Dame Eileen Atkins joins the list of honoured stage and screen veterans

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The Independent Online

Eileen Atkins joins the small but highly select list of theatrical dames, and is now on an equal billing with her great friend and frequent co-star, Maggie Smith. Ms Atkins' long career has been notable in recent years for her own writings about the Bloomsbury set, which she has also depicted on stage.

In the world of film Christopher Lee, the veteran horror movie actor is appointed CBE as is Anthony Minghella, the director of The English Patient. David Bailey, the photographer who rose to fame in the Sixties and whose name for many years was synonymous with hip photography, is also appointed CBE.

Another associated with the Sixties ­ Gerry Anderson, the 72-year-old creator of television hits such as Joe 90, Space:1999 and Thunderbirds ­ is appointed MBE for services to animation. He said: "It's something I suppose I hoped might happen one day, that I might get a gong ­ but you think it's just a hope and it will never happen.

"I've been doing a lot of publicity recently because of Thunderbirds and the return of Captain Scarlet in the autumn, and talking to people I have been amazed and delighted at the number of fans the shows have got. I'm glad that they have provided such good wholesome fun in this day and age."

OBEs go to the comic actress and star of Willie Russell's play Shirley Valentine, Pauline Collins, and to Barry Cryer, the writer and broadcaster, whose scripts have served television comics for many years.

The list is light on musicians. But there are MBEs for Joan Armatrading, the singer and songwriter, and the veteran guitarist, Bert Weedon, whose guitar exercise sheets were studied by generations of would-be players.

In the media there is an MBE for the cartoonist Michael Heath, whose work has featured often in The Independent. Television's Robin Oakley is appointed OBE for services to political journalism, and the BBC newsreader Moira Stuart is also appointed OBE.

Terry Farrell, the architect, receives a knighthood for services to architecture and urban design, while Sir Colin Davis, the principal conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra, is appointed Companion of Honour.

Jane Birkin, once an enfant terrible of the cultural scene and the co-singer of one of the most notoriously risqué songs ever recorded ­ Je T'aime Moi Non Plus­ has cemented her artistic maturity with an OBE on the Diplomatic and Overseas List "for services to acting and UK-French cultural relations". Also on that list is Simon Schama, the man whose history series on BBC2 has been one of the highlights of the channel in the past year.

Dudley Moore, the British comedian and musician, who is now resident in the USA, is appointed CBE. The 66-year-old suffers from a degenerative brain condition. There is a knighthood on the overseas list for the world's leading flautist, James Galway.

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