Dame Helen Mirren picked up a well deserved 'Legend Award' from the good people of Empire Magazine at the well-known movie magazine's annual awards show last night, with the mag honouring a career that has spanned some 50 decades (and she still looks damn good too!). Some of the other winners on the night were Sam Mendes, Danny Boyle, Daniel Radcliffe and (of course) Jennifer Lawrence, but it was Dame Helen who took all the thunder from the night.

Helen Mirren
Dame Helen Mirren was rightly recognised for her enduring acting career

Whilst she was no longer sporting that pink hair she took to the BAFTAs with her, the 67-year-old stage and screen icon still managed to keep all eyes on her when she took to the stage to accept her award and duly began to accuse Sam Mendes (who had just picked up the Best Director gong for Skyfall) of being sexist. Well, kind of anyway. What really happened was this: Sam had just picked up his award and thanked some of his director-contemporaries who helped him get to where he is today, including Paul Thomas Anderson, François Truffaut, Martin Scorsese and Ingmar Bergman. Helen responded to his appraisals in her own speech, saying: “I don’t want to unduly pick on Sam Mendes, but when he spoke about his inspirations earlier this evening, I’m afraid not a single one of the people he mentioned was a woman."

The actress then laid forth her own vision of a more sexually balanced world, one that "in five or ten years, when Sam’s successor is collecting their Inspiration Award, the list will be slightly more balanced in terms of its sexual make-up," before adding “In the meantime, this one is for the girls.”