Page last updated at 00:02 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Patrick Stewart leads arts honours with a knighthood

Patrick Stewart

Stage and Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart has received a knighthood in the New Year Honours list for his services to drama.

Nicholas Hytner, artistic director of the National Theatre, is also knighted.

Others from the arts world to be recognised include award-winning stage actress Margaret Tyzack, made a CBE.

Mamma Mia! director Phyllida Lloyd, concert pianist Peter Donohoe and artist Maggi Hambling are also rewarded for their work with CBEs.


Sir Patrick, born in Mirfield, West Yorkshire and known for a string of theatre and screen roles, said he was "very proud" to be made a knight, adding the theatre has always been his "great joy".

"In particular the past six years have given me acting opportunities that at one time I could not have imagined possible.

Margaret Tyzack
Margaret Tyzack has made her name on stage and screen

"This is an honour that embraces those actors, directors and creative teams who have in these recent years helped fill my life with inspiration, companionship and sheer fun," said Sir Patrick.

Sir Nicholas said he was "delighted and flattered" to receive the honour.

The 53-year-old has brought hits including Alan Bennett's The History Boys and War Horse to the stage of the National during his tenure.

Tyzack, 78, said it was "delightful" to be recognised with an honour.

The actress has played a string of acclaimed stage roles, winning Olivier Awards for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf in 1982 and earlier this year for her performance in The Chalk Garden.


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She also has appeared on screen, with significant roles in The Forsyte Saga and I Claudius, and films including Woody Allen's Match Point.

Among the other arts figures to be recognised in the New Year Honours list include author Dick King-Smith, who wrote The Sheep-Pig, the basis of hit film Babe.

He has been appointed an OBE, while conductor James Loughran, who has led the Last Night of the Proms on five occasions, has become a CBE.

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