Recognition for business

Watson and Van der Kuyl among birthday honours

CBEs for Robin Watson and Chris van der Kuyl

Business leaders Robin Watson and Chris Van der Kuyl are among those honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List which includes Damehoods for Glasgow computer scientist Professor Muffy Calder and Emma Walmsley, chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline.

Mr Watson, CEO of Aberdeen energy group Wood, and Mr van der Kuyl, who has been a leading light in computer games, are appointed CBEs.

Damehoods are also bestowed on the television cook Mary Berry and the actress Maureen Lipman.

There are knighthoods for Poirot actor David Suchet, the first British rock n roller Tommy Steele, Brookside and Hollyoaks dramatist Phil Redmond and the former athlete Brendan Foster.

The list was compiled before the ongoing pandemic. Its publication was deferred in order to consider nominations for people playing crucial roles during the first months of the COVID-19 effort and has prioritised frontline and community heroes who went above and beyond their duties to help others.

These recipients, like Sir Captain Tom Moore, are honoured as outstanding examples of the many contributions continually being made across the UK, and symbolic of the collective national effort.

As well as those awarded for their response to COVID-19, recipients are being recognised for a wide range of other contributions to society.

There are CBEs for Professor Brian Cox, TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, actor Adrian Lester and singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading.

Eve Muirhead becomes a MBE for services to curling. The former junior and senior world champion, skipped her team to Olympic bronze in Sochi in 2014.

Charles Hammond

Author and director of Valvona & Crolla Mary Contini, and the Forth Ports CEO Charles Hammond (pictured) receive the OBE.

Professor Calder, Vice Principal and Head, College of Science and Engineering, University of Glasgow is made a dame for services to research and education.

She is described as a “tireless advocate for science and an inspirational role model for future generations of scientists and for women in science.”

Prof Calder is a leading researcher in computer science, pioneering advancements in the modelling and reasoning of the behaviour of complex systems, delivering real world impacts in areas such as telephone networks and communications protocols, sensor based systems, and intracellular signaling transduction pathways that contribute to diseases such as cancer.

She became Vice-Principal and Head of College of Science and Engineering in 2015 and was appointed to the UKRI-Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and also the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology.

Emma Walmsley has been chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) since April 2017 and was the first woman to run a major global pharmaceutical company.

Also knighted is Tony Gallagher, a British entrepreneur who over four decades has built a huge land development and commercial investments portfolio, donated significant sums to charity and other worthy causes, as well as putting in place the infrastructure to provide jobs and homes for thousands of people. He was the founder and former chairman of Gallagher Estates.

Other knighthoods go to:

Brendan Foster is a former long-distance runner who won medals in three successive Olympics, including Great Britain’s only athletics medal in 1976, as well as gold medals in the European Championships and Commonwealth Games.

Tommy Steele has worked as a professional entertainer since 1956. His career has spanned across every genre; recording, radio, TV, stage and film and he has received enormous success across the world.

Phil Redmond is a great advocate and ambassador for Liverpool and Merseyside. He was considered innovative throughout his television career at Mersey Television and created a number of groundbreaking drama series including Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks.

David Suchet is one of the country’s best known actors, with a distinguished career spanning stage, screen and television. An Associate Artist and former Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he has become best known to the public for his roles in several television series, most notably his portrayal of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot.

Donald Runicles, former conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Fashion designer Sir Paul Smith becomes a Companion of Honour. His label has become synonymous with classic British tailoring and style.


Chris Van Der Kuyl, chairman and co-founder, 4J Studios. For services to the economy.

Robin Watson, CEO, Wood Group, For services to international trade

Stuart Payne, director, supply chain, decommissioning and HR, Oil and Gas Authority. For services to the oil and gas sector.


Charles Armstrong, chief executive, Scottish Fishermen’s Federation. For services to the British fishing industry

Mary Contini, For services to the Scottish food industry and Scottish-Italian Relations

Richard Foryth, chairman, Forsyth’s Ltd. For services to the Distillation and Oil and Gas Industries and the community in Speyside

Charles Hammond, chief executive, Forth Ports. For services to the UK ports industry and business in Scotland

Dr Carol Marsh, deputy head of electronics engineering, Leonardo, Edinburgh.  For services to diversity and inclusion in Electronic Engineering

Dr Deborah O’Neil, chief executive, Novabiotics, Inverurie.  For services to biotechnology, business and charity.


David Cochrane. For services to tourism in Scotland

Lisa Lawson, Founder and chief executive, Dear Green Coffee, Glasgow. For services to business and the community in Glasgow

David Sibbald, Founder, Sibbald Training. For services to business and charity in West Lothian

Bruce Turner, managing director, PureMalt. For services to business and the economy in East Lothian

Covid-19 response


David Maguire, for repurposing his restaurant in Glasgow to provide free food to thousands of NHS workers, vulnerable people and schoolchildren.

Openreach workers Scott McPartlin, who camped out on the Inner Hebridean island of Coll to restore service to a vulnerable remote resident who was shielding; Pete Martin who used innovative techniques and his years of experience to keep NHS staff and vulnerable people connected.

OBE medallists

Christopher Bell, Senior member services officer, Capital Credit Union, Edinburgh. For services to the financial sector during Covid-19

Sheena Hales, Programme manager, NatWest Group, Edinburgh. For services to the financial services sector and to the community during Covid-19

Hazel Harper, Lesmahagow, journey seveloper, NatWest Group. For services to the financial services sector and the community during Covid-19

Elizabeth Mclean, frontline food retail worker, The Co-operative Group, Arran. For services to the Covid-19 response

One Comment to Watson and Van der Kuyl among birthday honours

  1. Kieron Achara was created MBE for services to sport and the community. He was captain of the British. Basketball team, a double Olympian, is chair of Glasgow Rocks Community and is a sports ambassador for Frog Systems, the Glasgow-based mental health and well being platform.

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