Great Britain’s golden year of sporting triumph is celebrated today with Olympic cycling champion Chris Hoy, racing driver Lewis Hamilton and 14-year-old Paralympian Eleanor Simmonds among the superstars receiving awards in the New Year Honours List.
Honours also go to comic fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett, who is knighted and actor Michael Sheen, who played Tony Blair in the hit movie The Queen.
The Hoy family has a double reason to celebrate - the triple Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist gets a knighthood and his mother Carol receives an MBE for service to healthcare.
Reading Football Club chairman John Madejski is knighted for his charity work, while Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones receives a CBE for services to business, entrepreneurship and young people.
MBEs go to child protection campaigner Sara Payne, whose eight-year-old daughter Sarah was murdered in 2000, and six heroes of the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks on London.
This year’s list is dominated by the men and women whose sporting triumphs in Beijing catapulted Team GB to fourth place in the Olympic medal table and second place in the Paralympics.
Hoy’s knighthood caps an extraordinary year for the 32-year-old cyclist.
Born in Edinburgh, he rode in BMX competitions from the age of seven and even rowed for Scotland.
But he chose to concentrate on track sprint cycling, becoming a multiple world champion and setting a string of records.
This summer he became the first British athlete for 100 years to clinch three gold medals at the same Olympic Games, winning the team sprint, Keirin and match sprint.
Hoy, who now lives in Salford, Greater Manchester, was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year this month.
His fellow Team GB cyclists are also recognised for their dominance at the 2008 Olympics, where seven out of the 10 track events were won by British riders.
CBEs go to Bradley Wiggins, 28, who took home two golds from Beijing, and British Cycling performance director David Brailsford.
There are MBEs for gold medal-winning cyclists Ed Clancy, 23, Geraint Thomas, 22, Jason Kenny, 20, Jamie Staff, 35, and Paul Manning, 34.
Britain’s three female Olympic champion cyclists also get MBEs.
They are Nicole Cooke, 25, who won Team GB’s first gold in Beijing in the women’s road race, Victoria Pendleton, 28, and Rebecca Romero, 28.
Other Olympians to receive honours include swimmer Rebecca Adlington, 19, from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.
Athlete Christine Ohuruogu, 24, who came back from a one-year ban for missing drug tests to become the Olympic women’s 400m champion in August, gets the same honour.
MBEs also go to Tim Brabants, 31, who won Britain’s first canoeing gold medal at this summer’s Games, and middleweight boxer James DeGale, 22, who recently turned professional after winning gold in Beijing.
Ben Ainslie, 31, who is Britain’s most successful Olympic sailor after winning a gold medal in each of the last three Games, gets a CBE.
The same honour goes to David Tanner, performance director of the GB rowing team.
There are OBEs for Beijing gold medal-winning British sailors Sarah Ayton, 28, Iain Percy, 32, and Sarah Webb, 31, and MBEs for their team-mates Paul Goodison, 31, Andrew Simpson, 32, and Pippa Wilson, 22.
Olympic champion rowers Zac Purchase, 22, Mark Hunter, 30, Andy Triggs-Hodge, 29, Tom James, 24, and Peter Reed, 27, all get MBEs, while Steve Williams, 32, gets an OBE.
Among Paralympians, CBEs go to swimmer David Roberts, 28, who has won 16 medals at three Games, including four golds at Beijing, and horse rider Lee Pearson, 34, who won three golds in China.
OBEs are given to Philip Lane, chief executive of Paralympics GB, and Stephen Park, manager of the British Olympic sailing team.
Another prominent sporting star honoured in the list is Hamilton, 23, who dramatically won the Formula One world championship in November on the last corner of the last race of the season.
There is a knighthood for Pratchett, 60, who has sold more than 55 million books worldwide and had his works translated into 33 languages.
Born in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, he started his career as a regional newspaper reporter and published his first novel, The Carpet People, in 1971.
He is best known for his Discworld series of comic fantasy novels, starting with 1983’s The Colour Of Magic, which are set in a parallel universe supported on the back of four elephants that stand on the shell of a giant turtle.
Now living near Salisbury, Wiltshire, Pratchett shocked his fans when he announced last December he had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
He has since campaigned to raise awareness of the disease and improve research funding.
Another knighthood goes to Paul Edwards, headmaster of Garforth Community College in Leeds, for services to education locally and nationally.
Award-winning jazz saxophonist Courtney Pine, 44, from Brighton, is made a CBE.
Sheen, 39, has played former prime minister Mr Blair twice, first in 2003 television drama The Deal and then in 2006’s award-winning film The Queen.
Having met the Queen as played by Dame Helen Mirren, he now has the chance of meeting the monarch herself when he collects his OBE.
An MBE is awarded to actor Liz Smith, 87, famous as Nana in the sitcom The Royle Family, and an OBE goes to singer-songwriter John Martyn, 60, who has collaborated with Eric Clapton and Phil Collins.
MBEs go to fashion designer Anya Hindmarch, famous for her eco-friendly ‘I’m Not A Plastic Bag’ accessory, and interior designer Kelly Hoppen.
Orchestral conductor Owain Arwel Hughes gets a CBE, while concert pianist and conductor Howard Shelley is awarded an OBE.
Banjo player David Miles, from Hertford, receives an MBE for services to music.
Jenny Abramsky, who stepped down as the BBC’s director of audio and music this year and is now Heritage Lottery Fund chairman, and Chief Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers both become dames.
MBEs go to cricket commentator and journalist Christopher Martin-Jenkins, a well-known voice on the BBC’s Test Match Special, and Les Maddock, chief umpire for the Wimbledon tennis championships.
SERVICE TO OTHERS
Those honoured for their service to others during the terrifying 7/7 attacks on London include Tim Coulson, from Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, who jumped across railway tracks to give first aid to the injured.
The others are: Stephen Hucklesby, from Leamington Spa; Elizabeth Kenworthy, from Waltham Abbey, Essex; David Matthews, from Luton; Gerald McIlmurray, from Epsom, Surrey; and Antonio Silvestro, also from Epsom.
The world of journalism is also recognised, with CBEs for Press Association executive chairman Paul Potts and financial journalist William Keegan.
Mrs Payne, from Surrey, receives her honour for services to child protection for her attempts to ensure that other parents do not have to go through what she endured after her daughter’s murder eight years ago.
Lyn Costello and Dee Edwards, co-founders of campaign group Mothers Against Murder and Aggression (MAMMA), are also given MBEs for their work.
Other MBEs go to Sophi Tranchell, managing director of fair trade confectionery firm Divine Chocolate, Dennis Goodwin, chairman of the First World War Veterans’ Association, and charity fundraiser Rosie Swale-Pope, who completed a five-year round-the-world run in August.