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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007, 08:10 GMT
Parkinson and Minogue top honours
Michael Parkinson and Kylie Minogue
Michael Parkinson and Kylie Minogue are both popular figures

Broadcaster Michael Parkinson and singer Kylie Minogue are among those to feature in the New Year Honours list.

The 72-year-old chat show host, who has just retired, is knighted for services to broadcasting while Minogue's OBE is for services to music.

Marks and Spencer boss Stuart Rose and Dolly the sheep creator Ian Wilmut are also knighted, and children's author Jacqueline Wilson becomes a dame.

England rugby coach Brian Ashton (MBE) is among the sports people honoured.

I never imagined it would happen. It's just fantastic, wonderful - a great honour
Michael Parkinson

Sir Ian McKellen joins the exclusive Order of the Companion of Honour, which is restricted to 65 members, including the Queen.

News of a knighthood for miner's son Michael Parkinson comes two weeks after he retired from his chat show with a programme featuring his favourite guests.

Sir Michael said he felt "very strange" about the honour.

"I never imagined it would happen," he said. "It's just fantastic, wonderful - a great honour."

"I haven't really taken it in. It's something I'll get used to, hopefully, in the coming years."

However, he said he would still swap his knighthood for a cap for his beloved Yorkshire Cricket Club.

Retailers recognised

Minogue, 39, said she was "almost as surprised as I am honoured" by her OBE.

Sir Stuart Rose - credited with reviving the fortunes of his store - said of his knighthood: "Naturally, I am delighted but it is as much for everyone at M&S as it is for me."

Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen has received an honour given to only 65 people

Also from the world of retail, designer Jasper Conran is appointed OBE, as are clothing chain boss Karen Millen and Neal's Yard Remedies' founder Romy Fraser.

Music administrator Nicholas Kenyon, responsible for the BBC Proms from 1996 to 2007, is also knighted.

Those working in the field of science have also been honoured.

Professor Ian Wilmut, the scientist who led the team that created Dolly the sheep - the first mammal created through genetic cloning - said he was "surprised and delighted" to receive a knighthood.

And Steve Furber, of the University of Manchester, who designed the classic BBC Micro computer, is appointed CBE for services to computer science.

Sports stars

Meanwhile, sports presenter Des Lynam is appointed OBE, as is BBC journalist George Alagiah.

Sports broadcaster and former long-distance runner Brendan Foster is appointed CBE and snooker world champion John Higgins has become an MBE.

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Other sports stars recognised in the list include retired former England rugby union captain Jason Robinson, who is made an OBE.

Stars of the stage and screen have also been recognised.

Actor Sir Ian McKellen, 68, who also campaigns for gay rights, said after finding out that he was becoming a Companion of Honour: "It is particularly pleasing that 'equality' is included in my citation."

Julie Walters (CBE), Leslie Phillips (CBE) and Richard Griffiths (OBE) join the other performers on the list.

Musicians who feature include Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson (MBE) and Jazzie B (OBE), whose real name is Trevor Romeo.

Charity work

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity Sane, has been appointed CBE. The charity provided the first national out-of-hours mental health helpline.

Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue said she was "deeply touched" by her award

And Michele Elliott, director and founder of children's charity Kidscape, has been appointed OBE.

Meanwhile, Alasdair Macdonald, head of Morpeth School, Tower Hamlets, has been made a knight for services to education.

And Edinburgh University vice-chancellor, Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea, is also made a knight for services to higher education.

Andy Trotter, deputy chief constable of British Transport Police, becomes an OBE while Nuala O'Loan - the first police ombudsman for Northern Ireland - becomes a dame.

Flood rescue

A number of people were also awarded for their involvement in rescue operations during this year's floods.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Honours should be reserved for those who have given the most and taken the least
Stella Maru, Brighton

They included Capt Tracey Palmer (MBE), of the Salvation Army in Worksop, who provided shelter for children in the local church hall as their parents battled to save their homes from the flood waters.

Leslie Adams, of York, was also appointed MBE for services to flood rescue.

Meanwhile, the Reverend David Hands, a bus driver in Sunderland, becomes an MBE for services to public transport.

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