Dame Judi Dench awarded BFI fellowship

It’s been a week of accolades for the respected actress and confirmed national treasure

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Oscar winner Judi Dench has been named a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of her contribution to film and television, made during a career that has spanned over half a century.

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The 79-year-old actress was presented with the accolade at the BFI’s annual chairman’s dinner, which took place on London’s Southbank yesterday evening.

Former BBC Director General Greg Dyke hosted the event, describing Dame Judi as “one of the world’s finest, most respected actors”.

As thespian friends including Kenneth Branagh and John Hurt looked on, Dyke praised Dench’s “outstanding contribution to British film and television”, calling her “a national treasure with an international reputation”.

As a member of the BFI Fellowship, Dame Judi joins such illustrious names as Sir Ridley Scott, Lord Attenborough, Dame Maggie Smith and director Mike Leigh.

The Fellowship is the second honour bestowed on Dame Judi in the space of just a few days – earlier this week she was given the Freedom of the City of London.

She can add the award to a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in Shakespeare in Love, as well as 11 Baftas, three Laurence Olivier Awards and a Golden Globe.

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Dame Judi is set to reprise her role as M, head of the Foreign Intelligence wing of Her Majesty’s Secret Service, in the as yet unnamed Bond film, slated for release on 26 October 2012.