The heroes of Covid who help save the nation from the pandemic and the sporting heroes who gave us a reason to celebrate during these dark times are all set to be recognized in the Honors List
Image: POOL / AFP via Getty Images)
The chief medical officer is expected to receive a knight on the New Year’s roll of honor, among a host of other Covid heroes who will also be recognized for their efforts.
Professor Chris Witty has become the face of the nation’s daily Covid briefings as the pandemic strikes, providing hard-hitting statistics and advice to millions of people.
But much of the work he did was behind the scenes, including starting the search for a vaccine even before Covid-19 reached UK ports.
Ministers spoke of his hard work, citing the long hours spent at his office determined to help guide the nation through the other end of this virus.
“Chris can often look austere, but that’s exactly what was required during the dark days of the lockdown,” a senior source told The Sun.
“Chris has been calm and unfazed throughout and is a trusted source of wisdom and knowledge. He well deserves his honor.
Professor Whitty, 55, of Gloucester, is an expert in infectious diseases and is also a practicing NHS consultant physician at University College London Hospitals and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
The government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, was previously knighted in 2019 for services of openness to clinical science, but is expected to be rewarded again for his efforts alongside Professor Whitty.
Among the sports heroes to be recognized in top honors, tennis star Emma Raducanu will lead an outstanding list of British sports icons who will receive gongs this year.
The 19-year-old US Open champion is set to become the youngest recipient of an MBE for her extraordinary success in New York.
She beat Leylah Fernandez in the final, 6-4, 6-3, to win the women’s singles tennis title – just months after graduating.
Just weeks after being named the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year, the Queen is expected to give him an honor to cap a perfect year.
A Whitehall insider said: “In a year wasted by Covid, sports heroes have given us a reason to be happy.
“It is only fair that they are rewarded for their remarkable success.”
After opening up to her tumultuous year, Kate Garraway, 54, is set to receive a gong in recognition of her 32-year career in broadcasting, which includes her award-winning documentary on her husband Derek Draper’s battle against Covid.
ITV / Kieron McCarron / REX / Shutterstoc k)
Kate will likely receive an MBE or CBE for her years of service in her profession.
The honor follows a heartbreak after her former political adviser husband, 54, was rushed to hospital at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and fell seriously ill with the coronavirus.
Elsewhere, Mel B is expected to receive an MBE in recognition of her service to victims of domestic violence.
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The 46-year-old Spice Girl and Women’s Aid boss has bravely spoken of her own experience of abuse and has campaigned tirelessly for change, taking her crusade to Downing Street in 2019.
The pop star even ran an aid campaign for women – a music video titled Love Should Not Hurt – in which she portrayed a character who was severely beaten and abused.
Meanwhile, sources say the stars of Gareth Southgate’s England football team, who stormed the Euro 2020 final only to lose Italy, will also be honored.