East, is given an OBE, for services to the rail industry.

Marathon runner

In a rare occurrence, two members of the same family are recognised for separate activities on the same list.

Mairi O'Keefe receives an MBE for services to people with disabilities through her work as chief executive of Leuchie House in East Lothian.

Her mother Catriona MacKinnon receives a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the Gaelic language and culture.

image copyrightPA
image captionSteve Cram is made a CBE for services to sport
image copyrightPA
image captionEnglish Patient star Kristin Scott Thomas is to play the Queen on stage

Roger Smith, director of people and learning at the British Red Cross, described his OBE for services to first aid as "humbling" and a "positive reflection" on the organisation.

Fauja Singh, who at 103 years old is widely recognised as the oldest marathon runner in the world, is given a BEM.

Among the less heralded recipients, there is a BEM for Joanne Copsey, a town pastor in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, who co-ordinates a team of 50 volunteers working with the police to ensure people are safe on the streets at night.

Hazel Geach, who has given more than four decades of dedicated service to the Scouting movement in Romford, Essex, is made an MBE.

There is an MBE for Gbolahan Bright, founder of Bright Futerz which provides counselling and mentoring to young people with behavioural problems.

The honours system

Commonly awarded ranks:

  • Companion of honour - Limited to 65 people. Recipients wear the initials CH after their name
  • Knight or Dame
  • CBE - Commander of the Order of the British Empire
  • OBE - Officer of the Order of the British Empire
  • MBE - Member of the Order of the British Empire
  • BEM - British Empire Medal