Honoured: for services to Dr Who and Saturday nights

Ben Russell,Political Correspondent
Sunday 23 October 2011 02:27

The outgoing Doctor Who screenwriter Russell T Davies, the architect Lord Rogers of Riverside, crime writer Lynda La Plante and neurologist Oliver Sacks head the Queen's birthday honours released today.

Among the 959 gongs are damehoods for the novelist Margaret Drabble and for Joan Bakewell, the broadcaster. The television presenter Des O'Connor and comedienne Victoria Wood are appointed CBE. The Lily Savage creator and chatshow host Paul O'Grady becomes an MBE.

A bauble went to the housekeeper of the House of Commons Speaker, Michael Martin. Gloria Hawkes was honoured with a citationless MBE. It should ease the discomfort of being caught at the centre of the inquiry into the £4,000 taxi expenses claimed by the Speaker's wife: Ms Hawkes accompanied Mary Martin on shopping trips to buy food for official receptions. Mr Martin was cleared of breaking Commons rules.

Davies, 45, who was born in Swansea, said he was "delighted to accept" an OBE for services to drama, adding: "I hope it does the whole industry a bit of good, for the writing of television drama to be recognised." He is also known for his gay drama Queer as Folk and the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood.

Lord Rogers, whose CV includes the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Lloyd's building in London, the Millennium Dome and Heathrow Terminal 5, becomes a Companion of Honour. Knighted in 1991 and made a life peer in 2006, Lord Rogers has been chosen to design a tower for the site of the World Trade Centre in New York.

La Plante, whose script credits include Prime Suspect, Minder and The Sweeney, is appointed CBE, along with the savage cartoonist Gerald Scarfe. Dr Sacks, the neurologist famed for his works The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings – the latter was turned into a film starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro – is appointed CBE in the diplomatic list for services to medicine.

Also appointed CBE are the rugby giant Bill Beaumont and the unbeaten world super middleweight boxer Joe Calzaghe. The former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio is appointed OBE, after playing in his second World Cup final.

The list includes honours for teachers and health workers. Sir William Atkinson, headteacher of the Phoenix High School in west London, is knighted, as is William Moorcroft, who is credited with transforming the reputation of Trafford College.

There is also a knighthood for the conductor Mark Elder.

O'Grady, 53, commented: "I thought it was a wind-up. I'm the last person, I'd have thought, who would be given an MBE. What have I done to deserve it? I've just sat there night after night banging out telly."

O'Connor, 72, said he was "delighted" with his CBE, an honour which comes after 50 years in showbusiness. "It's a great plus. I haven't done a day's work in my life. I've done a day's effort but not work, because it's something I love. I like to think that if something comes your way like this it's some kind of public recognition. It's a very nice thing to happen in your life."

People involved in charitable or voluntary work make up three-quarters of the OBEs and MBEs.

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