Daniel Craig and Moira Stuart among north London's New Year Honours
- Credit: PA
Holocaust survivors and stars of stage and screen were among those whose achievements have been recognised by the Queen.
More than a dozen people with links to Camden, Hampstead, Highgate, Haringey, Barnet and Westminster were told of their New Year Honour some six weeks ago but sworn to secrecy.
Crouch End comedian Adam Hills, known as the host of Channel 4's The Last Leg, said he did not tell his family he had been named in the New Year Honours list because he was “still not convinced someone isn’t playing a prank on me”.
The 51-year-old was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Paralympic sport and disability awareness
The father-of-two, who has a prosthetic foot, said: “I am absolutely chuffed to bits to be given this honour. I’ve already googled ‘Australian comedians who have received honours’, ‘when can I start writing MBE after my name?’ and ‘are Australians even eligible for an MBE?’.
“Turns out the answers are ‘Barry Humphries and Clive James’, ‘when you receive the medal’ and ‘yes’.
“Honestly though, for a boy from the southern suburbs of Sydney, this is quite a massive deal.”
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James Bond star Daniel Craig, who has a home in Camden, was made Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George for services to film and theatre.
The honour is usually reserved for senior diplomats and spies.
Nitin Ganatra who went from living in a tiny bedsit with no heating in Muswell Hill to becoming a well known EastEnders character was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for services to drama.
Hampstead-born Moira Stuart was made Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to media.
Fellow news presenter Kate Garraway, who married her husband Derek Draper in Camden and still lives in north London, was made MBE for services to broadcasting.
Other notable winners include Ivan Shaw, from Highgate, and Ruth Posner, from Hampstead, who were given British Empire Medals for services to Holocaust education and awareness.
"I feel very honoured," said Ivan. "I'm not sure I deserve it but it's a lovely surprise.
"There are a lot of other people who have done similar work but I am very honoured. My parents, who did not survive Auschwitz, would not imagine in their wildest dreams the journey I've been on."
He only started speaking out about his experiences four years ago as they were "too painful".
"We're living in an increasing era of antisemitism and intolerance, and I was persuaded I should speak out so I started a few years ago when I was 78 years old."
Radiocentre chief executive Siobhan Kenny, from Hornsey, was made MBE for services to commercial radio and young people.
She said: "I was totally surprised and completely delighted to receive this MBE.
"I loved every minute of my time in the radio industry, during a period of huge change and innovation and, of course, this award is for the amazing team at Radiocentre as much as for me.
"Opening the industry up to a broader audience, especially young people, was a particular driver for me, which makes it all the more special that the citation mentions services to young people."
Also with a focus on youngsters is Rashid Iqbal, chief executive of The Winch in Swiss Cottage, who was made MBE for his services to young people.
Bibi Khan, president London Islamic Cultural Society (Wightman Road Mosque), has been made an MBE for services to local government and community cohesion
The 68-year-old is the mosque's first female president, having taken over when her father Abdool Alli died three years ago, and she told the Ham&High she still meets resistance from some quarters.
"They're stuck in a sort of limbo of where women are not supposed to be doing this," she said.
But she said the centre has continued her father's work: "Everything has been done in the same way he would have done it. He set some goalposts, some principles, we will follow it – but what we do now is we do it better."
Since the arrival of Covid, the mosque has provided support for families, collected food for NHS workers, and tackled head on myths about the vaccines, hosting a pop-up clinic in March. Projects are under way to raise awareness about the rise in gambling addiction and about climate change.
Age UK Camden CEO Nikki Morris received a British Empire Medal for services to the borough, in particular during the pandemic.
The organisation played a worked closely with the council to provide emergency support, including the sourcing, packing and delivery of more than 7,000 emergency food parcels, help with hospital discharge and the provision of telephone counselling, befriending and wellbeing support.
Mary Burd, chair of Age UK Camden said, “We are incredibly proud of Nikki and her whole team at Age UK Camden, who work hard to make such a difference to so many older people in our community.
"From the very outset of the pandemic, they worked tirelessly to lessen isolation and loneliness, to ensure as many services as possible were kept running and extra services appropriate for such challenging times were developed."
Karen Napier, the former WAC Arts chief who now leads The Reading Agency, was made OBE for services to arts, to culture, to reading and to public libraries.
Other MBE winners include Roger Oakley for services to charitable fundraising for children with disabilities and Giuseppe Lettieri, co-founder of Family Based Solutions, for services to vulnerable families and children in Barnet.