Craig David, Jed Mercurio and Sheila Hancock named in New Year Honours

The names of the New Year Honours have been announced, with singer Craig David, Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio and Sheila Hancock on the list.

David has been made MBE, Mercurio an OBE, while Hancock is now known as Dame Shiela, thank you very much.

Singer and rapper David has been honoured for services to music, after the release of his debut album Born To Do It in 2000.

The record debuted at number one and become the fastest-selling debut by a British male solo act to date, making the star the face of the UK garage genre.

Dame Sheila, who found fame with BBC series The Rag Trade, Mr Digby Darling and Now, Take My Wife, before landing her own series, But Seriously, It’s Sheila Hancock, in 1972, has been recognised for services to drama and charity and said she feels ‘an immense sense of duty’ amid the honour.

However, she joked to PA she ‘may be lowering the tone.’

She went on: ‘I’ve never felt myself this sort of person. It just doesn’t happen to people like me. I feel I may be lowering the tone. I feel slightly miscast, let’s put it that way.

‘But I also feel an immense sense of duty as a result of it. Far from feeling, ‘how lovely, wonderful and good me, pat on the back and now I can sit and enjoy myself,’ I actually feel challenged by it.

‘I feel I’ve got to prove something and work even harder, particularly in my charity area. I’ve got to earn it, as it were, now, quickly, before I die. And acknowledge it’s not so much a pat on the back, but it’s saying you have certain duties. That’s what it feels like to me.’

As well as her acting career, Dame Sheila has worked extensively for charity and has campaigned for improving education, especially for children from poorer backgrounds.

Mercurio, who’s brought us some of the best, nail-biting television out there, has been made an OBE for services to television drama.

The man behind Line of Duty and Bodyguard began a career in TV drama when he stumbled across an advert in the British Medical Journal from a production company interested in developing a TV medical drama.

And aren’t we ruddy glad he responded.

Mercurio became a household name with Line Of Duty, which began on the BBC in 2012, and followed the investigations of police anti-corruption unit AC-12.

He topped that with Bodyguard, which starred Richard Madden as the police officer assigned to protect the Home Secretary, played by Keeley Hawes (who also appeared in Line Of Duty).

In 2018 it became the most-watched drama series of the decade, with the finale drawing an audience of 14.3 million, and landed Mercurio two Emmy nominations following great success in the US.

Line Of Duty also landed in the top five most-watched dramas, with its nail-biting fifth series finale attracting a TV audience of 12.1 million.

Also named in the New Year Honours is Coronation Street star Sally Dynevor, who said she is ‘still in shock’ at being made an MBE for services to drama.

The actress, who has played the ambitious Sally Webster in the soap since 1986, said: ‘I am humbled, grateful and very proud to have received this honour. I am still in shock.

‘I didn’t believe it was real when I first found out earlier this month that I was to be given an MBE. Keeping it a secret has been so difficult.’

She’s joined by former EastEnders actress Nina Wadia who has been made an OBE, and Academy Award nominee Lesley Manville who has been made a CBE for services to drama and charity.

Actor Toby Jones, who counts the Harry Potter franchise among his many film credits, becomes an OBE while two-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins, who is based in California and recently worked on award-winning 1917, has been knighted in the overseas list.

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