Sam Mendes, ‘Peaky Blinders’ Steven Knight, Elton John & Olivia Newton-John Receive New Year’s Honors


1917 director Sam Mendes and Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight are among the Brits to score a prestigious award as part of the New Year’s Honours List 2020.

The distinguished awards are handed out once a year and recognize the outstanding achievements of 1,097 people across the UK.

Neal Street co-founder Mendes, whose one-hit war movie was released Christmas Day by Universal Pictures, and Knight, who also wrote BBC and FX’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol, have both received knighthoods, as has 12 Years A Slave director Steve Mcqueen.

“I’m amazed, delighted and extremely proud,” Mendes told Deadline. “I have stood on the shoulders of so many collaborators and colleagues over the last thirty years – actors, writers, designers, producers, technicians – to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude. I would not be receiving this honor without them.”

Elton John, who was the subject of biopic Rocketman, becomes a Companion of Honour, while Grease star Olivia Newton-John, outgoing Ofcom CEO Sharon White and British broadcaster Baroness Floella Benjamin received damehoods. Not In Front of the Children star Wendy Craig, who recently appeared in British drama Death in Paradise, received a CBE, while broadcaster June Sarpong, Queen founder Roger Taylor and TV chef Nigel Slater scored OBEs.

Honorees also include British-born Universal Film Entertainment Group chair Donna Langley, who received a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her place on the Diplomatic Service and Overseas list.

Over half of the recipients in the New Year’s Honours List 2020 are women, including 44% of awards at the highest levels.

Last year, Thandie Newton, Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan, His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman and Hotel Rwanda star Sophie Okonedo picked up awards.

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