The New Years honors list from the UK was announced at midnight on New Year's Eve. Heading the list are actors, comedians, golfers and athletes.
The UK Government has announced the New Years Honors list. On paper these are awarded by the Queen, although most go through the UK Government's Cabinet Office. This time 984 individuals were given an award.
Among the honors bestowed, as reported by the BBC, are a CBE to the actor Helena Bonham Carter, who has collaborated extensively with her husband Tim Burton and quite recently Queen Mother in The King's Speech. Two golfers have also been awarded: Darren Clarke (who receives an OBE) and Rory McIlroy, the youngest US Open champion for 88 years (who is given an MBE).
Of those in receipt of the higher awards, the most famous is Penelope Lively, a writer of books for adults and children, who becomes a Dame. So too does Joan Ruddock, the former chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) who later became a Labour MP. On the male side, Jonathan Ive, the British-born designer of the iPhone, iPad and iPod, is knighted. Professor Eric Hobsbawn, the distinguished historian, is made a Companion of Honour.
Other awards given this time are to Formula One racing driver Nigel Mansell, awarded with a CBE for his charity work with young people; a CBE has also been given to the writer, broadcaster and poet Clive James, as has the entertainer Ronnie Corbett, most famous for his television comedy.
Of the lower tiers, The Independent lists out the awards which include journalist Alex Crawford, whose reporting on the Libyan conflict for Sky News has received much acclaim, gets an OBE. Of the sports people there are two cricketers: the cricket umpire Dickie Bird (OBE) and Giles Clarke, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, who is given a CBE.
Among the lesser known names, The Daily Mail indicates that there is some controversy with an award given to Paul Ruddock, who has given more than £500,000 to David Cameron's Conservative Party since 2003.
The British honors system is made up of awards of different rank, each with its own acronym. At the top is being made a Companion or Dame, this is followed by knighthoods, then, in the following order, the CBE (Commander of the British Empire), OBE (Order of the British Empire), MBE (Member of the British Empire) and BEM (British Empire Medal). Whilst the terminology of 'Empire' is somewhat antiquated, the awards are a way for the British government and the Crown to recognize its most outstanding citizens of the time. Awards are made twice per year: in the summer as the Queen's Birthday Honors and for the New Year (announced on December 31).