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Famous names form new year honours

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Famous names form new year honours

Image: ATV Network / ITV

Famous names form new year honours

New Year honours 2023…

Fashion designer Mary Quant, guitarist Brian May, the Lionesses and former ATV News host Anne Diamond are among those recognised in the first of King Charles’ new year honours.

Mary Quant opened her first shop Bazaar in the Kings Road in 1955 and is credited with conceiving the mini skirt and hot pants popular culture of ‘The Chelsea Girl’. A retrospective exhibition celebrating her achievements was staged at the V&A in 2019-2020, highlighting the revolution of the whole fashion system making British street style the global influence it remains today. Throughout the 60s she extended her influence internationally into ready-to-wear garments, accessories and cosmetics and, in 1966, she was awarded an OBE for services to the fashion industry.

In 1970 she was commissioned to stimulate the home interiors market and successfully revolutionised furnishings for modern living. In 2000, a Japanese company bought Mary Quant Limited, and now there are almost 150 Mary Quant Colour shops in Japan. She is a fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers, and winner of the Minerva Medal, the Society’s highest award.

Denise Lewis was the No 1 British athlete during the late 1990s and into the new millennium. She won a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, was twice Commonwealth Games champion, was the 1998 European Champion and the first European to win the Olympic heptathlon. Since retiring from athletics, she is now a regular athletics pundit for BBC Television, including during London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. In 2014, she was presented with an honorary degree from the University of Wolverhampton. In 2015, she became the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for her services to sport and her work with children’s medical research charity, Sparks.

In 2022, she led Team England again as the games returned to her home of the West Midlands.

Nick Owen with Anne Diamond on Good Morning, BBC One, 1991

Virginia McKenna set up the Born Free Foundation (BFF) in 1984 with her late husband, Bill Travers MBE, and their eldest son, Will Travers OBE, to ensure wild animal welfare and compassionate conservation.

She helped to implement the UK’s Animal Welfare Act 2006. She lobbied MPs/MEPs in 2010 for the successful inclusion of wild animals in captivity in the EU Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2011–2015. She worked with the UK travel industry to provide vital support in the launch of their animal welfare policies in 2018. She campaigned to stop the use of wild animals in travelling circuses, culminating in a ban in England in 2019. Her fight against the ivory trade was instrumental in the implementation of the Ivory Act in the UK in June 2022. She opened the Born Free Forever Exhibition in 2022 to raise awareness and vital funds for lion conservation work.

The BFF has active projects in over 15 countries. She is a patron of the Cinnamon Trust, providing aid to vulnerable people in keeping their pets.

Brian May the acclaimed musician and songwriter, a founding member of the rock group Queen. He’s been awarded a CBE.

In 2020 he was named Greatest Guitarist of All Time by Total Guitar Magazine. Queen’s performance at Live Aid in 1985 is acknowledged as the greatest live set in history. He famously opened The Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002 performing live on Buckingham Palace roof – and 20 years later returned to open the Platinum Jubilee concert atop the Victoria Monument.

He is also an accomplished astrophysicist, now attached as stereoscopist to many NASA Space exploration teams. He re-established the London Stereoscopic Company in 2008, was co-founder of Asteroid Day in 2015, for the protection of Earth from asteroid strikes, and was Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University from 2008-2013. His work defending Britain’s wild animals led him to found the Save-Me Trust in 2009, which is his continuing passion, campaigning for the rights of foxes and badgers, and hosting an active wildlife rescue operation.

Nick Owen and Anne Diamond on Good Morning, BBC 1996

Grayson Perry is an award-winning artist, writer and broadcaster, commenting upon contemporary society and universal human issues such as identity, sexuality and gender. He is of international renown, with recent solo exhibitions showing across the globe.

In 2015, he was appointed Trustee of the British Museum and Chancellor of the University of the Arts London, and received a Royal Institute of British Architects Honorary Fellowship in 2016. His television work includes a three-part documentary series about identity called Who Are You?. Another series in 2018 explored masculinity, entitled Grayson Perry: All Man. During the pandemic, he presented Grayson’s Art Club from his home studio encouraging viewers to produce and share their own lockdown artworks. He became the first British visual artist since Henry Moore in 1968, to win the prestigious Erasmus Prize, an award for exceptional contribution to humanities, social science or arts. He has donated many artworks for charitable causes including the Felix Project, the Extraordinary Collection, Transplant Links Community and Koestler Arts. He becomes a CBE.

Anne Diamond was made an OBE after campaigning to end cot death, following the tragic passing of her son Sebastian in 1991. Anne began her charity work after she and then-husband Mike Hollingsworth lost their son from sudden infant death syndrome (cot death). Later Anne teamed up with the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), now known as The Lullaby Trust, and the Department of Health, to launch the successful Back to Sleep campaign.

Currently a breakfast host on GB News Anne began her television career with BBC West as a reporter before switching to ATV Today and ATV News in Birmingham as a reporter and presenter. Anne remained with the Midlands ITV service when in 1982 it was relaunched as Central Television. She was to be one of the main hosts of the brand-new Central News East service from Nottingham however disputes with unions saw the show fail to air for over a year, in which time Anne departed for the fledgling breakfast service TV-am where she was reunited with former ATV colleague Nick Owen to form a ratings-winning television couple.

Anne joined TVS as one of the regulars on The Television Show, and when it was revamped into TV Weekly she became its solo host.

Following the launch by ITV of This Morning in 1988, BBC One daytime was struggling in the morning ratings. Hoping to recapture the ratings hit of TV-am’s Good Morning Britain in 1991 the Beeb launched Good Morning with Anne and Nick. Again it was a hit with viewers, often toppling Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan’s ITV offering. However by 1996 the BBC were seemingly deliberately killing off their morning successes, and along with the Pebble Mill chat show the programme was chopped. In the years between Anne was a regular newspaper reviewer and an occasional talking head on Loose Women.

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