BME talent winning Queen’s Honours


A number of individuals from BME communities received the highly prized Queen’s Honours in the New Years Honours list. Notable honours went to business entrepreneur James Caan, football legend Brendon Bastson, and actress/writer Meera Syal.

Caan, well known for being a former ‘Dragon’s Den’ investor has used his power and influence to support apprentiships, businesses run by young people, and his foundation which has been particularly important rebuilding homes after the Pakistani floods. Caan receives a CBE.

Brendon Baston was one the famous footballing West Brom trio better known as the ‘Three degrees’. Batson, along with Laurie Cunningham, Cyril Regis, stormed the footballing world in the 1970’s with flair, pace and resilience which firmly put Black footballers on the UK map. In recent years he has been a key player behind the football scene as vice chair of the Football Players Association. Batson receives an OBE.

Lastly Meera Syal, has become an institution in her own right. She blasted on to our screens with the now iconic sit-com ‘Goodness gracious me’, this was followed by the ‘Khans’ and also includes a best-selling novel. Meera Syal agreed to be part of OBV's London election get the vote out campaign back in 2000. Syal receives a CBE.

Congratulations to those and all other BME recipients of this year’s Queen’s Awards.

Simon Woolley