Mirren joins cast of screen and stage Dames

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The Independent Online

Helen Mirren, the actress best known for her role in Prime Suspect, today joins the exalted list of actresses that includes Judi Dench and Maggie Smith to be made a Dame.

The 57-year-old actress said she was "absolutely thrilled" to receive the honour on a list in which showbusiness figures again featured prominently.

Roger Moore, who played the hero in seven James Bond films, receives a knighthood for his services to charity. Sir Roger is the second James Bond knight; his predecessor in the role, Sean Connery, was knighted three years ago.

The actress Kristin Scott Thomas, nominated for an Oscar for her role in The English Patient, is appointed OBE, as is the actor Ian Carmichael, who will be 83 next week. He played Bertie Wooster in The World of Wooster, and still appears occasionally on television.

There is a CBE for Richard Briers, 69, best-known as Tom, one half of the self-sufficient couple in The Good Life, but equally at home on the Shakespearean stage. "I'm absolutely delighted," he said. "It's more than 12 years ago that I picked up the OBE, so to get this is marvellous."

The actor Simon Russell Beale, who is regarded as one of the finest Shakespearean actors of his generation, is also made a CBE.

The world of music, contemporary and classical, is well represented. Jools Holland is appointed OBE and Gerry Marsden, of The Pacemakers fame, becomes MBE, some 40 years after recording "Ferry Cross the Mersey". Gordon Sumner, better known as Sting, is appointed CBE. Dave Gilmour, Pink Floyd's lead guitarist, gets a CBE. He recently donated £3.6m from the sale of his house in London to a project providing housing for the homeless. Gary Brooker, who formed Procol Harum in 1967, is appointed MBE, as is Errol Brown, lead singer with the 1970s band Hot Chocolate.

Another musician who becomes an MBE is Sydney Devine, who first burst on to the Scottish scene in 1957 when, in full highland regalia and whistling traditional Scottish tunes, he quelled a near-riot at a rock 'n' roll gig in Paisley.

From another sector of the musical spectrum, Simon Keenlyside, the baritone who has performed in some of the world's greatest operas, is appoined CBE. Bill Oddie, a member of the 1970s comedy act The Goodies and now an energetic environmental campaigner, becomes an OBE.

The comedian Billy Connolly is appointed CBE for his services to entertainment. Connolly has also forged a career as a serious actor, most notably in the 1997 film Mrs Brown.

Anish Kapoor, one of the most influential sculptors of his generation, is appointed CBE. His work has been exhibited world-wide.

In the fashion world, designer Alexander McQueen also becomes a CBE.

The television chef Jamie Oliver is made MBE after taking a group of disadvantaged youngsters and turning them into cooks in his new restaurant. "This is terrific," he said. "Does that mean I don't get any more parking tickets?"

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