Dame Maggie Smith has been presented with the 2015 Critics’ Circle Award for Services to the Arts, at a private event held at the National Liberal Club.
Every year, each section of the Critics’ Circle (drama, film, music, visual art and books) put forward a candidate for the award, and they are then put forward in a free vote for all members of the circle.
Accepting the award, Smith said she felt "very, very honoured".
"I know people say and I've certainly said I don't read the critics, which a lot of actors say very airily, but believe me, you get to know what's there."
She spoke about one particular occasion when she picked up a newspaper whilst filming Othello, a film which led to her first Oscar nomination.
"There was a review in there and it was absolutely lethal and truly frightening," she said. "It was for The Master Builder at the National, and I remember bursting into tears."
However her co-star Frank Finlay was on hand to give her a "great big hug" and told her "what you must think about is how many actresses you've made very happy".
Yesterday’s event was hosted by the Critics’ Circle president, Jeffery Taylor, and chairman of the Drama section, Mark Shenton.