Dame Judi Dench has admitted she prefers to be in a relationship.

The 80-year-old actress was left devastated when her husband Michael Williams died in 2001 from lung cancer, but after getting over her grief she found love again with boyfriend David Mills in 2010 and she believes their romance is ''a lovely and lucky thing.''

Speaking in the March issue of Australia's Woman's Weekly, she said: ''I am not good at being on my own.''

The 'Philomena' star threw herself into work following the death of Michael, with whom she has daughter Finty, 42, because it was the only way to stop her pining over her beau.

She explained: ''I worked on three films straight away. It was wonderful. Grief produces an incredible energy in you. It's like fear in theatre, for instance, produces an energy that's a kind of petrol for you to use. When I was grieving, I found that working very hard didn't give me the time to sit about and mope.''

Meanwhile, the legendary actress is currently starring in 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' and she is adamant she won't be retiring from movies any time soon.

She said: ''[I'll continue to act] for as long as I'm asked to work - touching wood I'm alright for this year.''

She added: ''I don't like getting old at all. I don't think about it. I refuse to give in. Or at least I hope I do.''