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New Year's Honours: Ewan McGregor heads acting recipients

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Story by Jack Foley

EWAN McGregor has been made an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list.

The Scottish actor has been recognised for his services to both drama and charity.

As an ambassador for Unicef, McGregor has been active in publicising a number of campaigns, including UNICEF’s work with child soldiers in Uganda and land-mine awareness programmes in Ethiopia and the charity’s work with children affected by HIV and AIDS through the documentary The Missing Face, which was filmed on a visit to Malawi.

In 2010, McGregor visited Peru with Soccer Aid to raise awareness of child poverty and malnutrition and continues to fundraise and campaign for UNICEF’s work to support children’s rights.

His most recent UNICEF visit took him to India, Nepal and Congo, on a mission to immunise some of the world’s hardest-to-reach children.

He first became a supporter of the charity after visiting some of its projects in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Mongolia as part of his televised round-the world motorcycle trip, Long Way Round.

On film, his credits include Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge and the Star Wars prequels The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

His most recent film, The Impossible, opens in cinemas on January 1, 2013, and is based on a true story from the Boxing Day Tsunami natural disaster of 2004.

Adrian Lester and more

Adrian Lester. Photo credit: Hugo Glendinning.

An OBE also went to 44-year-old stage and screen actor Adrian Lester, star of the BBC show Hustle, and comedy writer Jeremy Lloyd, who produced the likes of ‘Allo ‘Allo and Are You Being Served?

Birmingham-born Lester was recognised for services to drama and dedicated the honour to his family, who had helped make Britain “what it is”.

The popular star earned his breakthrough on stage in 1993 playing Anthony Hope in the Royal National Theatre’s production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street but has since been able to successfully divide his time between stage, cinema and TV.

Film roles have included Kenneth Branagh’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, which earned him a British Independent Film Awards nomination, as well as disaster epic The Day After Tomorrow alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and British romantic comedy-drama ensemble Scenes of a Sexual Nature alongside Ewan McGregor.

As well as Hustle, the role for which he is arguably best known, Lester’s TV credits include BBC drama Bonekickers and Merlin, as the character Myror.

And on stage, he won an Olivier Award for the musical Company and widespread acclaim for his portrayal of Brick in Tennessee Williams’ play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Novello Theatre in London in 2010.

Lester, 44, said he was “really surprised” but “honoured” to hear he had been picked for the award.

Sitcom writer Jeremy Lloyd, 82, received his OBE for services to British comedy, most notably ‘Allo ‘Allo and Are You Being Served?.

He said the OBE was ‘the most amazing thing in my life’.

Glasgow-born actress Siobhan Redmond received an MBE for services to drama, having made her first appearance on television in the early 1980s on the comedy sketch show Alfresco.

Her first major television success was as George Bulman’s assistant Lucy McGinty in Bulman, which led to notable roles in the critically-acclaimed police drama Between The Lines (as Maureen Connell), anarchic Scottish sitcom The High Life and as Janice Taylor in Holby City (from 2000–2002).

She also played Maeve Brown in EastEnders and was at the centre of the Taggart revival, playing Chief Supt Karen Campbell, a ball-breaking lady cop with a fiery temper.

On stage, Redmond has appeared in acclaimed productions of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and is a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, with whom she appeared as Maria in Twelfth Night in 2007 and as Titania/Hippolyta for Shakespeare’s Globe in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in its summer 2008 season.

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