Celebrities draw attention on 2008 UK New Year Honours list

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

I am almost as surprised as I am honoured. I feel deeply touched to be acknowledged by the UK, my adopted home, in this way.

—Kylie Minogue in reaction to her OBE.


Kylie Minogue.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

In an annual tradition, Queen Elizabeth II gave out honours in the 2008 U.K. New Year Honours list today. Chat show host Michael Parkinson is to be knighted, Australian singer Kylie Minogue was made a member of the Order of the British Empire (for services to music), and actor Ian McKellen (who played Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy) joined the exclusive Order of the Companions of Honour, which is limited to only 65 members.

Knighthood was awarded to professor Ian Wilmut, who led the team that cloned Dolly the sheep. The list also includes honours for those involved in flood rescue work during 2007 such as Salvation Army Captain Tracey Palmer (who was made a Member of the British Empire, MBE) and Leslie Adams from York. Tom Kelly, who was an official spokesperson for Tony Blair, entered the Order of the Bath.

599 of the 972 awards this year went to ordinary members of the public, who mostly received MBE's.

The honours are awarded by the Queen after advice from the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. It is published in the London Gazette, an official publication of the monarchy.

Other recipients of honours include:

As in past years the honours list has included honours for those involved in charity work, education and social activisim, such as :

  • Marjorie Wallace,
  • Michele Elliott
  • Alasdair Macdonald, Headmaster
  • Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea, Vice Chancellor of Edinburgh university.