Australian pop gal Kylie Minogue and Sir Ian McKellen, the bankable British thespian who recently starred in a production of King Lear at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, were named to Queen Elizabeth II’s New Year Honours list. Mr. McKellen was elevated to Companion of Honour, the order of 65 leading members of the arts, science and industry founded by George V, according to the UK’s Independent.
Current members include Lucian Freud, Harold Pinter and Dame Judi Dench. Sir Ian, 68, said: "I am honoured to join an Order which includes such distinguished practitioners in the arts." Julie Walters, 57, one of Britain’s most versatile and adored actors, who receives a CBE, is among an array of leading names from stage and screen to be honoured. Leslie Phillips, 83, best known as the plummy-voiced lothario of the Carry On films, is awarded a CBE and Richard Griffiths, 60, whose performances range from the predatory Uncle Monty in Withnail And I to Harry Potter’s Uncle Vernon, receives an OBE.
Jacqueline Wilson, 62, the creator of the hugely successful Tracy Beaker books, is made a Dame.
Beresford Romeo, 44, better known as the impresario and music producer Jazzie B, who founded the 1990s urban dance collective Soul II Soul, is awarded an OBE.
Hanif Kureishi, 53, who has written on topics such as race and sexuality for two decades, is made CBE.