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Ringo Starr and Barry Gibb awarded knighthoods in New Year honours

Ringo Starr has been awarded a knighthood. Picture by Peter Byrne/PA Wire

THE Beatles' Ringo Starr and Bee Gees co-founder Barry Gibb have been awarded knighthoods, alongside a string of political figures including former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.

Gibb (71), who is recognised for services to music and charity, dedicated the honour to his late brothers and former bandmates and said: "The magic, the glow, and the rush will last me the rest of my life."

Also on the latest British honours list is Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell (48), who said she was "truly humbled" to become a dame for services to dance, and War Horse author Michael Morpurgo (74), who is knighted for services to literature and charity.

Professor John Curtice (64), who led the exit polls that accurately forecast the last four general elections, including Labour's shock gains in June, also receives a knighthood for services to social sciences and politics.

There are no honours for those involved in the response to recent terror attacks or the Grenfell Tower fire, but the Cabinet Office said they are expected to be recognised in future lists.

Among other high-profile recipients, author and journalist Jilly Cooper is recognised for services to literature and charity, actor Hugh Laurie for services to drama, and singer Marc Almond receives an OBE for services to arts and culture.

The 2018 list is the smallest since 2013 when 1,223 were handed out.

Women make up just under half of those being honoured, and less than 10 per cent come from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background.

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