Ones to watch for honours on Saturday…

With the Queen’s Birthday Honours List due to be announced this Saturday, here are five people in the media spotlight to watch for honours this weekend or on future lists.

As well as celebrities, I predict that over 80% of recipients will be ‘extraordinary, ordinary people’ doing great work in the community or leaders in their field such as eminent doctors, academics, business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Brendan Cox

The widower of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox is a moving and passionate role model. What an inspirational guy. He always speaks and acts with dignity and balance and helps to unite people from all faiths and backgrounds. It is the first anniversary of Jo’s death on Friday, so what a fitting time for Brendan to be recognised. Brendan has said he will fight the hatred that led to his wife’s death. After her murder he released a statement saying: “She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now: one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.” He has also worked as a campaigner for many advocacy groups over the years including Save the Children. He was also the executive director of Crisis Action, which works with individuals and organisations to protect civilians from armed conflict.

Chris Martin

Not only a world class musician with Coldplay, Chris is a generous and committed philanthropist. He has given 10% of his $90m fortune to charity and continues to give 10% of his earnings away to the likes of Amnesty International, City of Hope and the Red Cross. Apparently his mum taught him to help the needy and he’s been doing so since the age of 10. Chris and his band members were the biggest secret benefactors of Kids Company, the children’s charity working with vulnerable young people in some of the most deprived areas of London. They supported the charity for four years without telling anyone.

Oprah Winfrey

She has not only made it to the top as a TV icon with the cards stacked against her, she’s also made significant financial contributions globally through her philanthropic efforts. She’s won numerous Emmys, been nominated for an Oscar, and appears on lists like Time Magazines 100 Most Influential People. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the US. She founded the Oprah Book Club, which is often credited with reviving Americans’ interest in reading. Oprah has broached topics (divorce, depression, alcoholism, child abuse, adultery, incest) that had never before been discussed with such candor and empathy on television. It’s estimated that she has given away about $500 million to educational causes.

Simon Cowell

Has Mr Nasty turned in to Mr Softie? He recently donated almost £80,000 to pay for an operation for Britain’s Got Talent contestant,15-year-old dancer, Julia Carlile, who suffers from scoliosis. Earlier this year he donated £25,000 to a three year old cancer sufferer who needed urgent treatment in the US and has been listed alongside the UK’s most generous charity donors for years. So he doesn’t just do a great deal to keep the UK music industry on the international map. He is a patron of Together for Short Lives, the leading UK charity for children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. He also supports animal rights. He produced the charity record Everybody Hurts in aid of victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. So his charitable work coupled with his services to the music industry, which are of course immense, make him well overdue for royal recognition.

Ariana Grande

One to watch for future honours lists. Most recently known for her One Love Manchester benefit concert to honor and aid the victims of the suicide bombing which killed 23 people and injured 119. The concert raised over £2 million. Perhaps less well known is her support for a range of good causes including PETA, the Cancer Research Institute, Make a Wish Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She donated all the proceeds from her signature cosmetics line to charity and has given over $500,000 to disadvantaged children. She has also joined forces with her brother to campaign for LGBT rights. Not bad for a 24 year old! I was sceptical about including Ariana as one to watch at first until I read about her wider community and philanthropic commitments.

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