Dame Maggie Smith has received the 2015 Critics’ Circle Award for Services to the Arts.

Accepting the award, Smith said she felt “very, very honoured”. Smith who is well known for not reading reviews then went on to say “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.”

The Critics’ Circle Award is presented annually for Services to the Arts and covers Theatre, Music, Film, Dance, Visual Arts and Books. The Critics’ Circle which is made up of 525 members from the aforementioned disciplines is predominately made up of critics from major newspapers and media outlets. Every year, each section of the Critics’ Circle put forward a candidate for the award, and they are then put forward in a free vote for all members of the circle.

Smith joins past winners including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Stephen Sondheim, Mike Leigh, Alan Bennett, Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Peter Hall
Smith was presented the award at a private event held at the National Liberal Club.

The award ceremony was hosted by the Critics’ Circle president, Jeffery Taylor, and chairman of the Drama section, Mark Shenton at the National Liberal Club.

See Maggie Smith’s acceptance speech in full.

VIDEO: Copyright Elliott Franks.