Detective Rebus creator and real-life police chief given knighthoods

Scots from the worlds of arts, culture, medicine and sport have been honoured in the early list ahead of the Platinum Jubilee.

Detective Rebus creator Ian Rankin and real-life top police officer given knighthood in birthday honours E-mail

Rebus author Ian Rankin has received a knighthood in the Queen’s birthday honours list – alongside the man who would be the fictional detective’s real-life boss.

The crime writer is joined by Police Scotland chief constable Iain Livingstone in receiving the title for his services to literature and charity.

The 62-year-old, who has penned 26 novels featuring the fictional detective, said it was “amazing to be honoured” after the list was released slightly earlier than usual to coincide with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

He said: “I am not sure what Detective Inspector John Rebus would make of it – he’d almost certainly tell me not to get too big-headed.”

Scots have been recognised for their contributions across the board, including those who helped in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and helped welcome the world to Glasgow for November’s COP 26 conference.

In sport, Britain’s Olympic women’s curling team of Jennifer Dodds, Hailey Duff, Mili Smith and Victoria Wright receive MBE’s after scooping Olympic gold in Beijing earlier this year, while skip Eve Muirhead is upgraded to an OBE.

Olympic curling stars Mili Smith, Hailey Duff, Jen Dodds, Vicky Wright are MBE recipients, while Eve Muirhead is made an OBE. (Image: SNS Group)

The same honour goes to swimmer Hannah Miley, who retired in December at the age of 32, after competing at three separate Olympics and being crowned European and Commonwealth champion during a 17-year career.

Paralympic skier Neil Simpson, 19, made history by securing Britain’s first male gold medal on snow at an Olympic or Paralympic games when he won the Super G race on their Paralympic debut.

The visually-impaired athlete was joined by brother Andrew, 22, as a guide, with the pair following up their success by sealing bronze in the super combined event just 24 hours later.

Meanwhile, wheelchair racer Samantha Kinghorn achieved silver in the T53 400m and Bronze in the T53 100m at the delayed Tokyo Paralympic games in 2021.

The former Scotland international footballer Alan Rough is also awarded an MBE for services to the sport after representing his country at three separate World Cup finals.

Elsewhere Jim Walker, the director of the family firm Walker’s Shortbread, said he was “extremely honoured” to receive a knighthood.

Samantha Kinghorn achieved silver in the T53 400m and Bronze in the T53 100m at the delayed Tokyo Paralympic games in 2021.

Sir Jim – grandson of the original founder, Joseph Walker – joined the company 1962 when it was still a village bakery, helping it grow to become a household name which exports its shortbread biscuits around the globe.

He said: “I am extremely honoured and touched to receive this honour from Her Majesty the Queen.

“It comes as a complete surprise and is very humbling.”

Glasgow City Council chief executive Annemarie O’Donnell is made an OBE in recognition of her services to local government, including at the Cop26 climate summit, with Colin Edgar, who was senior responsible officer for the summit, and Denise Hamilton, the head of city services at the council, both being made MBEs.

Nurse Maria Hewitt from Paisley has been awarded the British Empire Medal in recognition of her work during the pandemic after her husband John sadly passed away from coronavirus in June 2020.

She returned to the frontline in early 2021 as a vaccinator, administering jabs to thousands across the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area.

“I felt I had to do something to help,” she said.

“Millions had died and every member of NHS staff were working so hard to help. I felt it was what my husband would want me to do.”

And Stephen Cole, an intensive care doctor in NHS Tayside, is also honoured for his work in the pandemic, becoming an OBE.

Dr Cole said: “This award is gratefully received and is testament to the close collaboration, commitment and dedication of the entire intensive care team not only within Tayside, but across Scotland.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon congratulated all Scots who have been recognised in the Birthday Honours List, which she said “illustrates the outstanding contributions of the people of Scotland who have made a difference to their communities, throughout the country and beyond”.

She added: “From those who contribute to the creative industries, communities and charities, to those who have excelled in the field of science and medicine, the honours highlight their exceptional service to the people of Scotland.

“I am also pleased to see that those individuals who worked against the coronavirus pandemic, its far reaching impact and those working for our recovery, have been recognised. I know we are all incredibly grateful for their selfless actions and it’s right that their outstanding efforts have been acknowledged in this way.”

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