Who's that girl? Pop diva Annie Lennox leads British honours

31st December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Pop diva and charity campaigner Annie Lennox, actor David Suchet and fashion pioneer Katharine Hamnett are among those rewarded Friday in Britain's New Year's Honours.

Lennox, who founded her SING campaign to raise awareness of AIDS in Africa, said she was "genuinely honoured" to be made an OBE, or Officer of the Order of the British Empire, for her years of charity work.

The 56-year-old singer joked that she was surprised her outspoken nature had not counted against her and said she was getting her hat ready for the presentation ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

"I'm genuinely honoured to be part of the New Year's Honours list for 2010," said Lennox, who achieved global fame with pop duo Eurythmics singing hits such as "Who's That Girl" and "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" before a successful solo career.

"As somewhat of a renegade, it either means I've done something terribly right -- or they've done something terribly wrong," the Scot said.

"In any case, whatever powers that be have deemed me worthy of such a recognition, I'm getting my fake leopard pillbox hat dusted and ready."

Hamnett, 63, who rose to prominence as the queen of the protest T-shirt, was made a CBE, or Commander of the Order of the British Empire -- the next rung up from an OBE -- for services to the fashion industry.

The designer's stark slogans plastered across casual clothing in the 1980s sparked millions of copycats and fitted the rebellious mood of a country disillusioned with Margaret Thatcher's Britain.

One read "Worldwide Nuclear Ban Now", another said "Education Not Missiles, No War" and another screamed "Leaders Suck".

From the acting world, there is a CBE for David Suchet, who will forever be remembered for his portrayal of the moustachioed Belgian detective Poirot but has also played characters including disgraced media mogul Robert Maxwell.

Burt Kwouk, who found his niche in cinema history as the man-servant of Inspector Clouseau in the "Pink Panther" films, is honoured with an OBE.

The 80-year-old actor was born in Manchester, northwest England, but brought up in Shanghai until the age of 17.

Costume designer Sandy Powell, who receives an OBE, is a three-time Oscar winner, with her third coming this year "The Young Victoria".

She previously won for "Shakespeare In Love" in 1999 and "The Aviator" in 2005.

British Airways chairman Martin Broughton has been knighted, rounding off a frenetic year in which the airline returned to profit and he oversaw the sale of Liverpool Football Club to new American owners.

Writer Lady Antonia Fraser, who recently published her account of her 34-year love affair with playwright Harold Pinter, has been made a dame for services to literature.

The queen also honoured a police officer who disarmed a gunman who attempted to kidnap her daughter, Princess Anne, in 1974.

Ivor MacGregor, 62, who continues to work as a policeman and as a riot squad officer said he had "loved every second" of his career.

He subdued a 26-year-old burglar with mental health problems who ambushed the princess's car in London and shot and wounded two other policemen. He was awarded the Queen's Police Medal.

The British honours system is one of the oldest in the world, recognising merit, gallantry and service by people from all walks of life.

Honours lists are published twice a year at New Year and in mid-June on the date of the Queen's official birthday.

Anyone can nominate someone for an award.

© 2010 AFP

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