Singer Van Morrison, Lenny Henry and Kevin Spacey given highest accolade in Queen's Birthday Honours

Kevin Spacey has been recognised with an honorary Knighthood, while Van Morrison and Lenny Henry also received the top nod Credit: Reuters/PA

Legendary Northern Irish folk-rock singer Van Morrison and veteran TV personality Lenny Henry have been awarded Knighthoods in the Queen's birthday honours list.

Non-Brit Kevin Spacey, a Hollywood film star turned British theatre maestro, was also recognised with an honorary Knighthood, following a highly acclaimed 11-year tenure as Artistic Director of the Old Vic.

The American Beauty actor, who was recognised for his services to British theatre and international culture, said he feels like "an adopted son".

Other showbiz stars to make the list include Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne, who was awarded an OBE. Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch and 12 Years a Slave's Chiwetel Ejiofor were both given CBEs.

Actors Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor were recognised in the honours Credit: PA

A host of campaigners, volunteers and survivors were recognised in the list.

These include journalist Caroline Criado-Perez, Charity founder James Jukes and Ebola nurse Will Pooley.

Criado-Perez, who successfully campaigned to keep a woman on a British banknote, has been named an OBE for her work towards equality and diversity.

Orders of the British Empire:

  • CBE - Commander of the Order of the British Empire

  • MBE - Member of the Order of the British Empire

  • OBE - Officer of the Order of the British Empire

  • KBE - Knight Commander or DBE - Dame Commander

James Jukes, who set up the charity to secure housing for homeless ex-service personnel was named as a CBE, while Mr Pooley, who returned to Sierra Leone last year after contracting the deadly virus there, was named an MBE for his services in tackling the outbreak in Africa.

Duwayne Brooks, who survived the 1993 race-hate attack in which Stephen Lawrence was murdered has received an OBE.

Mr Brooks, has been a Liberal Democrat councillor in the inner city region of Lewisham in south east London, was given the award for public and political service.

Journalist Caroline Criado-Perez, James Jukes, founder of UK Homes 4 Heroes and Ebola survivor William Pooley were recognised in the Honours List Credit: PA

Mother-of-one Katie Cutler, 22, who launched a fundraising campaign for disabled pensioner Alan Barnes after he was mugged outside his home, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM).

She hoped to raise £500 for Mr Barnes after learning of the attack but was staggered to see donations rise to more than £300,000 when her appeal went viral, affording the 67-year-old a new home.

Other notable honours given to people out of the public eye:

  • Businesswoman Zarine Kharas, founder of, was awarded a damehood for her innovative work in business and charity

  • Clarissa Baldwin, former chief executive of the Dogs Trust, was named a CBE

  • Captain Christopher Fagan was named an MBE for services to the Gallipoli Association

  • Fay Maxted, chief executive of The Survivors' Trust, was named an OBE for her work with victims of rape and sexual violence

Prominent sports figures who have made it onto the list include Jonny Wilkinson, who was awarded a CBE for his dedication to rugby union.

Last year false rumours circulated that the player would be awarded a knighthood in the December honours.

Former England footballer Frank Lampard was named an OBE, as was record-breaking cricketer James Anderson.

Boxer Carl Froch was named an MBE, as was England women's football captain Casey Stoney, who is currently competing in the World Cup in Canada.

Rugby star Jonny Wilkinson, footballer Frank Lampard, boxer Carl Froch, athlete Jo Pavey and footabller Casey Stoney were honoured in the list Credit: PA

Former Welsh rugby star Gareth Edwards has been awarded a knighthood for his long service to the game.

Former Welsh rugby star Gareth Edwards has been knighted Credit: PA

The creator of much-loved Paddington Bear, Michael Bond, was awarded a CBE for services to children's literature, while Sharmadean Reid, founder of Wah Nails, was recognised with an MBE.

Mr Bond, who received an OBE in 1997, said: "I think it [the award] will be good for children's books as a whole.

"I am delighted but I do think that my pleasure is mostly directed at Paddington getting it because he is a very real person to me."

Michael Bond, creator of Paddington bear and Sharmadean Reid, founder of Wah Nails, have both been named in the Queen's Birthday Honours List Credit: PA

Other famous faces to make the list include TV actor Martin Clunes, who was awarded an OBE for services to drama, charity and the community in Dorset.

The Doc Martin star said he is "tremendously proud" of the accolade.

Actress Lesley Manville, singer Patti Boulaye and dancer-turned-TV producer Nigel Lythgoe were all given OBEs, while TV star Loyd Grossman was given a CBE for services to heritage -which he said was like "unwrapping a wonderful present".

Lesley Manville, Patti Boulaye, Nigel Lythgoe, Martin Clunes and Loyd Grossman were named in the awards Credit: PA

ITV News correspondent Richard Pallot reports: