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Queen honours Henry, Harry & Munir

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Sir Lenny Henry

Actor/charity fund raise Lenny Henry, Professor Harshad Kumar Dharamshi, Professor Munir Hussein Pirmohamed were among honoured in the Queen’s 2015 birthday honours list…reports Asian Lite News

Sir Lenny Henry
Sir Lenny Henry

In total, 1,163 people are recognised in the 2015 birthday honours, ranging in age from 103-year-old Dr William Frankland, a pioneer in allergy research who receives an MBE, to 17-year-old Natasha Lambert, who has athetoid cerebral palsy and receives a BEM for her fundraising. There are 295 at BEM, 481 at MBE and 237 at OBE.

Henry, the comedian and co-founder of Comic Relief, whose knighthood was widely leaked in advance, said the honour was “for everyone who has done something for Comic Relief, every person who has helped us raise £1bn”.

There is an honorary knighthood for American actor Kevin Spacey, outgoing artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London, who said he felt like “an adopted son” on being recognised for services to international culture.

Sir Harry
Sir Harshad Kumar Dharamshi (Harry)

Professor Harshad Kumar Dharamshi  (Harry) is Tata Steel Professor of Metallurgy, at University of Cambridge. He is also professor of computational metallurgy at the Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology, Pohang University of Science and Technology (South Korea) and director of the “SKF Steel Technology Centre.” He was knighted for his services to science and technology.

Born in Kenya to Indian parents, Harry Bhadeshia moved to the UK  in the 70s and studied at the City of London Polytechnic (now London Metropolitan University) where he graduated with a B.Sc. in 1976. He joined the University of Cambridge to work on the theory and significance of retained austenite in steels and obtained his Ph.D. in 1979. He worked as an SRC Research Fellow until 1981 and has been part of the academic staff at the University of Cambridge since then. He is the author of more than 500 published papers in the field of metallurgy.

In the 90s, he worked with British Steel (now part of Tata Steel Europe) on a carbide-free, silicon-rich bainitic steel that was used for rails in the Channel Tunnel  and later on a high-performance armour steel for the British Ministry of Defence.

In 2006, he was awarded the Bessemer Gold Medal by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining for “outstanding services to the Steel Industry”.[4] In November 2008, he became the first Tata Steel Professor of Metallurgy  and he established and took the lead of the new “SKF University Technology Centre”, in May 2009 between SKF and the University of Cambridge to conduct research in the field of the physical metallurgy of bearing steels.

Dr Munir A
Sir Munir Pirmohamed

Professor Munir Pirmohamed, Consultant Physician at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, holds the only NHS Chair in Pharmacogenetics in the UK and is Director of the Medical Research Council’s Centre for Drug Safety Sciences. He has been recognised with a knighthood for his services to medicine.

Professor Pirmohamed said: “I am tremendously surprised, but hugely delighted to have received this honour.

“It is a privilege for me to have worked with so many wonderful people and organisations in the UK and beyond, who strive to make a difference to people’s lives by improving how we develop and use medicines.

“This honour not only recognises my work, but also the efforts of the whole team at the University of Liverpool and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, who work tirelessly to advance the practice of medicine for patient benefit.”

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, 38, secured his CBE, also leaked in advance and provoking debate on whether younger “celebrity” stars should receive such high honours so early in their careers. Eddie Redmayne, 33, whose portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything pipped Cumberbatch to the best actor Oscar, receives an OBE.

Chiwetel Eijofor, the 12 Years a Slave star, upgrades his OBE to CBE. Actor Lesley Manville, a favourite of director Mike Leigh, said she was extremely proud on receiving an OBE, while Doc Martin star Martin Clunes professed himself tremendously proud about his OBE.

Among politicians knighted is Simon Burns, Conservative MP for Chelmsford since 1987, Simon Hughes, former Liberal Democrat deputy leader who lost his seat in the elections last month, and Henry Angest, Tory donor and friend of David Cameron, also get knighthoods.

From sport, Welsh rugby star Gareth Edwards becomes a knight, footballer Frank Lampard gets an OBE along with record-breaking cricketer James Anderson, while England women’s football captain Casey Stoney is made an MBE. Rugby star Jonny Wilkinson, who was left embarrassed after his name was wrongly reported to be in the last honours, claims a CBE for dedication to rugby union.

William Pooley, who contracted and survived Ebola, is honoured for his ongoing work to combat the disease in Africa.  Also recognised is Duwayne Brooks, the friend who witnessed the murder of Stephen Lawrence which ultimately exposed institutional racism in the Metropolitan police. Brooks, who served as a Liberal Democrat councillor, is awarded an OBE for public and political service.

TV presenter Loyd Grossman, given a CBE for services to heritage, said it was like “unwrapping a wonderful present”. Singer Michael Ball, “chuffed to bits” with his OBE, said his father, Tony, burst into tears on hearing the news. High-profile figures in business and finance named in the honours list