Gary Barlow leads Queen’s Birthday Honours list

They have helped put the Great into Britain this year with starring roles in the jubilee celebrations and the Olympics.

And today they are all recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Take That star Gary Barlow, who organised the Jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace and choirmaster Gareth Malone, who performed with his Military Wives Choir, both get an OBE.

Tessa Jowell, former Olympics minister who was key to bringing the 2012 Games to London, is made a Dame, as is Zaha Hadid, the architect of the Olympic aquatics centre.

The Queen is rewarding those behind the two events that will make this a landmark years for the country.

Other celebrities recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list are Titanic star Kate Winslet and actor Kenneth Branagh, while Sarah Burton, who designed Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, is also given a gong.

And as Britain prepares for the Olympics, sporting stars are not forgotten, with golf world number one Luke Donald and former England goalkeeper David James both receiving MBEs.

Former Celtic and Chelsea player Paul Elliott, who was subjected to racist abuse on the pitch, is awarded a CBE for his work fighting racism in football.

Take That star Barlow’s OBE recognition comes just days after he put together the triumphant Diamond Jubilee concert for the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

He is also at number one with his Jubilee anthem Sing.

Barlow, 41, has been honoured for his services to the entertainment industry and to charity.

He said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and feel very privileged to be in the company of so many brilliant people who I know have received an OBE.

“Growing up, I never dreamt that one day I’d be getting one myself.

“I enjoy every minute of the work I do, with a lot of it being a reward in itself, so for somebody to decide I should get recognised for that is just amazing.

“My family are very proud.”

Choir star Malone is recognised after he pulled off the unlikely feat of leading his choirs on two number one singles in the space of less than six months.

He said: “This is a great honour and one I’m thrilled about.

“Over the past 10 years, encouraging people to sing has been a labour of love so it’s wonderful to be recognised in this way.

“I am hugely grateful to all the people I have worked with in both television and the arts for helping me to bring music into people’s lives.

“It is extra special to receive an OBE during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, having just performed at the Jubilee concert. What a year.”

Those behind the organisation of the 2012 Games are recognised for their efforts, with honours going to several members of the Olympic Delivery Authority.

The 2012 birthday honours list sees the re-introduction of the “working-class gong”, the British Empire Medal.

It was revived by David Cameron in a reversal of John Major’s decision to scrap it.

Some 293 people are receiving BEMs, including road sweeper Anthony Cleland, 62, for services to his community after 25 years cleaning the streets of Lambeth, south London.

The grandfather of three from Stockwell said: “I am very proud and I think it’s great that the BEM has been brought back, it shows that ordinary people deserve to be recognised as well.”

Knighthoods also go to former Countdown stalwart Richard Stilgoe and Carphone Warehouse founder and chairman Charles Dunstone, who are recognised for donations to good causes.

Showjumper Nick Skelton, who retired after breaking his neck in 2000 but went on to recover and compete again, gets an OBE for services to equestrian sport.

Daredevil motorcycle stuntman Eddie Kidd, who was left wheelchair-bound after an accident in 1996, receives an OBE for services to charitable giving.

Titanic star Kate Winslet said that receiving an honour made her proud to be a Brit.

The Oscar winner was awarded a CBE for her services to drama.

Winslet, 36, said: “I am surprised and honoured to stand alongside so many men and women who have achieved great things for our country.

“And I feel deeply proud to receive this.”

Kenneth Branagh told of his delight at being knighted, saying: “My heart’s fit to burst.”

The Oscar-nominated actor and director was recognised for his services to drama and to the community of Northern Ireland.

Belfast-born Branagh, 51, said: “I feel humble, elated and incredibly lucky.”

Amanda Redman, who founded the Artists Theatre School, receives an MBE.

Actress Jenny Agutter said she was “thrilled and touched” for her work to be recognised with an OBE.

Agutter, the star of The Railway Children and BBC1 hit Call The Midwife, works with a number of organisations including the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, ovarian cancer charity Ovacome and Action for Children.