The British actress received the award last night during the BFI’s annual Chairman’s dinner.

Dame Judi Dench has been honoured with the BFI Fellowship Award.

Dench was given the award by BFI Chair Greg Dyke at BFI Southbank, during their annual Chairman’s dinner last night, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to film and television. She joins an eminent list of BFI fellows including Dirk Bogarde, Jack Cardiff, Mike Leigh and Maggie Smith.

“For someone who was told in 1959 that they would never make it in the film industry I feel incredibly surprised and privileged to be receiving this Fellowship from the BFI,” said Dench.

Dyke commented: “Dame Judi Dench is one of the world’s finest, most respected actors. She has a truly extraordinary talent and we are delighted and honoured that she has accepted a BFI Fellowship - the highest accolade the BFI can bestow. Dame Judi’s contribution to British film and television has been outstanding for over 50 years, she is a national treasure with an international reputation.”

Dench received an OBE in 1970 and became a Dame (DBE) in 1988. She received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare In Love and has won nine BAFTA Awards as well as three Laurence Olivier Awards for her work on stage and screen.

Since its creation in 1983, a total of 67 Fellowships have been awarded to key figures in British cinema and television.