Dame Judi Dench was once invited to lunch with Britain's secret service boss but was left mortified when she arrived almost an hour late.

The actress, who starred as spy chief M in seven James Bond movies, was asked to dine with Sir David Spedding, the former head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, Mi6.

However, the veteran star arrived 45 minutes late for the luncheon after a driver sent by spy bosses to pick her up got lost.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Dench reveals, "I did get to go to Mi6 once. I was invited to lunch by Sir David Spedding. They asked me for 12.30 for 1 and I said, 'Yes, my driver' and they said, 'No, no, not your driver - our driver'.

"I said, 'But Brian has driven me for years.' (They replied) 'No, no he won't know the way'. I said, 'To the Lego building on the South Bank (in London)? He can't miss it'. But they did send their driver (and) he couldn't find me. So subsequently I was three-quarters of an hour late. I was so late for lunch, embarrassingly late."