In a radical shake-up of the traditional process for selecting the recipients of Knighthoods and other honours, the British public will now be invited to help decide. A telephone vote, much like the polls used by programs such as the X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing will allow ordinary people to choose their favourites from a list of nominees.
A list of contestants will be published on Christmas Day, and a TV Special will be shown on 27th December outlining their achievements and the honour for which they are nominated. They will also be invited to make a case for their place on the honours role. The phone lines will then open, with calls costing around 40p with 25p going to charity. Voting will go on until midnight on 31st December, and then the winners of each New Year's Honour will be revealed in the live finals show on New Year's Day. Her Majesty the Queen is expected to make a royal address from Balmoral to congratulate the winners.
The idea for the system came from Simon Cowell who has also been suggested as a nominee for a Knighthood for 'services to charity and music'. However, Mr Cowell has declined to be involved in the project since his request to be nominated for the New Year's Honour of 'Prince of Wales' was rejected.