CHEDDAR cheese has taken a deserved place on the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

John Alvis, director of Alvis Brothers Ltd, a Somerset farm which produces the famous cheese, has been honoured with an OBE for services to cheese exports, farming and rural communities.

He is joined by a number of other Somerset residents on the list.

They are:


  • Ms Sonya Bedford, head of renewable energy at Stephens Scown LLP, for services to community energy. (Axbridge, Somerset)
  • Stephen Edmund Bird, head of heritage at Bath and North East Somerset Council, for services to museums, to heritage and to tourism. (Bath)
  • John Richard Carter,  formerly honorary chief executive of Bath Cancer Unit Support Group, for charitable services to healthcare and to the community in Bath. (Somerset)
  • Ms Kate Cross, for services to young people's theatre and to the community in Bath. (Bath, Somerset)
  • Terence John Kitts, headteacher at Marchant Holliday School, Somerset, for services to education. (Wincanton)
  • Stephen George Davis, for services to the community in Milborne Port, Somerset. (Milborne Port)

They join a number of high-profile people recognised in the list, including the likes of Kenny Dalglish, who becomes Sir Kenny, and Emma Thompson, who is made a dame for services to drama.

Yeovil Express:

Dalglish, 67, received special praise for his work with the families of those killed in the Hillsborough disaster.

"Obviously it takes everything you have done in your life into consideration," said the Scot, who joked he thought the citation was a bill from the taxman when it dropped through his letterbox.

"Football was part of it and a very important part of it. So is the charity that we have in Marina's name and obviously Hillsborough must have been part of it as well.

"Someone in their wisdom has thought it was deserving of some recognition. I am hugely proud to have accepted the accolade.

"You start off in your life just hoping to be a footballer. You become a footballer and have a bit of success and that seems to give you a platform to go on to other things.

"We only set out to do the best we possibly could, even through all the other stuff.

"The charity or Hillsborough; it was to help people because somebody helped us."

Olympian Lizzy Yarnold is made an OBE and said she hopes she can inspire others.

"I am hugely honoured as it's been a great year for me and Team GB, and to receive it on the Queen's Birthday Honours list means so much to me," she said.

"I want to encourage future generations of athletes and Olympians and I can't wait to see what the future holds for my sport and for Team GB."

Yeovil Express:
Lizzy Yarnold in action. PICTURE: David Davies/PA Wire

Premier League and England striker Jermain Defoe was another psorting star to receive an accolade, describing himself as "blessed and humbled" to be recognised with an OBE for his services to the charitable foundation set up in his name.

The honour comes almost a year after the death of six-year-old football mascot Bradley Lowery, with whom the player struck up a strong friendship as the little boy battled a rare childhood cancer.

Defoe said it was the "proudest moment of my life" and added: "But it isn't for me or about me. It's for Bradley and those he loved."

World heavyweight champion boxer Anthony Joshua is made an OBE for services to sport, while 20-year-old alpine skier Menna Fitzpatrick, Britain's most successful winter Paralympian, is the youngest on this year's list, picking up an MBE for services to Paralympic sport.

In the musical world, rapper and singer Ms Dynamite is honoured with an MBE, under her real name Niomi McLean-Daley, for services to music, while Mobo Awards founder Kanya King receives a CBE for services to music and culture.