Saturday 20 October 2018

Ringo Starr and Barry Gibb given knighthoods in New Year Honours

Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr, who has been awarded a Knighthood for services to music in the New Year Honours list. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The Beatles' Ringo Starr and Bee Gees co-founder Barry Gibb have been awarded knighthoods in the New Year Honours.

Gibb, who is recognised for his services to music and charity, dedicated the honour to his late brothers and former bandmates and said: "The magic, the glow, and the rush will last me the rest of my life."

The musicians are joined on the list by Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell, 48, who said she was "truly humbled" to become a dame for services to dance, and War Horse author Michael Morpurgo, who is knighted for services to literature and charity.

In a short message, signed off with his trademark phrase, 77-year-old Starr said: "It's great! It's an honour and a pleasure to be considered and acknowledged for my music and my charity work, both of which I love. Peace and love. Ringo."

Morpurgo, 74, who previously received an OBE, said he had Joey, the equine character from the 1982 children's book which became a hit international play, to thank for his knighthood.

He said: "There was never a knight that has owed so much to his horse as this one - and in fact, we will give the knighthood to Joey and call him Sir Joey."

Gibb, 71, the last surviving member of the Bee Gees, said he was "deeply honoured, humbled, and very proud" to be recognised, adding: "This is a moment in life to be treasured and never forgotten.

"I want to acknowledge how responsible my brothers are for this honour. It is as much theirs as it is mine."

Two of the biggest names in line for honours were leaked. Starr, whose real name is Richard Starkey, was revealed to be in line for a knighthood days ahead of the announcement.

His award for services to music comes 52 years after he received an MBE as part of the "Fab Four" and about 20 years after fellow bandmate Sir Paul McCartney was honoured.

Details of the knighthood of former deputy prime minister and prominent Remain campaigner Sir Nick Clegg, 50, were also the subject of early newspaper reports. His award has provoked criticism among some Brexiteers.

Grime gets a "shout-out" on this year's list, with Richard Cowie, aka Wiley, receiving an MBE for services to music along with Grace Ladoja, who manages Skepta.

Wiley, 38, who has been described as the "godfather of Grime" and a pioneer of the underground scene, said: "I'm honoured to be receiving an MBE.

"It feels like the school grade I wanted and didn't get but now I'm finally there."

Grime MC and 2016 Mercury Prize winner Skepta previously claimed he turned down an MBE in song Hypocrisy, rapping: "Just came back from the Ivors/ And look at what we collected.

"The MBE got rejected / I'm not trying to be accepted."

Author and journalist Jilly Cooper is recognised for services to literature and charity, actor Hugh Laurie for services to drama, former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman for her contribution to fashion journalism and chef Rick Stein for services to the economy. All have their OBEs upgraded to CBEs.

Also among the 1,123 people honoured in this year's list is 80s star and self-described "maverick" Marc Almond, who receives an OBE for services to arts and culture.

The 60-year-old, who had hits including Tainted Love as one half of electric duo Soft Cell, said he was "totally excited" to be recognised, adding: "I can't really be a rebel any more. I think it's time to leave it to younger people."

Breakfast TV veteran Eamonn Holmes, 58, who is also awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting, said it was a "wonderful accolade".

He said: "It's like getting a gold star for your homework - 2018 will be my 38th year as a broadcaster and I can't think of a better way of marking that."

British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton has also been awarded an OBE. 

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