Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 September 2020

New Years Honours 2020: Sir Elton John and Nadiya Hussain among stars on list

Singer Olivia Newton-John has been made a dame

Sir Elton John and Dame Olivia Newton-John lead the New Years Honours 2020, as more than 1,000 people were recognised on Friday for their services to the UK by Queen Elizabeth II.

Singer and Grease actress Olivia Newton-John, who moved to Australia from the UK with her family at the age of 5, has been made a dame.

Meanwhile legendary performer Sir Elton John, who was knighted in 1998, has now joined the prestigious companions of honour for his services to music and charity.

It is an order that is restricted to a maximum of 65 members at any one time. Other names on that exclusive list include Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Margaret Atwood and J K Rowling.

Oscar-winning Hollywood directors Sam Mendes and Steve McQueen have both been given knighthoods, Queen drummer Roger Taylor was made an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), as was food writer Nigel Slater, while TV chefs Nadiya Hussain and Ainsley Harriott became MBEs (Member of the Order of the British Empire).

Look through the photo gallery above to see more famous faces on this year's New Years Honours list.

Queen Elizabeth II's New Year Honours List recognises outstanding achievements in the worlds of showbusiness, sport and politics, as well as the contributions of a larger number of everyday citizens.

Overall, 1,097 names were on the list for 2020, nearly two-thirds of whom have undertaken outstanding work in or for their local community.

Newton-John, who has devoted much of her time and celebrity to charities after battling three different cancer diagnoses since the early 1990s, said she was "extremely excited, honoured and grateful" to receive the award.

"As a girl born in Cambridge, I am very proud of my British ancestry and so appreciative to be recognised in this way by the United Kingdom," she told Britain's Press Association.

I have stood on the shoulders of so many collaborators and colleagues... to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude

Sam Mendes, director

Mendes, best known for his acclaimed directorial debut American Beauty, and McQueen, who made history in 2014 when he became the first black filmmaker to win a best picture Academy Award, both earned knighthoods.

Mendes, 54, the director of two Bond films, said he was "amazed, delighted and extremely proud".

"I have stood on the shoulders of so many collaborators and colleagues... to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude," he said.

"I would not be receiving this honour without them."

Additional reporting from AFP

Updated: December 28, 2019 11:35 AM

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