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Scots rewarded as women top Queen's honours for first time

Women have led the charge in the New Year Honours List, with female recipients outnumbering men for the first time.

HONOURED: Lady Claire Macdonald.
HONOURED: Lady Claire Macdonald.

Lady Claire Macdonald, the award-winning cook and food writer; Seona Reid, the former director of Glasgow School Of Art; and Karren Brady, businesswoman and judge on TV show The Apprentice, are among those receiving honours.

There are 610 women in the list - 51% of the total. Previously the highest proportion of women on any honours lists was 47%.

In total, 1195 people have received an award, 74% of them for outstanding work in their communities.

Lady Macdonald, the self-taught cook who runs Kinloch Lodge luxury hotel in Skye with her husband Lord Macdonald, receives an OBE for services to the hospitality industry and to charity in Scotland, particularly Marie Curie Cancer Care.

She said: "These are things that happen to other people. But it's thrilling, and so humbling too. I was just completely taken aback."

Hairdresser Jennifer Cheyne, from Edinburgh, receives an OBE for her services to the industry and for charity. Ms Cheyne, who set up her first salon in 1976 with just one assistant, now employs more than 170 people at six salons across the capital. She also appeared in the Channel 4 series Secret Millionaire, going undercover in the former Welsh coal mining village of Aberfan.

An MBE goes to Judith Jardine, head teacher of Hightae Primary in Lockerbie, for her services to education. Earlier this year the school, a one class primary with just 11 pupils, achieved five "excellent" ratings by school inspectors - the highest possible ranking.

Ms Brady, vice-chairwoman of West Ham Football Club and the former managing director of Birmingham City FC, gets a CBE for services to entrepreneurship and women in business. Met Office chief scientist Professor Julia Slingo becomes a dame.

Among the male recipients, Professor Adrian Bird, the Buchanan professor of genetics at Edinburgh University who led a research team that discovered a "guardian angel" enzyme that fights cancer in 2002, is knighted for services to science.

The list, however, does not include knighthoods for footballer David Beckham and Wimbledon champion Andy Murray. Murray, who was given an OBE after his Olympic gold medal, was touted as a possible knighthood recipient after becoming the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years.

In the world of entertainment, actress Penelope Keith, who became a household name as Margot Leadbetter in 1970s sitcom The Good Life, becomes a dame.

She said: "I sort of feel elated, exhausted and thrilled. It's the big one. I had already got an OBE and then a CBE, so I don't know what is better than the icing on the cake, but this is."

Knighthoods go to film and theatre producer Michael Codron; sculptor Antony Gormley, creator of the Angel Of The North; and former Bank Of England deputy governor Paul Tucker, while Keir Starmer, QC, the former director of public prosecutions, receives a knighthood for services to law and criminal justice.

An OBE goes to actress Lynda Bellingham, as well as to singer Katherine Jenkins and writer and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig, while MBEs go to Ruth Jones, the co-writer of TV show Gavin And Stacey; Kevin McCloud, the presenter of Channel 4 series Grand Designs; and DJ Pete Tong.

CBEs go to actor Michael Crawford, best known for playing Frank Spencer in 1970s sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em; and presenter Nicholas Parsons, known for his long-standing position as host of the comedy radio game show Just A Minute.

In the political world, Robert Brown, a former deputy minister for education and young people in the Labour-Liberal Democrats Scottish Executive, receives a CBE for political service.

Having previously spent 15 years as a councillor on Glasgow District Council, Mr Brown, who is married with two children, returned to local authority politics in May 2012 when he was elected as councillor for the Rutherglen South ward of South Lanarkshire Council.

Fellow LibDems' councillor Eileen McCartin, who represents the Paisley South West area on Renfrewshire Council and has served as deputy leader of the local authority, receives an MBE in recognition of a quarter of a century of political service.

Brian Wilson, who recently retired as head of security at the Scottish Parliament, receives an OBE for his services to Holyrood and his voluntary service in Fife.

The father-of-two, from Kirkcaldy, said the honour was "totally unexpected" and that it was difficult "to keep quiet about it".

Philip John Ryecroft, from Dunbar, who is director general of the Deputy Prime Minister's Office, receives the Order Of The Bath for "services to the UK's devolved and Coalition governments".

Two of Margaret Thatcher's long-serving aides have been knighted, nine months after the former prime minister died. Mark Worthington, who was Baroness Thatcher's private secretary, was made a Knight Bachelor, as was the former director to her private office Julian Seymour.

Owen Kelly, chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise, a position he took on in January 2008, receives an OBE.

One award, which might raise an eyebrow given its timing, is an OBE to Geoffrey Miller, national selector of the England cricket team, which is facing the prospect of a 5-0 whitewash in the Ashes series in Australia. Mr Miller receives his honour for "services to cricket".

Charles Keith Oliver, from Edinburgh, receives the same award in his role as chairman of Cricket Scotland and also for "services to cricket".

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