Honours for stars and New York envoys

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The Independent Online

Heroes of pop, radio and sport will join British diplomats working in New York after the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Centre in being recognised on the New Year's honours list today.

Jimmy Young, 80, a veteran of broadcasting, receives a knighthood, while members of the pop band the Bee Gees and the character actresses Lynn Redgrave and Miriam Margolyes are also honoured.

Other awards go to sportsmen, including the England cricket captain, Nasser Hussain, and Lennox Lewis, the world heavyweight boxing champion. Half of the New Year's honours list, which featured no peerages, have been made for voluntary service.

They include an OBE for Jayne Zito, whose husband of only three months, Jonathan, was killed in 1992 in a knife attack by a schizophrenic at an undergound station in London. She set up the Zito Trust to make sure that people suffering from mental health problems receive proper support.

Downing Street said members of the staff of the British Consulate-General in New York had received special recognition for their "exceptional work" after the 11 September atrocity in which dozens of Britons perished. They include Thomas Harris, the Consul General, who receives a knighthood, and Duncan Taylor, the Deputy Head of Mission, who is made a CBE. Brigadier Alex Birtwistle received the OBE for his role in helping to co-ordinate the clean-up of foot-and-mouth in Cumbria.

Niall FitzGerald, the chairman of Unilever, a successful Irish buinessman, and pro-European campaigner, also gets a knighthood.

"The aim, as always, has been to reward those who work at the sharp end," the Prime Minister's spokesman said.

Ben Kingsley, who won an Oscar for his depiction of Gandhi, is made a knight for services to drama.

The Shakespearean actor Denis Quilley is made an OBE, beside Sade, the Nigerian-born singer, whose many hits include "Smooth Operator" and "Your Love is King".

Verity Lambert, who produced the popular television series Jonathan Creek, receives an OBE for services to film and television production. Alan Parker, the film director and writer, who is chairman of the Film Council, becomes a knight for services to the film industry.

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