Celebrities feature in Queen’s annual awards

John Hurt.
John Hurt.

Actor John Hurt is set to be knighted in the New Year Honours List with TV presenter Esther Rantzen and actress Joan Collins lined up to become Dames.

Speculation is growing that there will also be OBEs for The Wrong Mans star and comedian James Corden, and actress Sheridan Smith who earned rave reviews for her performance as Cilla Black in TV drama ‘Cilla’ earlier this year.

Others tipped for gongs include World Drivers’ Champion Lewis Hamilton, Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch and actor Eddie Redmayne.

But an expected knighthood for England rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson turned out to be a false leak to the media.

Hurt has appeared in more than 150 films in a long career. His most famous role is arguably that of John Merrick, The Elephant Man.

Miss Rantzen, 74, presented That’s Life for more than 20 years.

She set up the ChildLine councilling charity almost 30 years ago to give young people confidential advice about sexual abuse and bullying. The charity has helped 3.2m children and been replicated in more than 180 countries.

Hollywood star Ms Collins, 81, starred as Alexis Carrington Colby in Dynasty and made her stage debut aged nine.