sat 25/05/2024

New Year Honours: Arts stand aside in an Olympics deluge | reviews, news & interviews

New Year Honours: Arts stand aside in an Olympics deluge

New Year Honours: Arts stand aside in an Olympics deluge

Sir Quentin Blake rides out for culture against the sporting Sirs and Dames

Arts honours: Adrian Lester, Kate Bush, Quentin Blake and Tracey Emin

In among the deluge of New Year Honours poured over Olympians (headed by Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sir Ben Ainslie, Dame Sarah Storey and Companion of Honour Lord Coe), there is a modest sprinkling over the arts world too. Roald Dahl's illustrator Quentin Blake becomes Sir Quentin, and another veteran entertainer, Jeremy Lloyd, co-writer of 'Allo 'Allo and Are You Being Served?, is made CBE.

There are no arts Dames, but CBEs go to three well-known women, singer Kate Bush, artist Tracey Emin and choreographer Arlene Philips and to the less visible Cultural Olympiad chief, Ruth Mackenzie.

Three other arts knighthoods go behind the scenes - John Leighton, director-general of the National Galleries of Scotland, English National Opera's former chairman Martin Smith, currently chairman of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and a prominent philanthropist and Nick Williams, principal of Leona Lewis's old school, the BRIT School for performing arts in Croydon.

Fashion designer Stella McCartney and actors Ewan McGregor and Adrian Lester become OBE, and violinist Nicola Benedetti and actress Siobhan Redmond become MBE.

Sculptor Richard Long and the Tate's deputy director and business chief Alex Beard both become CBE. Northern Stage's chief executive Erica Whyman is awarded the OBE and Ballet Black's founder-director Cassa Pancho becomes MBE.

Arts journalism does well, with two long-serving critics made OBE, Michael Billington, the Guardian's theatre critic, and Philip French, the Observer's film man. In broadcasting, Mary Beard, the classics professor as famous for her long white hair as her scholarship on television, and Classic FM's managing director Darren Henley both become OBEs.

The cornucopia of MBEs recognise services to Scottish country dancing, church music, campanology, local music, arts for disabled people, and music hall.


Knights Bachelor

  • Illustrator Quentin Blake, CBE
  • National Galleries of Scotland director-general John Leighton
  • Philanthropist and current chair of the OAE Martin Smith
  • Nick Williams, former principal of the BRIT School, Croydon


Commander of the Order of the British Empire

  • Singer Kate Bush
  • Artist Tracey Emin
  • Choreographer Arlene Phillips OBE
  • Artist and sculptor Richard Long
  • Cultural Olympiad director Ruth Mackenzie, OBE
  • Deputy director of Tate galleries Alex Beard
  • Southbank Sinfonia chairman and philanthropist Dr Michael Berman
  • Internet entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox
  • The Times Scottish editor and arts supporter Magnus Linklater
  • Eidos life president Ian Livingstone, OBE (computer gaming)


Officer of the Order of the British Empire

  • Actor Ewan McGregor (services to drama and charity)
  • Fashion designer Stella McCartney
  • Comedy writer Jeremy Lloyd
  • Military historian Max Arthur
  • Former executive and principal Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Prof Derek William Aviss
  • Classics professor and TV presenter Prof Mary Beard
  • Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington
  • Glasgow University music professor John Butt
  • Mrs Jennifer Ann Cooke, JP (services to musical theatre and community in Northern Ireland)
  • Founder and principal of Inchbald School of Design, Mrs Jacqueline Ann Duncan
  • Music therapist and chief executive Nordoff Robbins, Pauline Etkin
  • Choreographer Eleanor Henta Fazan
  • Observer film critic Philip French
  • Keith John Griffin (services to music in Wales)
  • Classic FM managing director Darren Henley
  • Art dealer Monika Kinley
  • Foreign correspondent Christina Lamb
  • Actor Adrian Lester
  • Chair of Phonographic Performance Ltd Frantisek Nevrkla (services to British music industry)
  • Stone and wood-carver Dr Richard Reid (services to heritage and restoration)
  • Wilfred Ainsworth Walker (services to promotion and development of Black music)
  • Chief executive Northern Stage Erica Whyman


Member of the Order of the British Empire

  • Illustrator John Henry Batchelor
  • Violinist Nicola Benedetti
  • Oval House director Deborah Bestwick
  • Norris Museum curator Robert Ian Burn-Murdoch
  • Campanologist John Geoffrey Burton
  • Talawa artistic director and playwright Patricia Cumper
  • Spencer William Freeman (services to music and arts in Eastbourne)
  • Singing teacher Coral Lydia Gould
  • Travelling Light Theatre Company general manager Catherine Greig
  • Primary school music teacher Elaine Griffiths
  • Dr Melissa Hardie-Budden (services to heritage and arts in West Cornwall)
  • Founder of Brick Lane Music Hall Vincent Hayes
  • Mrs Michaela Butter Keon (services to arts in Nottinghamshire)
  • Founder of Side by Side Theatre Company Susan Rachel Lidington
  • The Sage Gateshead, creative director of the Silver Programme, Gilly Love (services to music in the community)
  • Director of the Young Person's Concert Foundation, Lady Judy Gordon Martin
  • Kathleen Mary Masters (services to conquest art in Godalming)
  • Dennis Patrick McKeever (services to drama and music in Northern Ireland)
  • Founder of the Centre for Indian Classical Dance Nilima Menski
  • Angela Jean O'Brien (services to drama in the South West)
  • Ballet Black artistic director and founder Cassa Pancho
  • Actress Caroline Parker (services to deaf theatre)
  • Founder of Parkway Cinemas Gerald Parkes
  • Rachel Barnetson Phillips (services to Scottish country dancing)
  • Founder of the Gillian Quinn School of Theatre Dance, Gillian Quinn
  • Actress Siobhan Redmond
  • Trevor George Tipple (services to church music in Worcestershire)

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