Jockey Tony McCoy among figures to be knighted at Buckingham Palace


Inspirational figures from the worlds of sport, showbiz and civil rights will be among those receiving decorations during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace today. 

Record-breaking sportsman Tony McCoy will become only the second jockey to be knighted, following Sir Gordon Richards in 1953, a little over a year after his retirement. 

The 20-times champion jockey, who was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2010, received the lifetime achievement award during last year's service after bringing his illustrious 23-year career to a close.

The sportsman, also known as AP McCoy, was one of a small number of personalities whose names were leaked to the media ahead of the official release of the 2016 New Year's Honours list, and prompted a vow from Sir Jonathan Stephens, chairman of the main Honours Committee, to review their procedures for the honours system.

Others due to receive knighthoods include ebola specialist Dr Michael Jacobs, clinical lead in infectious diseases at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, who treated nurses Pauline Cafferkey, Will Pooley and Anna Cross.

Television, film and theatre producer Colin Callender will also be knighted. Mr Callender made headlines during an acceptance speech for BBC's Wolf Hall drama at the Golden Globes in January when he made an impassioned defence of the corporation against fears over its future. 

He said: "Without the BBC, quality programmes like this wouldn't happen and I urge David Cameron and the British Government to do everything they can to protect the BBC and ensure its future."

Today's ceremony will also honour England football captain Steph Houghton and her colleague Fara Williams for services to football and to charity. They will both receive MBEs.

Activist and chief executive of The Albert Kennedy Trust, Tim Sigsworth, will receive an MBE for services to the gay community, while David Smith, the first secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, will be honoured for services in support of diversity.

It has not been made public which member of the royal family will be conducting the ceremony.