Moira Stuart, Mel B and Ashley Banjo are among the celebrities and public figures recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours 2022 list.
The New Year Honours list, published on New Year’s Eve every year, celebrate individuals who have “made achievements in public life” or “committed themselves to serving and helping the UK”. This year, women made up 47.9% of the 1,122 individuals on the list, while 15.1% (of the whole list) hail from a Black and Minority Ethnic background.
Many of the famous names from the Black community appear to come from the media and entertainment industries. Veteran presenter and broadcaster Moira Stuart received a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for her services to media. She received an OBE in 2001. She is recognised as being one of the first Black women to read the news on British television and has a career that spans 50 years. Speaking about her award, Stuart said: “I’m so moved and lifted by this recognition of my work.
“Because over the years, since my first Radio 4 news bulletin in 1978 through to my last BBC News summary in 2018, I’ve been committed to public service broadcasting, which gave me the chance to shift barriers, open doors, and change so many stagnant stereotypes.
“No, it hasn’t been easy, but this magnificent honour means so much to me, and I shall cherish it always.”
Fellow broadcaster Margherita Taylor received an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to broadcasting and diversity.
— Classic FM (@ClassicFM) December 31, 2021
Melanie Brown, also known as Mel B, formerly of the Spice Girls, received an MBE for services to charitable causes and vulnerable women, which recognised her work in raising awareness of domestic violence with the charity Women’s Aid. As part of her work with the charity, earlier this year, Brown starred in a powerful video aimed at highlighting the horror of domestic abuse.
Diversity lead and TV presenter Ashley Banjo received an MBE for services to dance. Speaking to PA, Banjo said he was: “humbled and extremely proud to be receiving this honour. It really is the ultimate accolade.” Last September, Diversity, led by Banjo performed a “Black Lives matter-inspired routine” on Britain’s Got Talent which prompted more than 24,000 complaints to Ofcom and received the must-see moment award at this year’s Baftas.
Broadcaster Trevor Phillips and filmmaker Horace Shango Ové CBE each received a knighthood.
Trinidad-born British filmmaker, photographer, painter and writer Horace Ové received his honour for services to media. One of the leading Black independent filmmakers to emerge in Britain since the post-war period, Ove holds the Guinness World record for being the first Black British filmmaker to direct a feature-length film Pressure (1976). His film, Reggae (1970) was the first Black financed feature-length documentary film made in Britain with a successful cinematic release and was subsequently shown by the BBC.
Trevor Phillips OBE was honoured for services to equality and human rights. A vocal campaigner against racism, Phillips was the founding chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. He was also previously head of the Commission for Racial Equality from 2003.