The 2010 New Year Honours List is published today recognising outstanding achievement and service across the whole of the United Kingdom.
More women have been honoured than ever before, making up 45 per cent of the list, including six Dames and 38 CBEs.
Once again, the majority of awards have gone to local heroes - extraordinary people from a wide range of fields who have made a real difference in their communities. The list includes a nun, a sheep farmer and the first-ever circus ringmaster to be honoured, as well as the four-times British National Aerobatic Champion.
More than half of the people receiving MBEs were put forward by members of the public, with nominations coming in from across the country.
In total 979 people have been recommended to The Queen for an award:
* 842 candidates have been selected at MBE and OBE level, 615 at MBE and 227 at OBE.
* 73 per cent of the recipients are local heroes, who've undertaken outstanding work in their communities.
* There are 441 successful women candidates in the List, representing 45 per cent of the total.
* Six per cent of the successful candidates come from ethnic minority communities.
Among the big names being honoured, there are knighthoods for Star Trek and X-Men star Patrick STEWART, National Theatre director Nicholas HYTNER, and rugby legend Ian MCGEECHAN. There are also MBEs for Formula 1 world champion Jenson BUTTON and Britain's most successful gymnast, Beth TWEDDLE.
But the vast majority of the awards go not to stars of sport, stage and screen but to ordinary people who have gone the extra mile to make a difference to the lives of people around them.
These include a DBE for Claire BERTSCHINGER, for services to Nursing and to International Humanitarian Aid; she has provided nursing care in some of the harshest environments around the world and was the inspiration for Bob Geldof to organise the Band Aid charity and Live Aid.
And there is a knighthood for Erich REICH, Chairman of the Kindertransport Group, who earlier this year organised the 70th anniversary celebration of the decision by the UK Parliament to allow the rescue of almost 10,000 children from Nazi Europe.
Some of the many MBEs for people who have made a real impact in the community include:
* Susan BANTON, who founded the charity Steps in 1980. It now offers help and support to thousands of families and individuals with lower limb disorders.
* Nasrullah MOGHAL, for services to Community Relations in Manchester. He has been an active member of the community for the last 25 years, championing integration and cohesion.
* Theresa COYLE, who has led local partnerships to secure over £70m of improvements in her neighbourhood, and is still the community champion for a very deprived part of Islington.
* Sister Lynda DEARLOVE, founder of a charity that helps women who have been sexually exploited through prostitution and victims of sexual trafficking.
* And Ewan EASTON, who has helped rehabilitate prisoners at HM Young Offender Institution Thorn Cross by introducing Hallé4brass, a musical and educational project working in partnership with the renowned Hallé Orchestra.
Also among the local heroes is BBC football commentator Jimmy ARMFIELD. The former Blackpool and England right-back was given an OBE for services to football nine years ago; today he receives a CBE for his extensive community work in Lancashire.
There is a DBE for Clare TICKELL, Chief Executive of charity Action for Children, who is dedicated to providing services to vulnerable children, young people and their families. There are knighthoods for His Honour Mota SINGH QC, who was the first person from a minority ethnic background to become a Circuit Judge; and for Graham WYNNE, the Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
About 11 per cent of honours are for work in Education.
Professor Robert BURGESS, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leicester, receives a knighthood. Under his leadership, the University has taken its place within the top 20 in the UK.
There are also honours for 19 head teachers and 13 school and college principals. These include a CBE for Frances HARTLEY, who until recently was Head teacher of Deans Primary School in Salford, and transformed the school from one of Salford's worst-performing primaries to one rated "outstanding" by Ofsted. There is also an OBE for Eileen CAVALIER, who founded the London College of Beauty Therapy in 1995 and has since provided training for many socially excluded young people and adults.
There are MBEs for nine school governors and three teachers, but the list also recognises the behind-the-scenes heroes who make our schools work. Alongside a classroom assistant, a security officer, a gardening assistant and a school crossing warden, there is an MBE for catering supervisor Mary GEORGE who has given 27 years outstanding service to Crossroads Primary School in Keith.
Health makes up nine per cent of all honours. Perhaps the best-known recipient is family healthcare columnist Dr Miriam STOPPARD, who is made an OBE for services to healthcare and charity. Those receiving knighthoods include Professor Michael RICHARDS, who developed the National Cancer Plan and the Cancer Reform Strategy.
There are MBEs for six nurses, five GPs, a physiotherapist, an audiologist, and a clinical illustrator. Dorothy CRAGG also receives and MBE. She pioneered medical tattooing in the UK 25 years ago and has since helped thousands of people to regain their dignity and self-esteem following visual disability trauma.
Industry and the Economy makes up 12 per cent of the awards.
There is a CBE for Parmajit BASSI, Chairman of private investment company Bond Wolfe, for services to Business and to the Community in the West Midlands. He is an acknowledged role-model for aspiring entrepreneurs who has encouraged inclusion into the business community of other British Sikhs. And there is a CBE for Dr George DANIELS, Master Watchmaker from the Isle of Man, who has had a monumental influence on world horology. Examples of his work are displayed in the British Museum.
Helen FRASER, former managing director of Penguin UK also receives a CBE, along with Lucian GRAINGE, the chairman and chief executive of Universal Music Group International and Rodney COUSENS, the chief executive of Codemasters, one of the leading computer games developers in the country, making games for Wii and PlayStation.
There is an OBE for Woon YIP, founder of the UK's foremost importer of oriental foodstuffs. He is also a generous benefactor of charities and community projects.
OBEs also go to Big Issue chairman Nigel KERSHAW, Café Spice Namasté chief executive Cyrus TODIWALA, fashion designer Amanda WAKELEY and the founder of lingerie company Ultimo, Michelle MONE.
There are MBEs for a wide variety of people, including for Ian MILLAR, an innovative sheep and arable farmer in Scotland who has worked for the benefit of the livestock industry as a whole. Rose GRAY and Lady ROGERS, the Co-Founders of the River Café and leading figures in the London restaurant scene also receive MBEs as does Cath KIDSTON, one of the most influential and original designers to emerge from the UK in recent years.
Science and Technology makes up three per cent of the awards, including a DBE for Professor Valerie BERAL. She has directed the Cancer Epidemiology Unit in Oxford since 1989 and in 1997 she initiated the Million Women's Study, which has since recruited more than 1.3 million women through the NHS Breast Cancer Screening Programme. Among the OBEs is Professor Mary GIBBY, the leading British cryptogamic botanist of her generation and Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
Arts and Media make up six per cent of the total. There is a knighthood for Mark JONES, Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum and CBEs for opera singer Sarah CONNOLLY, painter and sculptor Maggi HAMBLING, and pianist Peter DONOHOE.
Among the OBEs is David NIXON, Artistic Director of the Northern Ballet Theatre, and popular children's author Dick KING-SMITH. There are MBEs for Charlie & Lola author Lauren CHILD and performance poet Lemn SISSAY.
Sheila O'NEIL, who in 1986 founded a concert society in the West Yorkshire town of Ackworth, also receives an MBE. The society has attracted many high-calibre artists to the former mining town.
The State Sector awards include a KCB for David NICHOLSON, Chief Executive of the NHS. His achievements include helping to deliver the maximum 18-week wait and halving rates of MRSA.
Awards for Sport make up four per cent of the total. There is a CBE for Christopher COHEN, former Chairman of the Athletics Sports Assembly Executive Committee at the International Paralympic Committee and the recognised world authority in disability athletics.
Jenson BUTTON is not the only member of the Brawn Racing Team to be recognised - there is also an OBE for the team's former owner and technical mastermind Ross BRAWN. And there is an OBE for Vic AKERS who retired in 2009 as the Manager of the Arsenal Ladies' Football Team having made a major contribution to the development of ladies' football at all levels, winning 32 major trophies in the process.
There are MBEs for Gordon GUTHRIE, for his years of service to Derby County Football Club, Frank HANNAH, president of Manchester County Football Association and cricketer Claire TAYLOR, England's World Cup-winning batter.
And at grassroots level there are MBEs for the local heroes of sport, who help inspire hundreds of people to take part in sport. They include Terence MCLERNON, the driving force behind the Drumchapel Table Tennis Club in Glasgow, which is now the biggest club in Scotland, and Andrew WOOD, Manager and Head Coach of the Ipswich Gymnastics Centre, which has more than 800 members as well as gymnasts competing at a national and international level. There is also an MBE for Stephen PRESCOTT, for services to Rugby League and to Charity. In 2006, he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, but has continued to raise money through the Steve Prescott Foundation.
And finally, there are OBEs for rock legends Rick PARFITT and Francis ROSSI. The pair founded Status Quo in the mid-Sixties and have since enjoyed more than 60 chart hits, including 22 top-10 singles. In parallel to their prolific music careers, Parfitt and Rossi pioneered charity rock concerts with the first ever Prince's Trust concert in 1982 and their charitable work has been unstinting ever since.
Notes to editors
The full honours list will be published at http://www.direct.gov.uk/newyearhonours
from 00:01 on Thursday 31 December.
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