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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007, 00:00 GMT
Minogue tops showbiz honours list
Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue has been a chart star since the late 1980s

Singer Kylie Minogue and actors Sir Ian McKellen and Leslie Phillips are among the entertainment figures in the New Year Honours list.

Minogue, 39, said she was "deeply touched" to become an OBE after making a comeback following cancer treatment.

Sir Ian McKellen becomes a Companion of Honour, while veteran star Phillips, 83, has become a CBE.

Chat show host Michael Parkinson is knighted, while children's author Jacqueline Wilson is made a dame.

'Deeply touched'

Australian singer Minogue said she was "almost as surprised as I am honoured". January 2008 marks 20 years since her first UK hit, I Should Be So Lucky, reached number one.

Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen played Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy

"I feel deeply touched to be acknowledged by the UK, my adopted home, in this way," she said from her family home in Melbourne.

"This last year I have felt so much love and support from everyone as I took greater steps back into the public domain, and it is with absolute gratitude and joy that I say farewell to 2007 and look forward to what the New Year will bring."

Sir Ian McKellen joins the exclusive Order of the Companions of Honour, which is restricted to just 65 members alongside the Queen.

"I am honoured to join an order which includes such distinguished practitioners in the arts," the 68-year-old actor and gay rights campaigner said.

"It is particularly pleasing that 'equality' is included in my citation."

Jacqueline Wilson - most famous for her Tracy Beaker books - said becoming a dame was a "great honour".

"The dictionary says that a dame is a woman of value or distinction - well, I will try to live up to that definition. It also says a dame is a comic old woman - and my friends say that's a very apt description of me," she said.

'Splendid surprise'

Former director of the Proms concerts Nicholas Kenyon is knighted, while while playwright and author Hanif Kureishi - best known for his 1990 novel The Buddha of Suburbia - becomes a CBE.

Julie Walters as Mrs Holland in BBC drama Ruby in the Smoke
Julie Walters is renowned for playing character roles

Jazz pianist and composer Stan Tracey, who turns 81 on Sunday, also becomes a CBE, as does comic actress Julie Walters.

Stage and screen star Richard Griffiths is made an OBE, along with Tony-winning character actor Roy Dotrice.

The brother and sister team behind the James Bond films, Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, are both made OBEs, as is Iain Smith, the producer behind movies such as The Fifth Element and Children of Men.

Veteran cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, 94, whose work ranges from 1949 Ealing comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets to 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, is made an OBE.

On television, BBC News presenter George Alagiah and former Grandstand host Des Lynam also become OBEs.

Lynam said this had been "a splendid surprise", and added: "I feel truly privileged."

Jazzie B
Jazzie B is honoured for his contribution to music

Musician Jazzie B - born Beresford Romeo - is made an OBE. His group Soul II Soul continues to tour, nearly 19 years after their first hit, Keep On Moving.

"Hopefully it's a little bit of a sign for anybody else that things can happen - it's just a case of staying strong and believing in yourself," he told the BBC's 1Xtra.

Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson, who enters his 45th year in the music industry in 2008, is made an MBE, as is Martin Mills, founder of the Beggars Group of independent labels.

And gig promoter Graham Pullen - organiser of last July's Concert for Diana - is to be presented with the Member of the Royal Victorian Order medal, for services to the Queen.



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