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Matthew Bourne, Barbara Windsor and Sian Phillips among arts figures recognised in New Year honours

Matthew Bourne. Photo: Hugo Glendinning Matthew Bourne. Photo: Hugo Glendinning
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Choreographer Matthew Bourne has been awarded a knighthood in the 2016 New Year honours list, with performers Barbara Windsor and Sian Phillips also being celebrated with top accolades.

Bourne, whose productions include Sleeping Beauty, Edward Scissorhands and The Nutcracker, has been knighted for services to dance.

Earlier this year Bourne was given The Stage award for outstanding contribution to British theatre at the 2015 UK Theatre Awards.

Phillips and Windsor have been given damehoods for services to drama and services to charity and entertainment respectively.

Other figures from the arts to be recognised include actor Imelda Staunton and writer Peter Morgan, whose plays include The Audience and Frost/Nixon. Both have been given CBEs.

In the overseas list, English National Ballet artistic director Tamara Rojo has been awarded a CBE.

The Spanish dancer said she was “honoured and humbled” to receive the award, adding: “I owe so much to the UK already, it has given me so many opportunities and great fulfilment and happiness in my life, and this honour is a wonderful encouragement to continue to work for the arts.”

The overseas list also includes recognition for producer Colin Callender, who has been given a knight batchelor for promoting British film, television and theatre in international markets. An OBE has been given to contemporary ballet choreographer Christopher Wheeldon for his work taking British dance worldwide.

National Youth Ballet founder Jill Tookey has been given a CBE, while television producer Beryl Vertue has been awarded an OBE alongside director and Stage Directors UK chief executive Piers Haggard.

Following the announcement Haggard said: “I am incredibly grateful and humbled that 40 years of labour behind the front lines has been recognised in this way. And I accept on behalf of all directors (and others) who have dared to stand up for their craft and their rights, sometimes even to the detriment of their careers. It has been an honour to be part of the struggle for clarity and fairness within my chosen profession.”

Actors Idris Elba, James Nesbitt and David Oyelowo have been awarded OBEs alongside musician and Wonder.land co-writer Damon Albarn.

The co-founders of contemporary opera company Music Theatre Wales , Michael Rafferty and Michael McCarthy, have been recognised with MBEs, as has Bradley Hemmings, artistic director of the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival.

Director and performer Syd Ralph, who also founded youth theatre company Act One-Scene One, has been given an MBE for services to community music theatre, while the honour has also been awarded to Maralyn Barton-Kronman, head of the Royal Opera House’s costume workrooms.

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