Women outdo men on New Year Honours list for first time

More women than men have been named in the New Year Honours list for the first time ever - accounting for 51% of the recipients. They include actress Penelope Keith, singer Katherine Jenkins and Gavin and Stacey co-creator Ruth Jones.

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Lynda Bellingham 'thrilled and honoured' by OBE

Actress Lynda Bellingham has tweeted her joy at receiving an OBE after being treated for cancer:

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Hi guys I just came out of hospital today recovering from operation. This news is just the perfect antidote. I am thrilled and honoured

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Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years and the last few months

Read more: Lynda Bellingham awarded OBE after 'tough year'

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90-year-old awarded Empire Medal for charity work

A 90-year-old woman who has devoted her time to charity has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year's Honours list.

After a spell in hospital Gwendoline Gellear decided to "do something not to be useless" and began making toys to raise funds for the doctors and nurses who looked after her.

Known as "Aunty Gwen", the volunteer is a regular visitor to Pinderfield Hospital School, where she was herself a patient when she was in her twenties.

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Downing Street cleaners sweep up honours

Two Downing Street cleaners have been awarded for services to the Prime Minister's Office in the New Year Honours list.

Madeleine Josephine Hennell and Henrietta Shorter received British Empire Medals (BEMs) for their work cleaning one of the most famous addresses in the UK.

Madeleine Josephine Hennell and Henrietta Shorter have served for five Prime Ministers.
Madeleine Josephine Hennell and Henrietta Shorter have served for five Prime Ministers. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Both women have served under five Prime Ministers going back to Margaret Thatcher.

Read: Women outdo men on the New Year Honours list

More women than men honoured in New Year list

More women than men have been named in the New Year Honours list for the first time ever.

In total, 610 women have been awarded honours - accounting for 51% of recipients.

Here are some more facts and figures from this year's list:

  • 16 women have been named Dames
  • 1,195 people have received an award
  • 74% are people have undertaken outstanding work in their communities
  • 5% of the recipients come from ethnic minorities

TV star Nicholas Parsons 'flattered and delighted' at CBE

TV and radio personality Nicholas Parsons said he was "flattered and delighted" to be awarded a CBE for his charitable work.

The 90-year-old, who has clocked up numerous acting and comedy roles throughout his career, is still best known for his years as question master of TV quiz Sale Of The Century and for his role as creator and host of Radio 4's Just A Minute.

TV and radio personality Nicholas Parsons.
TV and radio personality Nicholas Parsons has been awarded a CBE for his charitable work. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

He said: "I think it's a very nice honour - I'm flattered and I'm delighted. I think honours are a wonderful thing to receive if you have worked hard and that is recognised. I don't understand these people who are pompous and say they don't want it. "

Parsons previously received an OBE for services to drama and broadcasting a decade ago.

Read: New Year Honours list unveiled

Ballet dancer Carlos Acosta 'thrilled' with CBE honour

Carlos Acosta - seen as the greatest male dancer of his generation - said he was "thrilled" to have been recognised with a CBE for his services to ballet.

The 40-year-old Cuban, a regular guest artist at the Royal Ballet in London, has danced with many of the most famous in his field and has branched out into choreography, literature and film.

Ballet dancer Carlos Acosta.
Ballet dancer Carlos Acosta grew up in the Cuban capital of Havana. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Acosta said: "I am very excited and thrilled about this news. I never expected to receive an honour such as this, and am both delighted and very proud to be given such recognition for my work in the dance world.

"It was a huge surprise, and I feel privileged to be included."

Read: New Year Honours list unveiled

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