New Year Honours List 2023: Stephen Graham and Brian May among celebrities recognised

Stephen Graham and Brian May (Getty Images)
Stephen Graham and Brian May (Getty Images)

Stephen Graham and Brian May are among the celebrities to be recognised in the New Year Honours List 2023.

This list marks the first published since the late Queen Elizabeth II’s death in September and the first to be signed off by her son King Charles III. A total of 1,107 recipients, 50 per cent of whom are women, make up this year’s list.

Bafta-winner Graham, best known for his starring role in This is England and The Irishman, is set to receive an OBE, while Queen guitarist Sir Brian “has been appointed a knight bachelor for services to music and charity”.

“I regard it as a kind of charge, like a kind of commission to do the things that one would expect a knight to do – to fight for justice, to fight for people who don’t have any voice,” Sir Brian said of the new award.

Other high-profile names to have made the list include contemporary artist and broadcaster Sir Grayson Perry. The 62-year-old artist, known for his tapestries, ceramic works and cross-dressing, “is knighted for services to the arts”.

Sir Grayson was previously appointed CBE in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to contemporary art.

Comedian and actor Frank Skinner is to receive an MBE, along with Countdown presenter Rachel Riley, who is being recognised for “her efforts to raise awareness of the Holocaust and combat antisemitism”.

Virginia McKenna, the 91-year-old Born Free actor and co-founder of the Born Free Foundation, who was given an OBE in 2004, has additionally received a damehood.

Of the latest honour, McKenna said it “really belongs” to campaigners who are fighting to “end wild animal suffering and keep wildlife in the wild”.

The honours system, in which most recipients receive titles linked to the Order of the British Empire, has faced past criticism for allegedly glorifying Britain’s colonial past.

Additional reporting by PA