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MP questions Welcome to Yorkshire chief's omission from New Year honours

A Yorkshire MP has spoken out over the decision not to include Gary Verity, the man who brought the Tour de France to Yorkshire, in this year's Honours list.

Speaking in the Commons, Shipley MP Philip Davis expressed his disappointment that the Welcome to Yorkshire boss had not been included after bringing one of the world's biggest sporting events to the county:

Controversy surrounds New Year's honours list

to controversy over the New Year's Honours List following the leaking of some high-profile names, including the Epworth-born actress Sheridan Smith.

Among those honoured today are the Hillsborough campaigner Trevor Hicks and the inspirational doctor Kate Granger. But there is no award for Gary Verity - the man who masterminded the Tour De France in Yorkshire.

David Hirst reports:


Surprise after Gary Verity is left out of New Year honours

Several Yorkshire personalities have tweeted their surprise that Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity was left out of the New Year honours list.

Surprise after Gary Verity is left out of New Year honours Credit: Press Association

Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan and Yorkshire Cricket captain Andrew Gale both voiced their shock at the omission.

Cllr Riordan congratulated the recently retired Peter Smith who was recognised for his role in sport in the city, including overseeing the Tour de France in Leeds and the city's contribution to London 2012.

Knighthood for Chesterfield's John Hurt

John Hurt, one of the grand figures of TV and film, has been awarded a knighthood for his services to drama.

Kighthood for Chesterfield's John Hurt Credit: Press Association

His distinguished career has taken him through a series of mesmerising performances, from the groundbreaking TV portrayal of Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant, through his title role in The Elephant Man to his brief incarnation as The Doctor last year in BBC One's Doctor Who.

Few viewers would ever forget the heart-stopping moment Sir John met his end in Alien, or his role as Winston Smith in 1984.

The 74-year-old, the son of a clergyman, developed an interest in acting at school but was discouraged by his parents and headteacher, and instead went to art college with an eye to becoming a teacher.

However, he went on to land a scholarship for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) and picked up TV and film roles until he had his major breakthrough, appearing in A Man For All Seasons as Richard Rich.

Sir John achieved further prominence in the film 10 Rillington Place as Timothy Evans who was wrongly executed for the crimes of serial killer John Christie (played by Richard Attenborough), and as Caligula in the celebrated BBC drama I Claudius.

His distinctive voice graced a chilling Aids awareness ad campaign in the 1980s, the character of Hazel in the animated film Watership Down and Kilgharrah the dragon in the BBC series Merlin.

Other roles have included occasional appearances as wand-maker Mr Ollivander in the Harry Potter films, his performance as Stephen Ward - a key figure in the Profumo affair - in Scandal and a reprisal of his role as Crisp for An Englishman In New York in 2009, 34 years after his original portrayal of the flamboyant figure.

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Sheridan Smith 'overwhelmed' by OBE award

Sheridan Smith, who has been given an OBE in the New Year Honours list, said she was "overwhelmed" by the award.

Smith, who played Cilla Black in the acclaimed ITV biopic Cilla, said: "I'm sincerely thankful and humbled to be recognised with such an honour.

Sheridan Smith said she was 'sincerely thankful and humbled' by the honour. Credit: Lexie Appleby/Geisler-Fotopress/DPA/Press Association Images

"I'm overwhelmed and hope to continue doing the work that I love for many years to come."

The 33-year-old actress' portrayal of Cilla Black was so successful that it sent her version of Anyone Who Had A Heart into the Top 40.


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