Yoko Ono and John Lennon
John Lennon famously turned down an MBE in 1969Getty

Conservative election guru Lynton Crosby heads up a list of names recommended by the government for New Year's honours from the Queen. The Australian – nicknamed the "Wizard of Oz" – is reportedly included alongside names from the entertainment and voluntary sectors including actress Barbara Windsor, who is touted to become a Dame.

To avoid controversy, recipients are informed well in advance that their name is to be put forward for the award. But that has not stopped some high-profile names from shunning awards from the Queen.

IBTimes UK looks at some the famous names that have rejected honours from the monarch.

Rejecting honours is not a modern phenomenon. Back in 1918 King George V offered writer and adventurer TE Lawrence a knighthood but the leader of the Arab Revolt declined.

Author Evelyn Waugh thought better of receiving a CBE in 1959, as well as other scribes Graham Greene and Robert Graves, who shunned OBEs and CBEs in 1956 and 1957 respectively.

Film director Sir Alfred Hitchcock turned down a CBE in 1962, but the Psycho director went on to accept a knighthood in 1980.

John Lennon balked at the idea of being recognised with an honour in 1969. He rejected an MBE in 1969 in protest against British involvement in the Nigerian civil war. The Beatle even fired off a a note to the Queen, saying: "Your Majesty, I am returning this in protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts. With Love, John Lennon of Bag."

David Bowie declined a CBE in the Queen's birthday honours in 2000, as did the artist David Hockney, who later went on to paint the Queen for her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Ken Livingstone has been brought in from the dark by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn but the former Mayor of London turned his back on the establishment in 2013 when he turned down an New Year's honour in recognition for his work securing the 2012 Olympic Games.

The king of the missive Michael Winner turned down an OBE in 2006; saying, "An OBE is what you get if you clean the toilets well at King's Cross station".