March 3rd, 2024

Shirley Bassey and Ridley Scott are among hundreds awarded in UK’s New Year Honors list

By Sylvia Hui, The Associated Press on December 29, 2023.

FILE - Leona Lewis poses for photographers upon arrival at the amfAR, foundation for aids research, dinner during the 80th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2023. Singer Shirley Bassey, director Ridley Scott and England goalkeeper Mary Earps were recognized Friday, Dec. 29, 2023 in the U.K.’s New Year Honors list, which celebrates the achievements and services of more than 1,000 people across the country. Other well-known names on the list include “The Great British Bake Off” judge Paul Hollywood, “Game of Thrones” actor Emilia Clarke, and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)

LONDON (AP) – Singer Shirley Bassey, director Ridley Scott and Mary Earps, the goalkeeper for England’s women’s soccer team, were recognized Friday in the U.K.’s New Year Honors list, which celebrates the achievements and services of more than 1,000 people across the country.

Bassey, 86, who is already a dame – the female equivalent of a knight – was appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honor for her services to music. The Welsh singer, best known for her “James Bond” theme songs “Goldfinger” and “Diamonds Are Forever,” became the 64th living member of the order, a special status held by no more than 65 people at any one time.

“Entertaining audiences for over 70 years has been a privilege,” she said. “My heart is full of emotion and I am truly humbled.”

Scott, whose films include “Gladiator,” “Alien” and more recently “Napoleon,” was awarded for his services to the U.K. film industry. He was made a Knight Grand Cross, upgrading his previous knighthood.

Other well-known names in entertainment on the list included “The Great British Bake Off” judge Paul Hollywood, who was honored for services to baking and broadcasting; and “Game of Thrones” actor Emilia Clarke, who along with her mother were made Members of the Order of the British Empire, or MBE, for their work founding a brain injury recovery charity.

Clarke survived two brain hemorrhages and started the SameYou charity to raise awareness about brain injuries and help advocate for better treatments and rehabilitation for survivors.

In sport, Earps was honored along with Lioness players Millie Bright and Lauren Hemp for their part in helping the Lionesses reach the women’s World Cup final in the summer. England lost 1-0 to Spain in the final in Sydney.

In all, this year’s list includes a total of 1,227 recipients, with 48% of them women. About 14% came from an ethnic minority background.

Many on the list are ordinary people who have served their communities. They include 9-year-old Tony Hudgell, the youngest recipient, who was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the prevention of child abuse.

Rizwan Javed, a 33-year-old train station assistant, was awarded for helping save 29 vulnerable people at risk of ending their lives at the railway.

U.K. monarchs have awarded honors as part of orders of chivalry since the Middle Ages. In modern times, nominations are submitted to the government’s Cabinet Office and vetted by a committee before being passed on to the prime minister and King Charles III.

An exception was Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual head of the Anglican Church, who was awarded a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order by Charles independently of the government.

Welby conducted the service for the king’s coronation, and had the key task of anointing and crowning Charles and Queen Camilla at the ceremony.

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