There was a career highlight in store for fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett this week as he was knighted by the Queen. "I wasn't expecting this. I was just expecting to sell books," said the delighted author. "You don't grow up thinking, 'Oh, I'll probably be a knight one day'."
Sixty-year-old Terry, who is suffering from Alzheimer's, has sold more than 55 million books worldwide. Becoming a Sir, he said was "a triumph for the (fantasy) genre".
Also singled out in the New Year Honours list was Paralympic double gold medallist swimmer Eleanor Simmonds. The 14-year-old became the youngest ever MBE when she was presented with the accolade at Buckingham Palace.
Eleanor, who won the 100m and 400m freestyle races at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, said she was nervous about meeting the British monarch, but discovered the Queen was "really nice to talk to". She explains: "I was thinking of getting everything right… We had to walk backwards, and I was scared in case I tripped over."