New Year Honours: Dyson sweeps up knighthood

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James Dyson, inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner which made him a billionaire, becomes a knight. After failing to sell this invention to the major manufacturers, Sir James set up his own manufacturing company, which now outsells many of the companies that rejected his idea. Describing his award as "a great honour" he added: "I think it is great for me and my family and also the people who work at Dyson who have turned a British invention into an international success."

There are also a clutch of awards to women in the fashion industry. The most significant is the MBE for Jane Shepherdson, the outgoing brand director of Topshop who turned it into a fashionista destination but who resigned after her boss, Philip Green, signed Kate Moss to design a range of clothes.

Margaret Howell, one of the most successful and original British designers, who began making men's shirts in 1972, is created a CBE, and Linda Bennett, founder of the L K Bennett chain, is appointed an OBE.

Among the awards to media figures, Ann Leslie, the Daily Mail reporter who has sent despatches from more than 70 countries in a 40-year career, becomes a dame.