A consummate television interviewer on both sides of the Atlantic for nearly 30 years, Frost has proved a greater survivor than most of his subjects, moving back to the BBC this weekend after the demise of TV-am, which he helped to launch. In his first programme on Sunday, he will face the Prime Minister, who will no doubt be briefed not to forget his questioner's knighthood as Baroness Thatcher once famously forgot Sir Robin Day's.
The actor Anthony Hopkins, a National Theatre player for many years but more widely known for his Oscar-winning performance in the film Silence of the Lambs, receives a knighthood. Hopkins, who is 55 today, is also president of the pounds 2m appeal to protect Snowdonia from the ravages of erosion.
There are honours for two long- serving linchpins of television light entertainment, who both had brushes with death this year. Leslie Crowther becomes a CBE, while Roy Castle, the entertainer best known for the Record Breakers programme, becomes an OBE.
Crowther, 59, nearly died in a road accident in October, and Castle, 60, appears to have made an astonishing recovery from lung cancer.
The novelist Catherine Cookson - whose books are more frequently borrowed from Britain's libraries than those of any other author - becomes a Dame, but even at 86 'the queen of romantic fiction' is not the most senior literary figure to receive an honour. The author and critic VS Pritchett, 92, becomes a Companion of Honour. Awarded the CBE in 1968 and knighted in 1975, the Ipswich-born writer is best known for his short stories.
Elsewhere in show business, the radio presenter Jimmy Young, already an OBE, becomes a CBE.
Richard Todd, 73, who has appeared in numerous West End hits and award-winning films, becomes an OBE, while John Thaw, star of the television series Inspector Morse, gets a CBE.
There is a knighthood for Malcolm Arnold, 71, who composed the score for Bridge On The River Kwai, among other films, and has created a number of symphonies.
Peter John Jonas, 46, general director of English National Opera, gets a CBE, and Welsh operatic soprano Margaret Price, 51, becomes a Dame.
In the media world, Donald McCullin, 57, one of the world's most experienced war photographers, receives a CBE. The ITN reporter Paul Davies receives an OBE, as do Nigel Thomson, the ITN cameraman wounded in Sarajevo in August, and Kate Adie, the BBC correspondent.
A CBE for services to the newspaper industry goes to Frank Barlow, managing director and chief operating officer of Pearson Group, which owns the Financial Times and the Westminster Press group of regional newspapers.
Tom Corby, who was the Press Association's court correspondent for seven years until he retired in October, becomes a Member of the Royal Victorian Order, an honour which is in the personal gift of the Queen herself. And in a clear expression of royal pleasure with the BBC film Elizabeth R, which chronicled a year in the Queen's life, there are honours for several of those involved in its production.
Edward Mirzoeff, who produced and directed the film, and Sir Anthony Jay, who wrote the accompanying book, are both made CVOs. The cameraman Philip Bonham-Carter and sound engineer Peter Edwards, become Lieutenants of the Order.
Viscount Norwich and Jocelyn Stevens receive CVOs for their part in curating the Sovereign Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum.