UK New Year Honours: Ben Stokes, Olivia Newton-John, Elton John, Sam Mendes celebrated

Four of the famous faces honoured.
Four of the famous faces honoured. Photo credit: Getty.

The United Kingdom's New Year Honours list has been released.

Among the 1097 people celebrated by the Queen is New Zealand-born cricketer Ben Stokes. Stokes, who lives in England and is the vice-captain of the English cricket team, was essential in his team's victory over the Blackcaps at the July World Cup. 

He receives an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to cricket, as does English captain Eoin Morgan. Former cricketer Clive Lloyd becomes a Knight.

Ben Stokes.
Ben Stokes. Photo credit: Getty.

English-born actress Olivia Newton-John is also among the celebrities being honoured. She is well-known for her role in the musical Grease and has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. She receives a Damehood for her services to charity, cancer research and entertainment. 

"I am extremely excited, honoured and grateful beyond words to be included with such an esteemed group of women who have received this distinguished award before me," the BBC reports Dame Olivia as saying.

"As a girl born in Cambridge, I am very proud of my British ancestry and so appreciative to be recognised in this way by the United Kingdom."

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992.

Olivia Newton-John.
Olivia Newton-John. Photo credit: File.

Filmmaker Sam Mendes - known for his Bond films and American Beauty - can now boast Sir at the start of his name. 

"I'm amazed, delighted and extremely proud. I have stood on the shoulders of so many collaborators and colleagues over the last 30 years - actors, writers, designers, producers, technicians - to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude," Sir Sam said.

"I would not be receiving this honour without them."

Singer Sir Elton John and historian Sir Keith Thomas were appointed to the exclusive Order of the Companions of Honour, which only has 65 members - including Kiwi Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Elton John.
Elton John. Photo credit: Getty.

Queen drummer Roger Taylor receives an OBE.

Of those recognised, 72 percent were those who had "undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary of paid capacity".

There were more women (556) honoured than men, while 11 percent consider themselves as having a disability. Just over 3 percent identified as being LGBT. Nine percent are either black, Asian or of a minority ethnicity. 

The full list can be found here.