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Joanna Lumley to be a Dame in New Year’s Honours…and there could be a gong for Emma Raducanu too 

Chris Whitty, Emma Raducanu and Daniel Craig are among the household names who are set to recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

England’s chief medical officer Whitty, who has consistently appeared at Covid press briefings since March 2020 as the nation’s principal medical adviser, is set to be knighted in the new year.

007’s most recent face Daniel Craig, 53, will be bestowed the rare Order of St Michael and St George, an honour usually reserved for top spies and diplomats. 

Meanwhile, teenage tennis prodigy Raducanu is expected to receive an MBE after becoming Britain’s first female Grand Slam winner since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977. 

It comes as the Mail on Sunday revealed Joanna Lumley is set to be made a Dame in the New Year.

The Absolutely Fabulous star will be recognised for her campaigning on behalf of the Gurkhas as well as her work in television and film, sources said last night. 

England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty, 55, is set to be knighted in the New Year

007's most recent face Daniel Craig, 53, will be bestowed the rare Order of St Michael and St George, an honour usually reserved for top spies and diplomats

007’s most recent face Daniel Craig, 53, will be bestowed the rare Order of St Michael and St George, an honour usually reserved for top spies and diplomats 

Teenage tennis prodigy Emma Raducanu is expected to receive an MBE after becoming Britain's first female Grand Slam winner since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977

Teenage tennis prodigy Emma Raducanu is expected to receive an MBE after becoming Britain’s first female Grand Slam winner since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977

Joanna Lumley pictured in 2018. Ms Lumley, who father was a major in the Gurkha Rifles, was born in Kashmir in 1946

Joanna Lumley pictured in 2018. Ms Lumley, who father was a major in the Gurkha Rifles, was born in Kashmir in 1946

The Honours list is due to be published on Friday and is expected to include gongs for a number of sportsmen and women, as well as frontline workers.

Chris Whitty, 55, already holds another honour as Companion of the Order of the Bath for his services to tropical medicine in the UK and Africa.  

Earlier this year, at least six petitions were shared on the Government’s online parliamentary page pleading with MPs to make the Chief Medical Officer a knight.

All of them were rejected because backbenchers have no say in who can be awarded a New Year’s Honour. 

Senior government sources described the dedication Whitty has for his demanding role as England’s chief medical officer.

One told the Sun: ‘Chris may often put on a dour face but that is exactly what was required during the dark days of lockdown.

‘Chris has been calm and unflappable throughout and is a trusted source of wisdom and knowledge. He thoroughly deserves his honour’. 

Daniel Craig is also set to receive a new title for his services to the British film and theatre industry.

The CMG, a rare honour normally reserved for top diplomats, is a clear nod to the character Craig has portrayed for the last 15 years in the James Bond series.

But it won’t be the first time Craig and Her Majesty have crossed paths. In 2012, the pair famously filmed a short for the London Olympics in which the Queen and the Bond actor ‘jumped’ from a helicopter for the opening ceremony. 

Earlier this year, at least six petitions were shared on the Government's online parliamentary page pleading with MPs to make Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty a knight

Earlier this year, at least six petitions were shared on the Government’s online parliamentary page pleading with MPs to make Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty a knight

007's most recent face Daniel Craig, 53, will be bestowed the rare Order of St Michael and St George, an honour usually reserved for top spies and diplomats

007’s most recent face Daniel Craig, 53, will be bestowed the rare Order of St Michael and St George, an honour usually reserved for top spies and diplomats

Meanwhile, an MBE would cap off a dream year for Britain's newest sport star Emma Raducanu, who only sat her A-Levels during the summer

Meanwhile, an MBE would cap off a dream year for Britain’s newest sport star Emma Raducanu, who only sat her A-Levels during the summer

Meanwhile, an MBE would cap off a dream year for Britain’s newest sport star Emma Raducanu, who only sat her A-Levels during the summer. 

In September, she won the US Open, becoming the first British female winner of a grand slam tennis tournament since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977, but it was the manner of that victory which made her achievement all the more remarkable.

Raducanu, 19, gave a first glimpse of her potential at Wimbledon, reaching the fourth round before being forced to withdraw from her match against Aja Tomljanovic with breathing difficulties.

But no one predicted the fairytale of New York which was about to unfold as she became the first qualifier ever to win a grand slam – and did so without even dropping a set.

And last week, Raducanu was named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. 

She now finds herself one of the biggest names in British sport, which brings with it the pressure to build on that success at Flushing Meadows.

Other stars will also be recognised, including members of Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 team that took Italy to penalties in the final and provided a much-needed boost to the nation.

Describing British sports’ astonishing achievements over the past 12 months, one Whitehall insider told the Mirror: ‘In a year marred by Covid, these sporting heroes gave us a reason to be cheerful.

‘It’s right that they be rewarded for their remarkable success.’ 

Ms Lumley 75, already holds an OBE, awarded in 1995. The Bafta-winning actress starred as Patsy Stone alongside Jennifer Saunders in Absolutely Fabulous from 1992 to 2012.

She has since appeared in films including The Wolf Of Wall Street and Paddington 2.

Ms Lumley, who father was a major in the Gurkha Rifles, was born in Kashmir in 1946. In 2009 she led a campaign to allow Gurkha veterans the right to settle in the UK. 

More than 200,000 Gurkhas, from Nepal, served in the British Army in the First and Second World Wars.

She has also campaigned on animal welfare and has supported the Green Party.

The Bafta-winning actress starred as Patsy Stone (right) alongside Jennifer Saunders (left) in Absolutely Fabulous from 1992 to 2012

The Bafta-winning actress starred as Patsy Stone (right) alongside Jennifer Saunders (left) in Absolutely Fabulous from 1992 to 2012

Emma Raducanu (pictured) is expected to receive an MBE after becoming Britain's first female Grand Slam winner since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977

Emma Raducanu (pictured) is expected to receive an MBE after becoming Britain’s first female Grand Slam winner since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977

Describing receiving her OBE from the Queen in a recent interview, Ms Lumley said: ‘You don’t remember much except for the beating heart when you walk up and step forward and step back and you’re trying to get all that right.’

Of the lunch at Buckingham Palace, she said: ‘All I can remember was being in the drawing room beforehand.

‘It’s pretty and friendly and not frightening, but it’s always scary to meet the Queen, funnily enough.

‘The Queen is the Queen. And you can’t believe it, you get so taken aback by seeing someone who’s so frantically familiar.’

Ms Lumley has published a book about the Queen, highlighting key moments of her 70-year reign.

In 2019, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Chester in recognition of her contribution to the arts.

The full list of honours will be published later this week. 



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