Golf prodigy Rory McIlroy, who this year became the youngest US Open champion for 88 years aged just 22, has another reason to celebrate today - he receives an MBE in the New Year Honours.
McIlroy joins fellow Ulster golfer Darren Clarke on the list, which also includes property tycoon Gerald Ronson, who bounced back after being jailed for his part in the Guinness Four share scam.
Veteran funnyman Ronnie Corbett receives a CBE for services to entertainment and charity.
The Scottish comedian, famed for his monologues on The Two Ronnies, tops a string of stars honoured for their contributions to the entertainment, media and sporting worlds.
These include TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, actress Helena Bonham Carter and Sky News correspondent Alex Crawford, who won acclaim for her reporting from Libya.
Two big names in television - Peter Bazalgette of Endemol, the company behind Big Brother, and Paul Smith, of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? creator Celador - also feature on the list, which sees Apple’s Jonathan Ive, credited with designing the iPhone, iPod and iPad, made a Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire (KBE).
Mr Ronson, 72, the man who brought self-service petrol stations to the UK in 1960s and built Heron Tower, the tallest structure in the City of London, gets a CBE for services to charity.
But he will always be known for his role in the Guinness share support affair more than 20 years ago, which became a celebrated court case and sparked a long battle by Mr Ronson to clear his name.
Many of this year’s honours - which come as Britain gears up for the Olympic Games - go to leading sporting figures.
McIlroy had a whirlwind rise to the pinnacle of golf this year and teamed up with his girlfriend, world tennis number one Caroline Wozniacki, to form sport’s latest golden couple.
He joins fellow Northern Irish golfer Clarke, who triumphed at this year’s Open at the age of 42, on the list. Clarke gets an OBE.
Retired international umpire Harold “Dickie” Bird, 78, of Barnsley, south Yorkshire, gets an OBE for services to cricket and charity.
Though former Formula 1 motor racing world champion Nigel Mansell, 58, may be more famous for his feats behind the steering wheel, the president of the charity UK Youth, now based in Jersey, gets a CBE for services to children and young people.
Football veteran Doug Ellis, who ran Birmingham club Aston Villa for more than two decades, is knighted for charitable services.
Edinburgh-born Corbett, who turned 81 this month, won his way into British hearts after he linked up with Ronnie Barker for what became one of the most successful and long-running sketch shows ever made.
For more than 17 years, the duo graced the small screen, offering up a mixture of character comedy, word play and musical numbers.
At just 5ft 1in, Corbett is as well-known for his diminutive stature - a feature that came in handy when trying to make a name for himself through a series of schoolboy film roles - as he is for his solo contributions to The Two Ronnies.
In those, he would frequently appear sitting in an armchair to address the camera with one of his rambling monologues.
Latterly, the entertainer has worked with an array of comics including Ricky Gervais and Peter Kay, and starred on shows including Little Britain.
While Lorraine Kelly’s childhood ambition to become a fighter pilot was never fulfilled, as an adult she has lent considerable support to servicemen, earning her the honour of an OBE for services to charity and the armed forces.
But the Glasgow-born 52-year-old, from Broughty Ferry near Dundee, is better known for her daytime television career.
Having risen from the post of trainee reporter on the East Kilbride News - a role she took on immediately after leaving school - she worked as a researcher before appearing on a string of morning programmes including TVam, GMTV and latterly the eponymous Lorraine show.
Bonham Carter, 45, who played the Queen Mother alongside Colin Firth in The King’s Speech, gets a CBE for services to drama.
The Oscar-nominated actress embarked on her glittering career when she was still at school and went on to star in films including A Room with a View and The Wings of the Dove, earning herself the sobriquets “corset queen” and “English rose”.
Away from screen and stage, the north-London based actress - a mother of two and partner of director Tim Burton - has raised eyebrows for her eccentric and unconventional dress sense and turned up at the most recent Golden Globes with mismatched red and green shoes.
She is honoured alongside west London-based cinematographer Remi Adefarasin, who gets an OBE for services to television and film and lists the likes of About A Boy, Sliding Doors and Elizabeth among his most well-known projects.
Birmingham-born actor David Harewood, 46, known for his roles in Blood Diamond, The Merchant Of Venice and television’s The Vice, gets an MBE for services to drama.
In the media, Alex Crawford, of Windsor, in Berkshire, gets an OBE for services to broadcast journalism.
The war correspondent, now based in South Africa, became a household name after she reported live from the back of a truck as rebels advanced into Tripoli this summer.
She made headlines herself after her astonishing live dispatches were beamed around the world from a satellite linkup powered by the vehicle’s cigarette lighter.
At the time, the mother of four appeared to be the only western reporter in the heart of the beleaguered city as rebels massed in Green Square.
Mr Bazalgette, 58, is knighted for services to broadcasting while Celador’s Mr Smith, 64, is made CBE for services to the media industry.
An OBE goes to It’s a Knockout host Stuart Hall, 82, for services to broadcasting and charity. The veteran broadcaster still delights soccer fans with his eccentric and colourful match reports for Radio 5 live.
In education there is an MBE for dinner lady Jeanette Orrey, who inspired Jamie Oliver’s campaign for healthier school meals through her own work at St Peter’s Primary School in East Bridgford near Nottingham. Mrs Orrey, a mother of three, went on to become a successful author and consultant.
In sport, chair of the England and Wales Cricket Board Giles Clarke, based in Wrington, Somerset, is made CBE - an honour which comes in the year that England became the number one Test-playing nation.
An MBE for Chris Paterson, 33, Scotland’s most capped player, comes a week after he announced his retirement from international rugby.
The same honour goes to Jamie Peacock, the 34-year-old England Rugby League captain and Leeds Rhinos prop forward.
As Britain prepares to welcome athletes and supporters from around the world to the capital next summer, some of those who have contributed to the long-awaited Games are recognised for their contributions.
These include John Armitt, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), who is made a knight for services to engineering and construction.
A knighthood also goes to Charles Allen, whose honour recognises his efforts to ensure nationwide benefits as part of his role at the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games.
Howard Shiplee, director of construction at the ODA, is made CBE.
Literary endeavours are recognised with a string of accolades for writers including author and Booker Prize-winner Penelope Lively, 78, who is made a dame.
In this sector, Geoffrey Hill, 79, who was appointed Oxford professor of poetry in 2010, is knighted for services to literature; Welsh poet and playwright Dannie Abse, 88, is made CBE; Australian author and broadcaster Clive James, 72, is made CBE; London-based author Rachel Billington, 69, is made OBE and illustrator Alex Brychta, who worked on animation for Sesame Street, is made MBE.
A string of names from British fashion are also singled out for their achievements, with John Ayton and his wife Annoushka, the couple behind Links of London, handed MBEs.
Shoe designer Emma Hope is awarded the same honour, along with Lulu Kennedy, founder of the venture Fashion East which was established to nurture up-and-coming talent.
Meanwhile, Polish-born Barbara Hulanicki, who headed clothing store Biba, is made OBE for services to fashion.
Influential figures in political and public life are also rewarded.
Labour MP Joan Ruddock, 68, who made her mark as a CND campaigner, environmentalist and feminist, becomes a dame for public and political services; Lord Carlile, 63, the former independent reviewer of anti-terror laws is made CBE for services to national security; and Christopher Preddie, cousin of two brothers convicted of killing schoolboy Damilola Taylor, is made OBE for services to young people after he spearheaded a community campaign to tackle gun and knife crime.
As usual, the majority of those receiving accolades are unsung heroes.
MBEs go to stonemason Alan Horsfield, who is honoured for services to St Paul’s Cathedral; Welsh caretaker Robert Owen, who is recognised for services to the community in Holyhead, Anglesey; Mary Watt, who is rewarded for services to highland dance teaching in Ross-shire, Scotland; and Lyndie Wright, of the Little Angel Theatre in Islington, north London, who receives her accolade for services to the craft of puppetry.
And though his name may be linked to the top-secret world of espionage, James Bond’s MBE recognises his work as a foster carer at Essex County Council.