31 DECEMBER 2008

Olympic cycling hero Chris Hoy has spoken of his joy at being knighted – as his mum Carol also appeared on the New Year's Honours list.

The Scotsman's inclusion was more or less a foregone conclusion - to everyone, but him - after he became the first Briton in a century to win three golds at the Beijing Games.

"To become a knight from riding your bike, it's mad," he mused modestly. "And I'm just as delighted about my mum."

His mother, a retired nurse recognised with an MBE for her services to health, also expressed her excitement after the initial shock wore off. "When I opened the letter I assumed it was for Chris," she said. "I didn't realise it was for me until I put my specs on."

Fellow sportsmen also receiving honours were Lewis Hamilton, now an MBE as well, and Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington, who got an OBE. Also recognised with an OBE was actor Michael Sheen, who played Tony Blair in The Queen. Michael declared himself "slightly mystified, but thrilled" by the news.

Best-selling comic fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett was knighted and Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant earned a CBE for his services to rock.

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There was double joy for the triple Olympic gold medallist as he became Sir Chris in the New Year's honours list and his mother Carol received an MBE for her services to health. "To become a knight from riding your bike, it's mad," he marvelledPhoto: © RexClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Michael Sheen, whose portrayal of Tony Blair opposite Helen Mirren in The Queen was highly acclaimed, was awarded an OBE