British actress Kristin Scott Thomas is among the actors, writers, politicians and charity workers recognised in the New Year's Honours list 2015.
LONDON — Actors, politicians, writers and sporting heroes are among the 1,164 people honoured by the Queen on the New Years Honour's list 2015.
Joan Collins and Kristin Scott Thomas have been made dames and John Hurt has received a knighthood. Emily Watson has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), as have James Corden and Sheridan Smith from Gavin & Stacey.
Fashion designer Mary Quant, former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown, broadcaster Esther Rantzen and Oscar-nominated screenwriter William Nicholson, whose work includesMandela: Long Walk To Freedom and Gladiator, have all been recognised.
Ceramic artist Paul Cummins and theatre designer Tom Piper, who created the poppy installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' at the Tower of London, have both been made Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
A guide to the honours system
The UK honours system is overseen by the Cabinet Office Honours and Appointments Secretariat, and honours are awarded to UK nationals or citizens from the 15 Commonwealth realms, such as Australia and Canada, on merit, for exceptional achievement or service.
Honorary awards for foreign nationals are recommended by the foreign secretary.
Nominations are submitted by the public or government departments, assessed by committees, and then past onto the Queen for approval. After this point, letters are sent to each nominee and once they have accepted, the list is formally approved.
Some have famously rejected or returned their awards, including John Lennon, Danny Boyle and David Bowie.
Commonly awarded ranks include Companion of Honour, Knights, Dames, Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Dame Joan Collins was also made an OBE for contribution to the arts in 1997. She said of this year's nod that she was "thrilled and grateful."
Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, who is lined up to plan the Queen on stage in The Audience, also said she was "thrilled", as well as "astonished and worried that I might suddenly wake up."
Other dames include broadcaster and founder of the Childline charity Esther Rantzen, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and fashion designer Mary Quant.
Former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Paddy Ashdown was appointed a member of the elite Companions of Honour.
Athletes honoured include Women's Rugby World Cup winners Sarah Hunter and Rochelle Clark (who both received MBEs), champion runner Steve Cram (CBE) and Fauja Singh, the 103-year-old marathon runner, who collected a British Empire Medal.
24-year-old youth broadcaster Jamal Edwards, founder of SBTV, was awarded an MBE.
Screenwriter William Nicholson collected an OBE.
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