TV producer Peter Bazalgette, actress Helena Bonham Carter and BAFTA/LA charity organizer Katherine Haber were among the showbizzers cited in the Queen’s annual New Year’s Honours list, unveiled over the weekend.
Bazalgette, who brought the show “Big Brother” to the U.K. and devised a string of much-copied lifestyle and reality shows, was made a knight.
Bonham Carter was given a CBE for services to drama; she said she is dedicating the CBE to her late father.
BAFTA/LA board member Haber, co-director of the org’s education and outreach committee, received an MBE for services to the community of Los Angeles.
Record producer Steve Lillywhite, who worked with rock groups such as U2, the Rolling Stones and the Smiths, was awarded a CBE for services to music.
Sky News journalist Alex Crawford, who filmed from a newly liberated Tripoli after travelling there with Libyan fighters who had overthrown Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, was awarded an OBE.
Thesp David Harewood, currently in Showtime’s “Homeland,” was awarded an MBE, and former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher received a CBE.
In descending order, the honors are knighthoods; CBE, short for Commander of the Order of the British Empire; OBE, an Officer of the Order of the British Empire; and MBE, Member of the Order of the British Empire. Those saluted in the last three categories are often “promoted” to higher honors in subsequent years.
Britain’s honours are bestowed twice a year by the monarch at New Year’s and on her official birthday in June. Recipients are selected by committees of civil servants from nominations made by the government and the public.
The queen or occasionally another member of the royal family presents the award at a ceremony known as an “investiture.” Several investitures are held at Buckingham Palace in London throughout the year.
Most of the honors go to people who are not in the limelight, for services to community or industry., but they also reward a sprinkling of famous faces. For example, Bonham Carter was Oscar-nominated as supporting actress for her performance as Queen Elizabeth — the wife of King George VI and mother of the reigning monarch — in “The King’s Speech.” She made her feature film debut in the 1985 “A Room With a View.”