Emma Thompson made a dame in Queen's Birthday Honours

Emma Thompson has been made a dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

The 59-year-old star of such films as Howards End, Love Actually and Sense and Sensibility is recognised for her services to drama.

Historian and broadcaster Mary Beard also becomes a dame, for services to the study of classical civilisation.

The Cambridge professor said it was “a smashing honour” that she intended to regard as “a bit of a tribute to the Greeks and Romans themselves”.

Novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, historian Simon Schama and Waterstones founder Tim Waterstone receive knighthoods, as does the Royal Academy of Arts’ chief executive Charles Saumarez Smith.

Ishiguro, who was born in Japan and moved to England when he was five, said he was “deeply touched to receive this honour from the nation that welcomed me as a small foreign boy”.

The 63-year-old author of The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go won the Nobel Prize for Literature last year.

Other figures from the entertainment world to be honoured include actors Tom Hardy and Keira Knightley, who become a CBE and an OBE respectively.

Journalist Kate Adie and University Challenge host Bamber Gascoigne are also made CBEs, as are authors Ken Follett and Jeanette Winterson.

Cardiff-born Follett, 69, said he was “very pleased and proud to receive this honour for doing something I love – making books and stories as entertaining and accessible as possible”.

“Reading is a hugely important part of my life and I am glad to have helped others to enjoy it too,” continued the spy thriller and historical fiction writer, best known for his Century and Kingsbridge series.

Winterson, author of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, said she hoped her honour would help boost “the visibility of women’s contribution to the arts”.

“I am so happy about the CBE, for myself of course, but because the arts are so important in our world,” she said in a statement. “They are a means of connection and a way of reducing chaos.”

Another woman recognised for her contribution to literature is Liz Calder, co-founder of Bloomsbury.

Calder, who becomes a CBE, said she was “astonished and delighted”, adding: “It’s wonderful to have this affirmation.”

Abi Morgan, writer of recent BBC drama The Split, becomes an OBE, as does theatre director Marianne Elliott, animation producer Brian Cosgrove and veteran actress Fenella Fielding.

TV gardener Monty Don is also made an OBE, for services to horticulture, broadcasting and charity.

Actor Gary Wilmot, The Archers’ Timothy Bentinck and TV presenter Stacey Dooley are among those from the entertainment world to be made MBEs.

Bentinck, who voices David Archer in the BBC Radio 4 drama, said he was “astonished and humbled”, describing his MBE as “not something I ever expected”.

“I can only thank profusely those unknown people who proposed me, [and] also my family and friends who have supported me through the ups and downs of surviving as an actor,” he continued.

Rapper Ms Dynamite – real name Niomi McLean-Daley – also becomes an MBE, as does jazz trombonist Dennis Rollins and Scottish writer Kate Clanchy.

“I have worked in all sorts of literary fields over the years – poetry, memoir, fiction, reviewing – but the most consistent thread has been my work in schools,” said Clanchy.

“I like to think this award honours that, and the importance of literature and creativity in the classroom.”

Emma Thompson profile

Born in London in 1959, Thompson began her career as a member of the Cambridge Footlights alongside the likes of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.

She went on to win Oscars for her acting in 1992’s Howards End and for writing the script for the 1995 Jane Austen adaptation Sense and Sensibility.

She appeared as Professor Sybil Trelawney in three of the Harry Potter films and recently starred with Sir Anthony Hopkins – her co-star in 1993’s The Remains of the Day – in a BBC version of King Lear.

The daughter of Magic Roundabout narrator Eric Thompson and actress Phyllida Law, she was married to Kenneth Branagh – now a sir – from 1989 to 1995.

The couple frequently appeared together in such TV dramas as Fortunes of War and in such films as Peter’s Friends and Much Ado About Nothing.

Thompson has two children, a daughter named Gaia and an adopted son called Tindy, with her second husband, fellow actor Greg Wise.

In addition to her acting, she is known for her human rights activism and for writing two sequels to Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit books.

She will shortly be seen in UK cinemas playing a judge with marital problems in The Children Act, based on the Ian McEwan novel.

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