Olivia Newton-John and Roger Taylor lead New Year Honours list

Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John, rocker Roger Taylor, and director Sam Mendes are among the celebrities named in Queen Elizabeth II's New Year Honours List.

The Grease actress and singer has picked up a Damehood for services to charity, cancer research and entertainment, while Queen drummer Taylor has scored an OBE medal for services to music.

Speaking about the honour, she told the BBC, "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."

The star grew up in Australia and lives there now.

Sir Elton John was also among the musicians on the list - he has been named a Companion of Honour for services to music and charity.

Filmmakers Mendes and Steve McQueen have both been knighted, so they will march into 2020 as Sirs, while Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, who was also behind the recent adaptation of A Christmas Carol, starring Guy Pearce, has picked up a CBE medal.

Mendes, the director of new war film 1917, has released a statement, which reads: "I'm amazed, delighted and extremely proud.

"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."

Other celebrities honoured this year include author Rose Tremain, theatre actor Giles Terera, and Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody, who lost his father to cancer on Christmas Eve. The singer has received an OBE for services to music and charity in Northern Ireland.


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