Honours for dedication from Queen

Andy Murray who has been awarded a Knighthood for services to tennis and charity in the New Year Honours list. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Andy Murray who has been awarded a Knighthood for services to tennis and charity in the New Year Honours list. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Stars of sport and the screen are among those recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

The region’s winners include an OBE is Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh Smokefree North East, for her services to tobacco control.

Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh.

Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh.

Joanna Smith, 51, has been awarded an MBE.

She is deputy director for Prisons, North East England, for the Samaritans and works with offenders in prisons including Durham, Low Newton and Frankland, providing support and counselling.

Vera Baird, Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, is made a Dame for services to women and equality.

While swimmer Matt Wylie, 20, from Washington, has been awarded the MBE in the list in recognition of his services to swimming.

It comes at the end of an amazing year for Matt, who claimed gold in an historic victory in the S9 50m Freestyle on day six of the Paralympics in Rio.

Tennis world number one Andy Murray and four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah have been given a knighthood in the New Year Honours, along with para-equestrian Lee Pearson.

Damehoods go to heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill and rower Katherine Grainger, who both retired from competitive action following the 2016 Rio Games.

The Kinks frontman Ray Davies said he felt a mixture of “joy” and “humility” on discovering he had been made a knight in the New Year Honours.

He was the lead singer and songwriter for the band, penning classics such as You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset, and Sunny Afternoon and is being recognised for services to the arts.

Victoria Beckham has been recognised with an OBE in the New Year’s Honours after establishing herself as a powerful force in the fashion industry.

The 42-year-old rose to fame as Posh Spice in 1990s girl band the Spice Girls, and after a short-lived solo career, she realised her true “passion” was fashion.

Veteran equestrian rider Nick Skelton, who won individual gold at his seventh Olympic Games with horse Big Star aged 58 and is elevated from his OBE to a CBE.

Cycling duo Jason and Laura Kenny, who were married in September following their golden success in Rio, also both receive the CBE.

A knighthood also goes to Mark Rylance, widely regarded as one of the greatest theatre actors of his generation. Meanwhile former Watchdog presenter and cancer campaigner Lynn Faulds Wood has said she turned down an MBE because the honours system is unfair and should be overhauled.