Rosemary Squire, Nicholas Kenyon, Richard Griffiths and Julie Walters are among those arts professionals named in the Queen’s 2008 New Year Honours list.
Squire, who is joint Chief Executive of Ambassador Theatre Group and President of the Society of London Theatre, receives an OBE for services to theatre. In a statement, Squire said: “I feel tremendously honoured to be recognised in The Queen’s New Year Honours List, this is a real privilege and I am absolutely delighted. I’m extremely proud of the pioneering work that ATG has achieved over the past 15 years and it is wonderful that the company and the industry have been recognised in this way.”
Kenyon, managing director of the Barbican Centre since 2007 and former director of BBC Proms, has been knighted. He commented: “This is a fantastic honour, and it certainly shows the importance of classical music and the arts in our lives; it's really a recognition of all the work by colleagues at the BBC and throughout the profession who made the BBC Proms over the last decade such a thriving, flourishing event.”
Sir Ian McKellen, already knighted, has been appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to drama and equality. McKellen can currently be seen on the London stage in the title role of King Lear for the Royal Shakespeare Company at the New London, until 12 January.
Other actors honoured this year include Walters (Acorn Antiques) and Carry On star Leslie Phillips, who receive CBEs, while Griffiths (The History Boys) and Roy Dotrice (The Best Of Friends) are awarded OBEs. The actor and former director of the Open Air theatre, Ian Talbot, who stepped down after the summer 2007 season, also receives an OBE.
Children’s author Jacqueline Wilson, whose stories Midnight and Tracey Beaker Gets Real have been adapted for the London stage, receives a DBE, while author and playwright Hanif Kureshi receives a CBE for services to literature and drama.
Other arts professionals recognised in the New Year Honours list include Janet Lewis, director of English Young Ballet (MBE), television and radio presenter Michael Parkinson (Knighthood), and singer Kylie Minogue (OBE).