THE New Years Honours list, like most things I seem to write about, has the ability to get me annoyed each year.

There are always the deserving names on the list, those people who give up their own time to help others, or simply to make their communities a better place to live.

However, each year there are also those names who, to be completely honest, leave me completely baffled as to their appearance.

For instance, there are nearly always a list of people who have been handed a gong ‘for services to banking’.

Yes, you read that right – ‘services to banking’.

It is enough to make your blood boil. You had may as well write ‘services to donations to political parties’ next to their names and be done with it.

Then there are the awards to our sports ‘stars’.

It seemed to begin in 2005, when every member of England’s Ashes-winning cricket team was handed an MBE for beating the Australians.

Lets be honest, they were rewarded for the successive failures of the previous cricket teams rather than for their own success.

Since then it has seemed as though all you have to do is have one good game in your chosen sport to find yourself being invited to the palace to receive your honour.

Happily, this year is different, despite having such a plethora of sports stars being recognised for their efforts that they need their own list.

Yes, these are the Olympians, and, in my opinion, they all deserve their moment in the sun – and not just because of their achievements in their sports.

They deserve it because their efforts made this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic games a true celebration of being British, and brought this country together in a way I have personally not witnessed before.

Happily, our very own Ben Ainslie, trained in the waters at Mylor, is one of just five sportsmen and women to receive the very top honour.

His achievement, coming back when all seemed lost to clinch his place as the greatest Olympic sailor of all time, was a triumph of spirit against the odds, and a display of true sporting brilliance.

He bought a smile to the face of Cornwall, and indeed to the whole of the UK, and let me be one of the first to say congratulations Sir Ben, you deserve every award available.