Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon and Strictly's Amy Dowden 'thrilled' to receive MBE's as they lead well-known faces in King Charles' birthday honours

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Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon and Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden were among the well-known faces on The King’s Birthday Honours list.

The British singer, 65, has said he is ‘beyond thrilled and surprised’ to be made an MBE.

Simon has become a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the King’s Birthday Honours list for services to music and charity.

He told the PA news agency: ‘What an incredible, and totally unexpected honour! I am truly beyond thrilled and surprised.

‘These last few years have been some of the most important in Duran Duran’s career, and this is a bright but humbling highlight as our journey continues.

Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon and Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden were among the well-known faces on The King's Birthday Honours list

Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon and Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden were among the well-known faces on The King’s Birthday Honours list

Amy has accepted being made an MBE for her services to Crohn's disease 'on behalf' of all those who live with the inflammatory bowel disease

Amy has accepted being made an MBE for her services to Crohn’s disease ‘on behalf’ of all those who live with the inflammatory bowel disease

‘It is fitting that the honour has been awarded not just for my role in music, but also for the work I’ve been fortunate to be involved with outside the band for some of the causes I believe in.

‘To name but two of them, I hope this moment helps to raise awareness for the Blue Marine Foundation and the importance of their conservation work, and for Centrepoint.

What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease is an agonising digestive condition that blights the lives of 115,000 people in Britain and as many as 1.6 million in the US.

Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea and potentially dangerous weight loss. Magician Dynamo is a famous sufferer.

Eight out of ten patients will need a part of the intestine removed as it becomes so damaged it prevents digestion.

Its cause is still not known and there is currently no cure but some with the condition have considered their diet to be a factor.

However, bacteria is already known to play a major role in causing Crohn’s disease, in addition to genetics and diet.

Conventional treatment is with drugs that suppress the immune system’s production of a protein called TNF, which causes inflammation. 

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‘Their mission for over 50 years to put an end to homelessness in the UK is vital.’

Elsewhere, Amy has accepted being made an MBE for her services to Crohn’s disease ‘on behalf’ of all those who live with the inflammatory bowel disease.

The Strictly Come Dancing star has been very open with fans when it comes to her health struggles.

As an advocate and ambassador for charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK, she has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the King’s Birthday Honours for her services to fundraising and raising awareness of the disease.

The 33-year-old from Caerphilly told the PA news agency: ‘I am still in shock, but so thrilled to be made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, it is beyond my wildest dreams.

‘I accept it on behalf of all those who live with Crohn’s disease, and will continue campaigning to raise awareness for and research into this terrible chronic illness.

‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful NHS staff who have helped me over the years and Crohn’s & Colitis UK who do so much to support fellow sufferers.’

The dancer has also had a high-profile battle with breast cancer and has undergone a mastectomy and chemotherapy. 

She first found a lump in her breast the day before going to the Maldives on her honeymoon with fellow professional dancer Ben Jones and was subsequently diagnosed with stage three breast cancer.

She recently finished chemotherapy and tests show she has ‘no evidence of disease’.

Earlier this week it was announced that she will rejoin the cast of professional dancers on Strictly for the 2024 series after missing out last year while she had treatment and also suffered a broken foot.

She recently finished chemotherapy and tests show she has 'no evidence of disease'

She recently finished chemotherapy and tests show she has ‘no evidence of disease’

The 33-year-old from Caerphilly told the PA news agency: 'I am still in shock, but so thrilled to be made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, it is beyond my wildest dreams

The 33-year-old from Caerphilly told the PA news agency: ‘I am still in shock, but so thrilled to be made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, it is beyond my wildest dreams

British singer Rebecca Ferguson first found fame on The X Factor but has since become an activist in the music industry

British singer Rebecca Ferguson first found fame on The X Factor but has since become an activist in the music industry

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In 2019, Dowden revealed she was suffering from Crohn’s disease, and fronted the BBC programme Strictly Amy: Crohn’s And Me, in which she spoke about her battle with the condition and met other people with Crohn’s to hear about their experiences.

Crohn’s is described by the NHS as a lifelong condition in which parts of the digestive system become inflamed.

People with the disease commonly experience phases of intense abdominal pain, severe vomiting, exhaustion and bloody diarrhoea, among other symptoms.

Dowden has previously said she was diagnosed with the condition when she was a child, but did not reveal she had it when she joined Strictly, because she ‘didn’t want to be known as ‘Amy with Crohn’s”. 

British singer Rebecca Ferguson first found fame on The X Factor but has since become an activist in the music industry.

The Liverpool-born performer, 37, who was a runner-up on the ITV series in 2010, has now been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Imelda Staunton who has been made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, for services to Drama and to Charity, in the King's Birthday Honours list

Imelda Staunton who has been made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, for services to Drama and to Charity, in the King’s Birthday Honours list

Rose Ayling Ellis has been made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire), for voluntary services to the Deaf Community

Rose Ayling Ellis has been made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire), for voluntary services to the Deaf Community

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Following her success on The X Factor, Ferguson went on to release several albums and became a panellist on ITV’s Loose Women.

The singer later turned her hand to activism within the industry.

In 2021, Ferguson met former culture secretary Oliver Dowden to discuss discrimination in the music industry, a meeting which she described at the time as ‘very productive’.

It came as she campaigned for the introduction of a regulatory body for the sector, which would work to ensure artist welfare.

In September last year, Ferguson gave evidence to MPs on the Women And Equalities Committee as part of a 2023-2024 report into misogyny and discrimination in the UK music industry.

Ferguson criticised music managers and agents, whom she claimed manipulate artists, during the inquiry which examined misogynistic attitudes that exist in the industry and what steps could be taken to improve attitudes and treatment of women.

Earlier this year Ferguson said being vocal about her experience in the music industry has brought her ‘a lot of peace’.

‘I feel like the minute you get completely authentic and completely honest, and you stop holding secrets, you just become totally free,’ she told Anita Rani on BBC Radio 2.

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‘I felt like it was the best thing I’ve ever done. Just acknowledging what has happened. Being vocal, speaking out, it brought me a lot of peace.

‘Suddenly I just felt unafraid and I did feel like it was empowering.’

Ferguson also previously called on media watchdog Ofcom to conduct an investigation into reality TV shows to ‘ensure the future safety of contestants’.

On X, formerly Twitter, she posted a screenshot of an email which she said she sent to ITV and Ofcom in 2021 making a ‘formal complaint’ in relation to the treatment of contestants on reality shows but said ‘my concerns appeared to be fobbed off’.

At the time, a spokesperson for Ofcom said they ‘listened carefully to the extent of her concerns about the treatment of contestants during her time on The X Factor in 2010’ when they met her virtually in 2021.

A statement from ITV said the broadcaster was ‘committed to having in place suitable processes to protect the mental health and welfare of programme participants’.