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Friday, 4 January, 2002, 18:40 GMT
Reaction to New Year's Honours
New Year's Honours List roll call
Jimmy Young and the Bee Gees are among the celebrities recognised in the New Year's Honours List.

In the sports world, England's cricket captain Nasser Hussain, Liverpool soccer veteran Gary McAllister, and world boxing champion Lennox Lewis are all recognised, along with former England football manager Graham Taylor, who gets an OBE.

Members of the British Consulate-General in New York, have been rewarded for their "exceptional work" in the wake of the 11 September attack on the World Trade Centre.

What do you think of this year's honours? Who do you think deserves recognition?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

I am very pleased to see the Bee Gees receive this award. They have done a great deal for the lives of many around the world though the songs they wrote and recorded. They are living legends and I'm glad to see more people realising it.
David Fedor, USA

I think that most awards are ridiculous. What has Lennox Lewis ever done for the UK (representing Canada at the Olympics....), quite apart from just being one of the best paid sportsmen in the world? He is only doing his very well paid job as are most of these people. I must say though that now that Noel Gallagher has quit drugs surely he should be knighted for setting such a good example.
Matt, Hong Kong

Give the Spice Girls half a dozen OBEs each

Martin, UK
The best way to rid our country of this outdated and morally corrupt system is to devalue it. Hence I agree with the awards given out this year, and hopefully next year more inane political correctness will be employed. Give the Spice Girls half a dozen OBEs each.
Martin, UK

The Bee Gees? They have done nothing worthwhile since 1977. John, George and Ringo should all be knighted.
JR Lamy, Canada

The award that the Bee Gees have earned is long overdue and I'm sure that many people would say, is richly deserved. Their contribution is two fold. They have had an enormous effect on people's lives, touching them through their songs. Secondly, through their charity work. Their music still has the ability to touch people's souls. Congratulations to the Bee Gees.
Laurie, New Zealand

Well done to the Bee Gees. Successful in music, successful in their personal endeavours, successful in raising millions for charities over the years. An honour from the country of their birth seems very appropriate to me. The Nay Sayers seem to be uninformed.
Dawna Allison, USA

Why on earth did Sade get a gong? Give Tom Jones a knighthood instead! Is this New Labour trying to be hip? Because it just shows how out of touch they are.
Mike Dent, UK

I am still waiting for George Harrison and Ringo Starr to be upgraded to full knighthood alongside Paul McCartney

Nanci, USA
I am still waiting for George Harrison and Ringo Starr to be upgraded to full knighthood alongside Paul McCartney. The MBEs just don't seem to mean as much in today's climate. With the worldwide appreciation following George's recent death, I especially had hoped that he would make this year's Honours list. And after all, Bob Geldof was knighted for organising Live Aid - which he did in the tradition of George's concert for Bangladesh.
Nanci, USA

The awards are complete nonsense given to the most undeserving of names. I know many women who give up their time for WRVS, Women's Institute, Mother's Union and Townswomen's Guild. They serve teas in hospitals, soup to the homeless and take meals to the housebound. They provide a listening ear in so many ways. Every single one of them deserves a medal but of course they would be the first to deny that they had provided anything special.
Anthony, England

Aren't the Bee Gees just doing their job?

Richard, Canada
When does the guy who picks up the garbage every week get an OBE or CBE? It's people like him who truly make a difference in people's lives, but no, he is just doing his job. Er...aren't the Bee Gees just doing their job too? The mind boggles.
Richard, Canada

I think Billie Piper deserves a medal for putting up with Chris Evans for a whole year!
Will Faulkner, UK

I pity those that believe it has any meaning

Alex Keenleyside, England
The honours system is a laughable hangover from a bygone era. I pity those that believe it has any meaning.
Alex Keenleyside, England

I thought it was wonderful to give these super celebrities a gong. Especially Lennox Lewis because he's gorgeous. I would like to see Julian Clary recognised as one of England's best performers as recognition for his great act is long overdue.
Paul Bryan, Yorkshire

I long to see more scientists, engineers, philanthropists, architects recognized in the honours lists

Andy A, Australia
I believe the OBEs and CBEs are becoming more like BAFTAs than recognition of great achievement of British citizens. Are we such a tele-centric nation that we need to continue to shower our sportsmen and our TV celebrities with such plaudits? I would like to see experts in other fields outside the entertainment industry receive the recognition they deserve. I long to see more scientists, engineers, philanthropists and architects recognised in the honours lists. I also want to see acts of bravery, courage and selfless behaviour rewarded through the honours list.
Andy A, Australia

This is a well-deserved and long-overdue honour for the Bee Gees. Their contributions to society are two-fold: First, through their enormous contribution to popular music, and secondly through their quiet and steadfast charity work. It's about time they were given some of the respect and recognition that they so richly deserve.
Claudia Williams, USA

The award system has seems to be born of a popularity contest/ self congratulatory "old boy's club" combination. Apart from the occasional token ordinary person, the rest are chosen on their sycophantic abilities or popularity with the general populace. It should never be passed off as a means of rewarding merit.
John, UK

It's a very British tradition - and in a world where the European Union and the government are trying to chip away national identities, it should be kept

Sandra, UK
It's a very British tradition - and in a world where the European Union and the government are trying to chip away national identities, it is a tradition that should be kept. It is great idea to honour people we may never have heard of for their charitable work etc. but you need some familiar faces to get awards in order to get the media's attention.
Sandra, UK

Sade getting an award. Brings out one album that does well and bet most people can only think of one song she has done.
Dave, UK

In response to another contributor's query as to the merit of Sade's OBE award - she truly deserves it for touching the hearts of her legions of fans worldwide, and for being an enduring ambassador of top-notch British soul music. By the way, the correct figure of her record sales is 45 million, according to her record company. And counting!
Eugene, Singapore

All in all just the UK establishment looking after its own, with the odd token honour to normal people for disguise. There was me thinking we lived in a democracy, silly boy.
Chris, UK

Tokenism and political correctness pervade the entire system

Robert S, USA
I suspect that the UK is running out of qualified individuals to reward under the honours system. It is also glaringly obvious that tokenism and political correctness pervade the entire system. Also, why weren't Beryl Reid, Rosalie Crutchley and Joyce Redman awarded their due in their prime instead of bypassed and ignored?
Robert S, USA

These types of awards are a complete joke. Entertainers and sportsmen who do nothing but enrich themselves at the expense of a dull public, are undeserving. They demean the value of the awards for those who truly have contributed to society.
Tony Bono, Australia

In response to earlier comments, both Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett received OBEs back in 1978. Lennox Lewis was appointed an OBE in 1999 and has now been promoted to a CBE, perhaps somewhat prematurely. But in my opinion, all those who have made a significant and outstanding contribution to the life of this country, whatever field they work in, deserve recognition and this is what the honours system does.
Michael Fryer, Northern Ireland

The BeeGees are long overdue for awards such as this. Their music cuts across national boundaries and the so called generation gap. They have been involved with numerous charities over the years. Although their studio is in Miami, they still maintain homes in England and I think in their hearts they will always be Brits. Congratulations, Barry, Robin and Maurice. You deserve this award!
Kay, Albuquerque, NM, USA

The Bee Gees deserve this award. Their huge contribution to popular music is also a great service to Britain. They are very popular in any corner of the world.
Enzo Lo Piccolo, Italy

We should all get CBEs for having to listen to the Bee Gees for the last 30 odd years!!
John, Scotland

Who would really miss it if it was quietly dropped? I say scrap them

Barry B, UK
The awards system is outdated. Who would really miss it if it was quietly dropped? Not many. Very few of the awards are really justified. I say scrap them.
Barry B, UK

In response to Barry B's valid question asking who would miss the awards if they were dropped, all those people with over-inflated egos, who now believe themselves worthy of such an award would miss them. If the system is to continue, it needs to be re-thought, and its original goals restated. The focus needs to return to people in everyday walks of life.
Simon, UK

There seems to be a somewhat more liberal use of more senior awards that concerns me. Awarding a knighthood to Ben Kingsley is one (rather than perhaps a CBE or OBE). But perhaps a more staggering example is awarding a CBE to Lennox Lewis. OK he is the world heavyweight champion, but is he really so outstanding that he deserves a CBE rather than an OBE? On that basis, a friend who was awarded an OBE for scientific work carried out should be a life peer!
Andrew R, London, England

Members of the Python team are long overdue awards

Steve, London, UK
You still don't see many comedians getting awards. I think members of the Python team are long overdue awards, Ronnie Barker and so on. It took them years to recognise the Goons.
Steve, London, UK

What on earth did Sade do to obtain an award ? By that reckoning the pop group Swing Out Sister can be expecting a gong in the next list
Dave Clarke, USA

Why on earth should professional sports people be awarded anything? They get paid for what they do. The same goes for entertainers.

I think the Bee Gees absolutely deserved their award. They've had a wide impact over several decades, written numerous number ones, boosted several careers (by providing hit songs for other singers) and got more funky things onto the dance floor than any other band. Good on them!
Kah, Australia

Why not give us something to really aspire to, and people we can really look up to?

Chris, UK
Why should the Bee Gees get awards? They live in the USA (and pay taxes there), they are rarely seen in the UK, unless they're trying to plug something. Their appearance on the Clive Anderson show a couple of years ago really showed them in their true colours. The awards should only go to people who make real contributions to society; charity workers, scientists, doctors, nurses and teachers. Why not give us something to really aspire to, and people we can really look up to?
Chris, UK

I am glad the Bee Gees got their award. Next to the Beatles they are the biggest selling group. They do charity work for UNICEF. Robin lives in England as someone said they live in the US
Kim, US

More honours and awards for people in the real world would be better than rewarding those whose job is to line their own pockets.
R Tams, UK

It is right that the Bee Gees get their award. I am not their greatest fan but many of their songs form the backdrop of people's lives. First school disco etc! In the same spirit I think David Bowie deserves a high honour for his enormous contribution to popular music.
Adam Huntley, England

No award for Becks?? Unbelievable!
Isabel, Dublin, Eire

Why are the rich and famous rewarded for being, er, "rich and famous"?
Jim, UK

Bobby Robson should be knighted. He deserves it for what he did for the Town of Ipswich, the country of England and the United of Newcastle. Not forgetting teams in Portugal, Holland and Spain where he was the best ambassador for Britain. And he discovered Romario and Renaldo. Nobody in sport deserves it more than Bobby Robson, and his continued enthusiasm for the game at the age of 70 is an shining example to everyone.
Dave, UK

While I believe Graham Taylor is a decent chap, I also believe he put English football back 10 years during his reign as manager. This award is a poor one.
Mark Atkinson , England

I think it is about time we stopped rewarding people for doing their 'job' as major sports personalities where they get paid very well. We should be rewarding the people that have done a good service to their country and other folks for no other reason than just wanting to help...that's what the New Year's Honours list should be for.
Mike, UK

Yes, the awards are valid. People can know this person has gone beyond the expectations of those around them. It is not a financial standard which we normally use to judge a person.
Denise McMullan, Canada

Awards made by an aristocracy to a meritocracy have no meaning

Graham, Gloucester, UK
Awards made by an aristocracy to a meritocracy have no meaning. The whole practice is a laughable anomaly.
Graham, Gloucester, UK

Yes, the Bee Gees absolutely deserve this award. And I am not saying that because they are my all-time favourite band. What band can boast five decades of music that is still being played fervently on radio and influencing a new generation of fans and recording artists. None!
Ingrid Waldron, Canada

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