Kenneth Branagh, Kate Winslet and Gary Barlow named in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Branagh receives a knighthood, Winslet a CBE and Take That Star Barlow is made an OBE after the Diamond Jubilee concert

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Actor and director Kenneth Branagh has received a knighthood as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

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The 51-year old, known for his acclaimed film adaptations of Shakespeare plays, and as the star of BBC1 crime drama Wallander, said he was “very happy, very grateful and delighted” to receive the award in recognition of his services to drama and community in his native Northern Ireland.

“I feel very humble about it, I feel elated about it,” he said.

“It would be an amazing thing at any time. In the Jubilee year, I’m sure anybody else that’s had the good fortune to be recognised would feel as I do. Very, very special.”

Oscar winning actress Kate Winslet, 36, was another of the entertainment stars to be honoured in today’s list, receiving a CBE.

“I feel deeply proud to receive this, as a part of an ever expanding community of British actors and filmmakers who are fortunate enough to be able to contribute to an international industry,” said Winslet of the award.

She added: “This makes me very proud to be a Brit!”

Take That star Gary Barlow said he was “absolutely thrilled” at being made an OBE for services to the entertainment industry and charity. The award follows the 41-year old’s involvement in organising the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert and playing a part in composing the official Jubilee song.

Barlow said: “Growing up, I never dreamt that one day I’d be getting one myself. I enjoy every minute of the work I do, with a lot of it being a reward in itself, so for somebody to decide I should get recognised for that is just amazing. My family are very proud.”

Choirmaster Gareth Malone, who was also involved in the Diamond Jubilee record, Sing, was an OBE recipient.

The man who led the Military Wives to Christmas number one said: “Over the past ten years, encouraging people to sing has been a labour of love so it’s wonderful to be recognised in this way.

“I am hugely grateful to all the people I have worked with in both television and the arts for helping me to bring music into people’s lives.”

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Other members of the entertainment world to receive honours this year include The Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci, who recieves an OBE, Call the Midwife star Jenny Agutter, who is made an OBE for services to charity, and New Tricks actress Amanda Redman who receives an MBE for her work with the Artists Theatre School.