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Ben Stokes, Olivia Newton-John, Sam Mendes and D-Day veteran Harry Billinge head New Year Honours list

Stars of showbiz and sport, together with politics and those from Credit: PA

Household names from the worlds of showbiz, sport and politics have been recognised alongside a glittering array of figures from the arts, sciences and charity in the New Year Honours list.

British-born Australian songstress Olivia Newton-John is made a dame for services to charity, cancer research and entertainment, while critically acclaimed director Sam Mendes gets a knighthood for his contribution to drama.

From politics, Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith, the architect of the controversial Universal Credit system, is knighted alongside colleague Bob Neill.

Elsewhere, England's cricketing heroes, including Joe Root and Ben Stokes, are also recognised.

Mendes, who has directed two Bond films as well as multiple international theatre productions, said he was "amazed, delighted and extremely proud".

He said: "I have stood on the shoulders of so many collaborators and colleagues over the last 30 years - actors, writers, designers, producers, technicians - to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude. I would not be receiving this honour without them."

Grease star Newton-John, who moved to Australia with her family as a five-year-old, said: "I am extremely excited, honoured and grateful beyond words to be included with such an esteemed group of women who have received this distinguished award before me.

"As a girl born in Cambridge, I am very proud of my British ancestry and so appreciative to be recognised in this way by the United Kingdom."

Sam Mendes directed Daniel Craig in the Bond film Spectre. Credit: AP

Academics from the fields of health and science are honoured for their work along with two Holocaust survivors, the designer behind a seminal Joy Division album cover, and researchers looking into climate change.

D-Day veteran Harry Billinge, whose fundraising efforts have made headlines around the world, is made an MBE for services to charitable fundraising.

Mr Billinge, from St Austell in Cornwall, was just 18 when he landed on Gold Beach in Normandy on June 6 1944.

Speaking from his home, Mr Billinge, who also holds France's highest award, the Legion d'Honneur, said: "I'm 94 and I only did what I did for the boys. I'm no brave man and I'm just an ordinary sapper, Royal Engineer Commando.

"I did my job and I didn't want any glory. There's no glory in war."

D-Day veteran Harry Billinge is made an MBE for his fundraising efforts. Credit: PA

Discussing the MBE, Mr Billinge said: "It's overwhelmed me to be honest. I'm 94 and it's a bit late in life to be recognised.

"I am choked beyond measure to think I have got an MBE. I don't deserve it.

"When I get it, it won't be for me, it will be for the 22,442 blokes killed on D-Day. That's what its all about. They were marvellous men, some just 16.

"What a waste of life, terrible."

  • England footballer Jill Scott reveals how she was in M&S when she took the call about her MBE - and initially thought she'd done something wrong

Cricket, unsurprisingly, features heavily in the sporting section of the 2020 honours after England's first men's Cricket World Cup victory last summer.

Off the back of the triumph, 28-year-old Stokes, the newly crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year, will be given an OBE.

One-day international captain Eoin Morgan gets a CBE and teammates Root and Jos Buttler are given MBEs.

Colin Graves, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, is honoured with a CBE for services to the sport.

Coach Trevor Bayliss, who saw the England team through their summer triumph, gets an OBE, and Clive Lloyd, 75, a former West Indies team captain, gets his CBE upgraded to a knighthood for services to the game.

But it is far from the only sport recognised in the latest honours.

Ex-England coach Trevor Bayliss and One-day skipper Eoin Morgan get gongs. Credit: PA

Susan Campbell, director of women's football at the Football Association, becomes a dame for services to sport, while journalist and former gymnast Gabby Logan, 46, is made an MBE for services to sports broadcasting and promoting women in sport.

Entertainment is well represented, with 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen receiving a knighthood for services to film.

Several musicians have also made the prestigious list, including Billy Ocean, 69, born Leslie Sebastian Charles, who gets an MBE for services to music.

Snow Patrol lead singer Gary Lightbody is made an OBE for services to music and charity in Northern Ireland after he founded the Lightbody Foundation, a group which gives annual donations to charities across the country.

Michael Prendergast, founding member of Merseybeat group The Searchers, gets an MBE, while Peter Saville, the man behind the Joy Division album cover for Unknown Pleasures, is made a CBE for services to design.

Sir Elton John also gets an upgrade, being appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour.

Gabby Logan, Bake Off star Nadiya Hussain, Sir Elton John and Gary Lightbody receive gongs. Credit: PA

Culinary household names Ainsley Harriott and Nadiya Hussain, who rose to fame by winning the 2015 series of The Great British Bake Off, receive MBEs, while chef and author Nigel Slater gets an OBE for services to cookery and literature.

Wine writer and broadcaster Robert "Oz" Clarke receives an OBE for services to journalism, while BBC Radio 1's longest-serving presenter Annie Nightingale is made a CBE for services to radio after previously receiving an MBE.

The businessman behind The Black Farmer brand of meat and dairy products, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, 62, gets an MBE for services to British farming.

In politics and education, incumbent Labour MP for Hull North Diana Johnson is made a dame for charitable and political service for her years in the House of Commons.

Holocaust survivors Mindu Hornick and John Hajdu each get an MBE for services to Holocaust education and commemoration, in a list in which 31 people are honoured for Holocaust education.

Caroline Allen, former principal and chief executive of the Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust schools for students with special needs in the South East, is made a dame for services to education.

Luxury women's fashion designer David Nieper gets an OBE for services to UK manufacturing and the apprenticeship development for the David Nieper Education Trust which sponsors schools in Derbyshire.

Labour Party MEP Claude Moraes is honoured with an OBE for his charitable and political services which have included life-long support for refugees, and social justice campaigner Julia Unwin has her CBE upgraded to a damehood for her services to civil society.

Veteran BBC DJ Annie Nightingale is made a CBE. Credit: PA

In the performing arts, actor Rudolph Walker, who played Patrick Trueman in EastEnders and Bill Reynolds in 1970s sitcom Love Thy Neighbour, gets a CBE for services to drama and charity, while children's TV star and Coronation Street actor Derek Griffiths - who played Freddie Smith from 2016-17 - is made an MBE for services to drama and diversity.

Actress and Playschool presenter Floella Benjamin, Baroness of Beckenham, is made a dame for services to charity.

Playwright James Graham, also known for his film Brexit: The Uncivil War, receives an OBE for services to drama and to young people in British theatre with his work at the National Youth Theatre.

Graham was "surprised and flattered" to get the honour, saying: "Like everyone else, you don't imagine or expect this kind of thing growing up, or when you're starting out.

"I've been so lucky with the people who have championed me, from my school teachers who believed working-class kids should be allowed to access theatre, to all the other family and friends, artists and audiences who keep supporting me to this day.

"I'm pretty sure I haven't earned it yet, but I'll do my best to justify it in the future."

Hamilton actor Giles Terera, who won an Olivier Award for the role of Aaron Burr in the West End, gets an MBE for services to theatre.

Terera said he was "surprised, happy and very thankful to receive this".

He said: "If I have actively sought anything in my career as an actor it has been to do that which honours those who came before me and encourages those who come after me.

"This acknowledgement only strengthens my resolve to do both."

Christopher Hampton, a playwright best known for directing the film Dangerous Liaisons, is knighted for services to drama, and director Roy Alexander Weise gets an MBE, also for services to drama.

Composer Errollyn Wallen, who was the first black woman to have her work performed at the Proms, has her MBE upgraded to a CBE for services to music.

Floella Benjamin is made a dame, while Derek Griffiths is made an MBE. Credit: PA

Several people working in the environmental field have also been recognised.

Professor Duncan Wingham, professor of climate physics at University College London, is knighted for services to climate science, and Oxford University's Professor Sarah Whatmore becomes a dame for her services to the study of environmental policy.

Nature conservationist and television presenter Steve Backshall gets an MBE, and wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan, whose credits include Planet Earth II, is made an MBE for services to conservation and wildlife film-making.

In the field of health, NHS England and NHS Improvement chief executive Simon Stevens is knighted for services to the NHS, as is neuroscientist Professor Menelas Pangalos for services to UK science.

Caroline Palmer Yeates, chief executive of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, has her CBE upgraded to a damehood for services to cancer medicine.

Professor Alan Lehmann, research professor of molecular genetics at the University of Sussex, receives a CBE for services to medical science thanks to his research into two rare genetic conditions.

Nature conservationist and TV presenter Steve Backshall gets an MBE. Credit: PA

The financial sector also gets a nod in the long list of honours.

Ross McEwan, chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, is made a CBE, and Jonathan Symonds, deputy group chairman of HSBC Holdings and chairman of Genomics England, receives a knighthood for services to UK life sciences and to finance.

In technology, Sharon White is made a dame for her work as chief executive of telecommunications regulator Ofcom.

Paul Foster, the outgoing chief executive of Sellafield Limited, receives a CBE for services to business after overseeing the former nuclear site of the same name.