Follow Us on Twitter

Kevin Spacey, Van Morrison and Eddie Redmayne receive Queen's Birthday honours

Kevin Spacey in 21

Story by Jack Foley

OUTGOING Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey, Oscar winning British actor Eddie Redmayne and Irish music legend Van Morrison have all been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours.

Spacey, who has run Old Vic theatre in London for 11 years, said he felt like “an adopted son” after being made an honorary knight for his services to theatre.

He added that he was “honoured and humbled by such recognition from the Queen”, before going on to thank “the British public for being so supportive of my efforts on behalf of the Old Vic”. The American star will step down as artistic director in the autumn,.

Redmayne, meanwhile, continued his career-defining year with an OBE to add to his Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA for playing Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

And Morrison, whose best known song remains Brown-Eyed Girl, was also made an OBE in recognition of his services to music, whose work spans blues, jazz, soul and country.

Other notable winners from the world of entertainment include Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiewtel Ejiofor and Lesley Manville.

The former has become a household name for his enigmatic portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in BBC drama Sherlock. But he is also a tireless charity worker and an ambassador for both the Prince’s Trust and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. He has been made a CBE for services to both the performing arts and charity.

Chiwetel Ejiofor, meanwhile, was awarded a CBE for services to drama. A revered stage actor before landing a part in Steven Spielberg’s epic slavery drama Amistad, Ejiofor has since enjoyed success on both sides of the Atlantic for roles in Kinky Boots, Dirty Pretty Things, Serenity and American Gangster.

But he is perhaps best known for playing Solomon Northup – a free black man from New York, who was abducted and sold into slavery – in Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave.

Also recognised for services to drama was Lesley Manville, who becomes an OBE. A Mike Leigh regular, Manville’s career spans theatre, TV and film with best known credits including the 1985 movie Dance With A Stranger (the story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain), Another Year and Vera Drake.

She won best actress at the Olivier Awards for playing a distraught mother in Ibsen’s Ghosts in 2014.

Further honours

Lenny Henry, a mainstay of Comic Relief, has been knighted for his services to drama and charity. The comedian and children’s entertainer has enjoyed a varied career, beginning with the likes of Three of a Kind and the anarchic children’s show Tiswas, before finding further success in the TV comedy Chef.

In recent years, Henry has turned his hand to Shakespeare, playing Othello and Antipholus in The Comedy of Errors. He also campaigns for greater diversity in the media.

Children’s author Michael Bond was named a CBE for his services to children’s literature. He has created several successful series, from Parsley the lion to French detective Monsieur Pamplemousse and his talking dog, Pomme Frites. But his most famous character is undoubtedly Paddington Bear.

Michael Ball, one of the UK’s best loved musical theatre stars, is awarded an OBE. The charismatic star made his West End debut in 1985 playing Marius in the original London production of Les Miserables before finding further West End success with roles in The Phantom of the Opera, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Hairspray and Sweeney Todd – the latter shows twice winning him the Olivier Award for best actor in a musical.

Martin Clunes has been awarded an OBE for services to drama, charity and the community in Dorset, where he now lives. A mainstay of British television, Clunes has been part of some seminal British TV shows, including Men Behaving Badly and Doc Martin.

Steven Moffat is being recognised with an OBE for his services to drama, having also become a household name for writing and producing two of the small screen’s biggest recent hits: Sherlock and Doctor Who.

Moffat was instrumental in casting Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor, and devised his take on Sherlock with co-writer Mark Gatiss during their long train journeys to the Doctor Who set in Cardiff. He has won five BAFTAs and a primetime Emmy award for his work since 1991.

Amanda Nevill, chief executive of the British Film Institute, received a CBE for services to the film industry.

And singer Patti Boulaye is appointed CBE for charitable services in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.


Sir Neville Marriner, whose vast career credits include overseeing the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning film Amadeus and becoming the oldest conductor to lead a Prom last year, has been made a companion of honour for services to music. He was previously knighted in 1985.


Karl Jenkins, composer, knighted for services to music.

Dr Nicholas Penny, director of The National Gallery, for services to the arts.


Jon Blair, documentary film maker, for services to film.

Jonathan Church, artistic director of Chichester Festival Theatre, for services to the theatre.

Alan Finch, executive director of Chichester Festival Theatre, for services to the theatre.

Dr Loyd Grossman, television presenter, for services to heritage.

Jonathan Kent, opera and musical director, for services to music and theatre.

Mark-Anthony Turnage, composer, for services to music.


Slinger Francisco, calypso musician, known as “Mighty Sparrow”, for services to culture.

Kathryn Tickell, folk musician, for services to folk music.

Lynn Wallis, artistic director of the Royal Academy of Dance, for services to dance.


Ashley Stephen Hutchings, founder member of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, for services to music.

Paulette Randall, theatre director and producer, for services to drama.

Edward Watson, principal dancer at the Royal Ballet, for services to dance.