Monty Python star Michael Palin has been knighted and model Twiggy made a dame in a New Year Honours list that also recognises the achievements of England manager Gareth Southgate.

Southgate becomes an OBE after guiding the Three Lions to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia – and the same honour goes to another sporting hero from 2018, Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas.

Former England cricket captain Alastair Cook and His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman are among the other new knights, while Handmaid’s Tale novelist Margaret Atwood joins the elite Companions of Honour.

There are honours and bravery medals for seven members of the team of British divers which rescued 12 young footballers from a Thai cave in July.

And 43 people – including medics and police officers – have been recognised for their response to the terror attacks in Manchester and London in 2017.

‘Ambassador for Britain’

Sir Michael’s honour means he is the first member of the Monty Python comedy group to be knighted.

But the 75-year-old, who became a CBE in 2000 for his TV work, is being recognised for services to travel, culture and geography following his career as a writer and presenter of documentaries that have taken him all over the world, most recently to North Korea.

He said to mark his latest achievement, he may “just have a quiet celebration, just myself and a glass of Horlicks and then go to bed”.

The damehood for Twiggy – born Lesley Hornby – is for services to fashion, the arts and charity.

She shot to fame as a face of 1960s London, and referring to her new title, said: “I’m a very proud Brit, I feel I’m an ambassador for Britain, I always have.

“My only sadness with this is my mum and dad aren’t here to know. They’d have been so proud

Southgate, whose World Cup run came less than two years after he took over as England manager, said: “I hope that everybody that has supported me throughout my career feels pride in the fact that I’ve received this honour because I wouldn’t be in this position without that help and guidance.”

Kayaking rescue

Overall, 1,148 people are on the main honours list. Some 70% of recipients are recognised for work in their community and 47% of the total are women.

The Foreign Office has announced an additional 93 honours, and there are separate lists covering the gallantry awards and for service personnel in the military.

The dramatic rescue of a boys’ football team stranded in a cave in Thailand captivated the world in July. Richard Stanton and John Volanthen, the first divers to reach the teenagers, have been given the George Medal, the second highest civilian gallantry award.

Seven firefighters who saved elderly residents from a blaze at a care home in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, in 2017, receive Queen’s Gallantry Medals.

Meanwhile, 14-year-old Joe Rowlands, from Cheshire, who saved his father from drowning in a kayaking incident off Anglesey, receives a Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.

Among those honoured after the 2017 terror attacks is Detective Chief Inspector Teresa Lam, family liaison lead for Greater Manchester Police, who receives a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to policing and the community.

Colin Kelsey, who led the NHS response to the Manchester Arena bombing, Dr Malik Ramadhan, who was in charge of A&E at the Royal London hospital after the London Bridge attack, and Paul Woodrow, operations director at the London Ambulance Service, all become OBEs.