New Year Honours announced

Ellie Simmonds
Ellie Simmonds is awarded an OBE Photo: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The New Years Honours list for 2013 has been announced.

Swimmer Ellie Simmonds, the poster girl of this year's Paralympic Games,has been awarded an OBE.

Ellie who is from Walsall, won four medals and broke two world records at London 2012, bringing home gold in the S6 400m freestyle and SM6 200m individual medley.

She also won silver in the S6 100m freestyle and bronze in the S6 50m freestyle.

In winning the S6 100m and S6 400m freestyle, she became the youngest Briton to win an Olympic or Paralympic medal and was later awarded the MBE.

It's been a great honour to be included in the list which caps an amazing year for me personally and for British sport.

– Ellie Simmonds
Margaret Beckett
Margaret Beckett named as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire Credit: PA Wire/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Margaret Beckett's has been recognised for her parliamentary career spanning almost 40 years, during which she served in the administrations of four prime ministers and became Britain's first female foreign secretary and the first woman to lead the Labour Party.

Today said that she regarded being named as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire as "a recognition of all the work I've been able to be part of in politics, which is greatly appreciated".

She became MP for Lincoln in 1974 and MP for Derby South in 1984.

Dave Brailsford
Dave Brailsford has been knighted in the New Year Honours. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Dave Brailsford has been knighted in the New Year Honours.

The 48-year-old is British Cycling performance director and Team Sky principal.

This year his greatest achievements saw Bradley Wiggins win the Tour de France before Britain claimed eight Olympic gold medals and eight Paralympic titles on home soil.

The outcomes over the course of Brailsford's career with British Cycling have been impressive: seven out of 10 track titles won at the Beijing Olympic Games, a performance replicated in London, on home soil; eight gold medals at each Games in all.

Adrian Lester
Actor Adrian Lester from Birmingham has been awarded an OBE for services to drama. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Actor Adrian Lester from Birmingham has been awarded an OBE for services to drama.

The 44-year-old said he was "really surprised" but "honoured" when he was told about the award.

Lester, is probably best known for character Mickey Bricks in the BBC show Hustle.