mon 15/07/2024

Arise, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dame Zaha Hadid | reviews, news & interviews

Arise, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dame Zaha Hadid

Arise, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dame Zaha Hadid

Birthday honours also for Kate Winslet, Gary Barlow and the Ballet Boyz

New dames and knights: Kenneth Branagh, Zaha Hadid, Michael Boyd, David McVicar

Zaha Hadid, visionary architect of the London Olympics Aquatic Centre, becomes a Dame and three new knights of the arts are created in the Queen's Jubilee Birthday Honours announced this morning.

Actor Kenneth Branagh, long touted as Sir Laurence Olivier's heir in the classical tradition, becomes a Sir, as do Michael Boyd, artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and opera director David McVicar.

Kate Winslet becomes CBE, as do Sadler's Wells chief Alistair Spalding and composer Michael Berkeley and Harry Christophers, founder of the baroque vocal ensemble The Sixteen.

Among the new OBEs are the Ballet Boyz, Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, popularisers of ballet on television, and several classical musicians, including violinist Tasmin Little, pianist Joanna MacGregor and English National Opera music director Edward Gardner. TV choirmaster Gareth Malone and pop singer Gary Barlow, film director Sally Potter and broadcast Armando Iannucci are also made OBEs.

In visual arts one of the unsung heroines of British contemporary art, the patron Delfina Entrecanales, becomes CBE for her artists' residency programmes, the Scottish museums chief Gordon Rintoul is also made CBE and the co-founders of the experimental arts project Artangel, Michael Morris and James Lingwood, become MBEs.

Former Labour culture secretary Tessa Jowell and leading arts patron Theresa Sackler, a benefactor of galleries, theatres and opera houses in Britain and abroad, both become Dames.



  • KBE Sir Kenneth Branagh, actor and director
  • KBE Sir Michael Boyd, artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company
  • CBE Vikki Heywood, executive director of the Royal Shakespeare Company
  • OBE Beeban Kidron, director
  • OBE Kwame Kwei-Armah, playwright, director, actor
  • OBE Jean Marsh, actress and writer
  • MBE April Ashley, actress (for her transgender campaigning)
  • MBE Felix Cross, artistic director of NITRO black music theatre
  • MBE Amanda Redman, actress and founder of the Artists' Theatre School



  • CBE Alistair Spalding, chief executive and artistic director of Sadler's Wells Theatre
  • OBE Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, dancers and co-founders of the Ballet Boyz
  • OBE Brenda Last, former Royal Ballet dancer and ballet mistress
  • OBE Richard Gleave, former World Ballroom Dancing Champion, for services to ballroom dancing


  • CBE Kate Winslet, actress
  • CBE Joshua Berger, president and managing director of Warner Bros UK
  • OBE Jenny Agutter, actress (for charity work)
  • OBE Sally Potter, film director


  • CBE Mary Berry, cookery writer and broadcaster
  • OBE Armando Iannucci, writer and broadcaster
  • OBE Anne Bulford, chief operating officer of Channel 4

Visual arts

  • DBE Dame Zaha Hadid, architect of the London Olympics Aquatic Centre
  • CBE Delfina Entrecanales, founder of the Delfina Studio Trust and Delfina Foundation
  • CBE Prof Jack Lohman, former director of the Museum of London
  • CBE Gordon Rintoul, director of the National Museums of Scotland
  • OBE Victoria Pomeroy, director of Turner Contemporary
  • OBE Carole Patey, arts and heritage fundraiser
  • MBE John Blakeley, sculptor (such as Che Guevara, Sir Laurence Olivier, War Graves Commission)
  • MBEs James Lingwood and Michael Morris, co-directors of Artangel

Literature, media and design

  • CBE Susan Hill, author
  • CBE Alexander Chancellor, columnist and former editor on The Spectator
  • CBE Rt Hon Sir Peter Riddell, assistant editor and former political editor on The Times
  • OBE Felicity Green, fashion journalist
  • OBE Sarah Burton, fashion designer and creative director Alexander McQueen


A secret list of 300 top people who have snubbed the honours system by refusing knighthoods and other awards has been revealed. David Bowie, celebrity cook Nigella Lawson and comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders were among those who have refused honours, it was claimed. Bowie declined a CBE in the Queen's birthday honours of 2000 while Lawson, rejected an OBE offered in 2001 for her "services to journalism and to cookery". French and Saunders turned down OBEs "for services to comedy drama" in the same year. The information, covering more than 40 years, is in secret Whitehall files leaked to The Sunday Times. The reasons for refusing are not recorded. An inquiry to find the source of the leak was now under way. Novelist JG Ballard, James Bond leading lady Honor Blackman and jazz musician George Melly have all turned down honours under Blair, but the documents include the names of scores of famous people who have declined honours offered by prime ministers on behalf of the Queen since the Second World War. Compiled by the Cabinet Office's ceremonial branch, the list of almost 300 names includes author Graham Greene, artist David Hockney, writer John le Carré, poet Robert Graves, author Aldous Huxley and writer and journalist Evelyn Waugh. Other names on the list include writer J B Priestley, novellist Anthony Powell, children's author Roald Dahl, poet Philip Larkin, as well as actors Trevor Howard and Alastair Sim. LS Lowry, the painter, appears to have turned down more than anyone -- a total of five awards including a knighthood, CBE and OBE. Actor Albert Finney not only rejected a knighthood in 2000 but the documents show he also turned down a CBE in 1980. Even film director Alfred Hitchcock refused a CBE in 1962, although he accepted a knighthood shortly before he died according to the newspaper. Read more:

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