Women outnumber men on New Year Honours list for first time

Actress Penelope Keith is to be made a Dame. Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

More women than men have been named in the New Year Honours list for the first time since the Order of the British Empire was founded in 1917.

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

Among those women to be recognised from the world of show business are actress Penelope Keith, singer Katherine Jenkins and Gavin and Stacey co-creator Ruth Jones.

Keith, who was made a Dame for her services to the arts and to charity, said she had almost forgotten about the honour after she had to contend with being without power at her Surrey home during the festive period.

The 73-year-old, known for her roles in sitcoms such as To The Manor Born and The Good Life, said, "It's the big one. I had already got an OBE and then a CBE, so I don't know what is better than the icing on the cake - but this is."

Singer Katherine Jenkins said she is "incredibly humbled" to be awarded an OBE for her contribution to music and her services to charity.

Singer Katherine Jenkins will be awarded an OBE. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

The Neath-born mezzo-soprano said, "I share this award with the charitable bodies I am so privileged to work with, especially to those brave servicemen and women who risk so much for us all on a daily basis."

Gavin and Stacey writer and star Ruth Jones said she was "really chuffed" to receive an MBE, which she described as "a massive compliment".

She told ITV News jokingly that she would only play "royal, aristocratic characters" from now on:

Actress Lynda Bellingham, best known for her long-running role in the Oxo TV adverts, said being awarded an OBE is a "fantastic way to move forward" after a "tough year" in which she received treatment for cancer.

Actress Lynda Bellingham is to receive an OBE in the New Year Honours. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Away from the stars of stage and screen, one of the co-founders of parental support website Netmums said her OBE recognises the achievements of all mothers.

Sally Russell photographed with Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012. Credit: Paul Rogers/The Times/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Sally Russell, who started the site in 2000 with two other young mothers, said she felt "humbled" to receive the award.

The parents of murdered 16-year-old schoolboy Jimmy Mizen have received MBEs in the New Year Honours list for services to young people.

Barry and Margaret Mizen receive MBEs for services to young people. Credit: PA Wire

Jimmy was killed on May 10 2008 - the day after his 16th birthday - after he was attacked in Lee, southeast London. Jake Fahri is serving a life sentence for his murder.

Barry and Margaret Mizen said they were "honoured and humbled" by the award which was a reward for their whole family. They are all involved in the Jimmy Mizen Foundation - set up to increase young people's awareness of the consequences of violent crime.

Sir Marcus Setchell has been made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The consultant obstetrician who led the team that delivered the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby has been made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.

Sir Marcus Setchell, who was the Queen's gynaecologist for two decades, could not contain his delight after Prince George was born on July 22 at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in central London.

Michael Crawford has been awarded a CBE for services to children's charities. Credit: PA Wire

Also flying the flag for men on the New Year Honours list is actor and singer Michael Crawford, who said his CBE for services to children's charities was "the most wonderful surprise".

Crawford, whose role as the hapless Frank Spencer in 1970s sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em made him a household name, said:

I do thank most sincerely those who are responsible for my receiving this great honour and to all my friends and colleagues at The Sick Children's Trust, I'm proud to be a part of our very special charity.

Angel Of The North sculptor Antony Gormley has been honoured with a knighthood. Credit: PA Wire

Angel Of The North sculptor Antony Gormley received a knighthood for services to the arts .

Gormley, who grew up in London and was educated at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, said he felt the award was representative of a shift in the culture of the country.

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

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, said, "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."

Read: Women outdo men on the New Year Honours list

Click here for the full list of honours to be awarded