THE Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr and Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb have been awarded knighthoods in the New Year Honours.
Gibb, 71, who is recognised for his services to music and charity, dedicated the honour to his late brothers and former bandmates, Robin and Maurice.
“The magic, the glow, and the rush will last me the rest of my life,” he said. “This is a moment in life to be treasured, and never forgotten.
“I want to acknowledge how responsible my brothers are for this honour. It is as much theirs as it is mine.”
Starr, 77, whose real name is Richard Starkey gets his knighthood 20 years after bandmate Sir Paul McCartney was honoured.
The musicians are joined on the list by Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell, 48, who said she was “truly humbled” to become a Dame for services to dance, and War Horse author Michael Morpurgo, who is knighted for services to literature and charity.
Former Lib-Dem leader Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also becomes a Sir.
Morpurgo, 74, who previously received an OBE, said he had Joey, the equine character from the 1982 children’s book which became a hit international play, to thank for his knighthood.
“There was never a knight that has owed so much to his horse as this one,” he said.
“In fact, we will give the knighthood to Joey and call him Sir Joey!”
Professor John Curtice, 64, who led the exit polls that accurately forecast the last four general elections including Labour’s shock gains in June, receives a knighthood for services to social sciences and politics.
“Just six months ago the exit poll I led surprised everyone with a shock prediction that went on to be uncannily accurate,” he said.
“Now it is my turn to be surprised – and humbled – by the gracious decision to grant me a knighthood. It is not something I ever expected to happen.”
Although the pop stars of yesteryear grab the headlines, some current grime acts are recognised in the honours list with Richard Cowie, aka Wiley, receiving an MBE for services to music along with Grace Ladoja, who manages Skepta.
Wiley, 38, said: “It feels like the school grade I wanted and didn’t get – but now I’m finally there.”
Author and journalist Jilly Cooper is recognised for services to literature and charity, actor Hugh Laurie for services to drama and former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman for her contribution to fashion journalism. All have their OBEs upgraded to CBEs.
Veteran Scots actor and Game of Thrones star James Cosmo is honoured with an MBE for services to drama, having starred in films including Braveheart, Trainspotting and Highlander.
Also among the 1,123 people honoured is 1980s Soft Cell star and self-described “maverick” Marc Almond, who receives an OBE for services to arts and culture.
The 60-year-old, who had hits including Tainted Love, said he was “totally excited” to be recognised, adding: “I can’t really be a rebel any more. I think it’s time to leave it to younger people.”
Breakfast TV veteran Eamonn Holmes, 58, who is also awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting, said it was a “wonderful accolade”.
“It’s like getting a gold star for your homework,” he added. “2018 will be my 38th year as a broadcaster and I can’t think of a better way of marking that.”
Honour for rugby and cricket stars
BRITISH and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours, along with England Women cricket skipper Heather Knight.
Welshman Warburton led the Lions on their last two tours, including the drawn Test series against world champions New Zealand during the summer.
The 29-year-old Cardiff Blues flanker is currently recovering from surgery on a neck problem which ruled him out of contention for Wales’ Test matches during November and December.
He has so far won 74 international caps for Wales and also led the Lions in Australia in 2013 when he became the squad’s youngest captain at 24, ahead of the 2-1 victory over the Wallabies.
Knight receives her OBE for services to cricket following England’s triumph in the World Cup, which was delivered with victory over India at Lord’s in July of this year.
The coach of the team, Mark Robinson, also collects an OBE while bowler Anya Shrubsole and Kent’s Tammy Beaumont both receive the MBE.
The England and Wales Cricket Board director of women’s cricket, Clare Connor, becomes a CBE, having previously been awarded an OBE.
Former Manchester United youth team coach Eric Harrison, who helped develop the ‘Class of 92’ including the likes of Paul Scholes, the Neville brothers, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham, also receives an MBE.
Paralympian Stef Reid, who won silver in the F44 long jump at both the London 2012 Games and also in Rio, collects an MBE, too.