Bradley Wiggins
Bradley Wiggins knighted in New Year honours - Reuters

The Queen's New Year honours list for 2013 is dominated by the stars of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Olympic stars, including cyclist Bradley Wiggins and Finn sailor Charles Ainslie, both receive a knighthood, while Paralympic cyclist Sarah Storey becomes a dame.

Wiggins, who in 2012 became the first Briton to win the Tour de France, features on a special list of 78 Games heroes and was astonished to receive the honour.

"I never ever imagined that I would ever become a knight so it's an incredible honour. But there's a slight element of disbelief and it will take a while to sink in," Wiggins told the BBC.

David Brailsford and David Tanner also receive a knighthood, while Katherine Grainger, Victoria Pendleton, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and David Weir become Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). Tennis player Andy Murray, who won the US Open and Olympic gold, gets an OBE.

In the arts, controversial artist Tracey Emin and reclusive pop star Kate Bush both become CBEs, while actor Ewan McGregor and designer Stella McCartney are awarded an OBE.

The Cabinet Office has for the first time given the reasons why the personalities have been chosen for the top honour. The citations come in the wake of criticism from the MPs over transparency in the selection process.

The office said 1,223 people were recommended for an award, of whom 1,068 were chosen. While women receive 47 percent of the honours, 5 percent are from ethnic minority groups.

Nearly 72 percent of the recipients "have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity".

Recipients List

Stars from London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics

Knight/Dame

Charles Ainslie (sailing)

Sarah Storey (cycling)

Bradley Wiggins (cycling)

Dave Brailsford (cycling)

David Tanner (rowing)

CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire)

Jessica Ennis (athletics)

Mo Farah (athletics)

Katherine Grainger (rowing)

Victoria Pendleton (cycling)

David Weir (athletics)

OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire)

Jason Kenny (cycling)

Andy Murray (tennis)

Ellie Simmonds (swimming)

Laura Trott (cycling)

MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire)

Nicola Adams (boxing)

Alistair Brownlee (triathlon)

Jonny Peacock (athletics)

Greg Rutherford (athletics)

Louis Smith (gymnastics)

General List

Companion of Honour

Lord Coe (London 2012)

Professor Peter Higgs (physics)

Knight/Dame

Quentin Blake (illustration)

Kenneth Grange (design)

Bernard Hogan-Howe (policing)

Hector Sants (financial services)

Margaret Beckett (political service)

CBE

Cherie Blair (women's issues)

Kate Bush (music)

Tracey Emin (arts)

Martha Lane Fox (digital economy)

Arlene Phillips (dance)

OBE

Stella McCartney (fashion)

Ewan McGregor (acting)

MBE

Nicola Benedetti (music)

Mark Ramprakash (cricket)

Pat Rice (football)