Sir Cliff stars in nostalgia Birthday Honours

STEPHEN GOODWIN

The Birthday Honours List published today has about it a strong sense of prime ministerial nostalgia with awards for sporting heroes and household names from the 1950s.

Among the knighthoods is one for Christopher Chataway, now chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority, but in John Major's youth a top middle-distance runner. Singer Cliff Richard, who gets a knighthood for charity work, may not have been a star of the period - aged 54, he is two years older than Mr Major - but his cheery family entertainer image and VE Day rendition of "Congratulations" to the Queen Mother outside Buckingham Palace put him in that wholesome company.

The comedian Norman Wisdom, who was packing cinemas at the time, gets an OBE, and so does Ian Allan, whose ABC guides were essential to every trainspotter. The former Manchester United goalkeeper and 1958 Munich air disaster survivor Harry Gregg gets an MBE.

The Prime Minister, with his enduring vision of Britain as a country of "long shadows on county grounds and warm beer", will also approve of the knighthood for Everton Weekes, a star of the West Indies cricket team in those halcyon days, though his prestigious KCMG is on the separate Barbados list.

Boy's Own-type endeavour is recognised with an OBE for Robert Swan, the only man to have walked to both the North and South Poles, and a knighthood for the yachtsman Robin Knox-Johnston. Wilfred Thesiger, the author and explorer, gets a knighthood (KBE) in the Overseas List.

Rob Andrew, the England rugby union player whose 40-metre drop goal clinched last weekend's game against Australia, is awarded an MBE while Bill McLaren, the BBC's chief rugby commentator, gets an OBE.

Mr Major's list contains 1,055 names, of whom 32 per cent - 341 - are women, matching the all-time record of last New Year. Nominations from the public continue to pour in to Downing Street. Some 3,200 names have been put forward since December, taking the total nominated since Mr Major opened up the process two years ago to more than 14,000. One-third of today's names have travelled this route.

The four new life peers include two churchmen - the Most Rev Robin Eames, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, and the Most Rev John Habgood, the outgoing Archbishop of York. They are joined by Sir James Blyth, deputy chairman and chief executive of Boots, and Sir John Cuckney, chairman of the Orion Publishing Group, perhaps better remembered as chairman of Westland Helicopters during the political crisis of the 1980s.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing