VAN MORRISON is to receive a knighthood, and a number of other well-known names are also included on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List this year.
The 69-year-old Belfast-born singer will be awarded for his services to music and tourism in Northern Ireland, and is joined by actor and comedian Lenny Henry for knighthood in recognition of his charity work on Comic Relief.
Kevin Spacey, former artistic director of London’s Old Vic theatre, will be given an honorary knighthood for services to British theatre and international culture.
Benedict Cumberbatch will be receiving a CBE, as will BAFTA-winner Chiwetel Ejiofor for services to drama and former journalist Lloyd Grossman for services to heritage.
Paddington bear creator Michael Bond is also in for a CBE.
OBEs will be going to Steven Moffat, the man behind Sherlock and Doctor Who TV series, Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne, and singer and actor Michael Ball, who said he was “chuffed to bits.”
These famous names are just a few of the 1,163 people recognised for their achievements on the Honours List, which also includes Will Pooley, an Ebola nurse evacuated from Sierra Leone after catching the virus, and Caroline Criado-Perez, a journalist who received abuse for campaigning to keep a woman on a British banknote.
Sports personalities on the list include England rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson, Welsh rugby star Gareth Edwards, footballer Frank Lampard, England women’s football captain Casey Stone and cricketer James Anderson.