Idris Elba, Barbara Windsor and James Nesbitt to receive New Year Honours

Other entertainment stars set to receive recognition from the Queen include David Oyelowo, Beryl Vertue and Sian Phillips

Idris Elba, Barbara Windsor and James Nesbitt are among the entertainment stars to be recognised in the annual New Year Honours list.  


Elba, best known for his role in HBO’s The Wire and BBC1’s Luther, will be awarded an OBE for services to drama; while Barbara Windsor, famous for her roles in the Carry On films and for playing Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders, will become a Dame.

Nesbitt, who received huge critical acclaim for his role in BBC1 thriller The Missing, will receive an OBE for services to acting but also for his services to Northern Ireland, after working closely with charities that support victims of the thirty years of violence. 

Selma actor David Oyelowo is recognised for his services to drama with an OBE, while veteran actress Imelda Staunton, who has won awards for Vera Drake and numerous West End roles, is to be upgraded from the OBE she received in 2006, to a CBE.

Sian Philips is made a dame for her services to drama, after making her London debut in 1957 as the lead in Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and appearing in many films including Goodbye, Mr Chips in which she starred alongside her husband, Peter O’Toole. She also played a key role in The Archers’ version of Calendar Girls this Christmas.

Sherlock executive producer Beryl Vertue, who was instrumental in bringing Men Behaving Badly, Coupling and the BBC’s latest version of Lady Chatterly’s Lover to our TV screens, said she was “chuffed to bits” to be awarded a CBC. 


Veteran broadcaster Martyn Lewis, who worked on both the ITN and BBC news, is given a knighthood for his charity campaigning, which he has been committed to tirelessly since retiring from TV in 1999.