Three of Britain’s much-loved actresses – Imelda Staunton, Siân Phillips and Barbara Windsor – have been recognised in the Queen’s 2016 New Year’s Honours List.
Windsor and Phillips will both enter the new year as Dames, while Staunton will begin 2016 having been awarded a CBE.
While EastEnders and Carry On actress Windsor, who is recognised for her services to charity and entertainment, hasn’t been seen on the London stage in recent years, Phillips and Staunton's recent appearances in the West End have no doubt contributed to their services to drama.
Three-time Olivier Award winner Staunton caps off an incredible year that has seen the Harry Potter actress receive an Evening Standard Theatre Award and a UK Theatre Award for her critically acclaimed performance in Gypsy.
Phillips, who is set to star in the National Theatre’s 2016 production of Les Blancs, has appeared in recent West End productions of The Importance Of Being Earnest (Harold Pinter Theatre) and Cabaret, the latter of which earned the actress an Olivier Award nomination in 2013.
Other actors appearing on the Queen’s 2016 New Year’s Honours List include Idris Elba, David Oyelowo and James Nesbitt, who are all recognised for their services to drama. Luther star Elba and Spooks’ Oyelowo, who have appeared in the Donmar Warehouse’s This Is How It Goes and The God Botherers at the Bush Theatre respectively, are awarded CBEs, while Nesbitt (Shoot The Crow, Trafalgar Studios) receives an OBE.
Multi Olivier Award-winning choreographer Matthew Bourne also has reason to celebrate today, having been awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s 2016 New Year’s Honours List for services to dance. Best known for his contemporary takes on classic tales, and for his choreography of West End musicals including Mary Poppins, Bourne’s incredible repertoire includes his 2012 hit Sleeping Beauty, which is currently playing at Sadler’s Wells.
This morning Bourne tweeted that he was touched by all the congratulatory messages he’d received and was proud of his fellow dance honourees for their recognition:
Artistic Director of English National Ballet Tamara Rojo and National Youth Ballet of Great Britain founder and Artistic Director Jill Tookey receive CBEs, while choreographer Christopher Wheeldon is awarded an OBE.
Other nods go to writer Peter Morgan (CBE), who has created multiple works about the British monarch including the critically acclaimed play 2013 play The Audience, Blur frontman and wonder.land composer Damon Albarn (OBE) and Harry Potter And The Cursed Child producer Colin Callender, who has been knighted.