Stephen Fry, Tom Daley and Clare Balding named in the Debrett’s 500
Writer Stephen Fry, Olympic diver Tom Daley and broadcaster Clare Balding are among several gay celebrities to be named in the 2015 Debrett’s list of 500 influential people.
The list recognises people of influence and achievement in British society and is produced by an independent panel.
Stephen Fry, Sir Elton John and David Furnish, are listed in this year’s Charity category.
Fry is praised for his “courage to speak out on mental illness”, specifically during last year after attempting to take his own life whilst filming for a documentary.
The panel said: “Whilst we feel we know this remarkable man so well from his many character portrayals, it is through voicing his own life in such an honest and open manner that he is continuing to inspire us.”
Fry’s involvement with mental health charity Stand to Reason and Mind is also commended.
Sir Elton John and David Furnish are jointly recognised for campaigning and fundraising “tirelessly for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS”; and for backing Cyndi Lauper’s charity True Colors, which aims to bring an end to LGBT youth homelessness in the US.
Margot James, the Conservative Party’s first openly lesbian MP, is listed in the Politics category. She is noted for her early involvement in politics and for previously running her own business before being elected to Parliament in 2010.
David Laws, the gay Liberal Democrat MP and Schools Minister, is mentioned in Debrett’s Education category. The former Chief Secretary to the Treasury has been noted for his responsibilities in raising school standards, Ofsted and on social mobility.
The outgoing Director of the National Theatre, playwright Sir Nicholas Hytner, appears in the Theatre category. Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies and TV presenters Graham Norton and Clare Balding are all included as Television Talent.
Tom Daley splashes into the Sports Personalities section. Lauded as “the face of British diving” after winning bronze at the London 2012 Olympics, his formidable presence on social media is also praised.