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A galaxy of stars have been tipped to make the glittering New Year’s honours list for 2022.
England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty is among those rumoured to be recognised by the Queen in the New Year’s honours list as it is reported he will receive a knighthood.
The 2022 list is expected to be published in full on Friday.
Professor Whitty, 55, made an impression when he began delivering the Government’s Covid briefings to an audience of millions.
He has been praised by admirers for delivering vital statistics and SAGE advice at key moments throughout the “dark days of lockdown”.
Senior government ministers have testified to his relentless work ethic behind the scenes.
One told The Sun: “Chris may often put on a dour face but that is exactly what was required during the dark days of lockdown.
“Chris has been calm and unflappable throughout and is a trusted source of wisdom and knowledge. He thoroughly deserves his honour.”
Whitty already holds a less prestigious honour – Companion of the Order of the Bath – in recognition of his service to tropical medicine in the UK and Africa during the Ebola crisis.
Tennis star Emma Raducanu is expected to be appointed MBE following her extraordinary sporting success.
Raducanu achieved a fairytale dream in New York in September after she became the first qualifier ever to win the US Open.
The Queen praised the teenager in an open letter following her triumph as she hailed it a “remarkable achievement at such a young age”.
Meanwhile, actor Daniel Craig is believed to be in line for a CMG – a highly prestigious award usually given to senior diplomats and spies – following the release of his fifth and final Bond film No Time to Die.
Actress Joanna Lumley is set to be made a Dame, according to The Mail on Sunday.
The Bafta winner, 75, already holds an OBE and recently spearheaded a campaign to allow Gurkha veterans the right to settle in the UK.
Describing the moment the Queen awarded her the gong, she said: “‘You don’t remember much except for the beating heart when you walk up and step forward and step back and you’re trying to get all that right.”
Of the lunch at Buckingham Palace, she added: “It’s pretty and friendly and not frightening, but it’s always scary to meet the Queen, funnily enough. The Queen is the Queen.
“And you can’t believe it, you get so taken aback by seeing someone who’s so frantically familiar.”