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Dame Judi Dench to receive award for outstanding contribution to British film

File photo dated 2/11/2017 of Dame Judi Dench who has been named as the new patron of London's Omnibus Theatre, to mark the venue's fifth anniversary. ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday November 7, 2018. The actress joins members of the arts and theatrical community, including Sir Michael Gambon and the Old Vic's artistic director Matthew Warchus, as a patron for the off-West End theatre in Clapham, south-west London. See PA story ARTS Dench. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Dame Judi Dench is to be honoured for her "outstanding contribution" to British film.

The Iris and Philomena actress, also known for her role as M in James Bond films, will receive the Richard Harris Award at the British Independent Film Awards.

The 83-year-old said: "It has been my absolute privilege to spend almost 60 years working in the British film industry, one of the most vibrant and creative homes for film-makers in the world.

"To be recognised with this award, which bears the name of the great Richard Harris and counts some of my favourite actors and actresses amongst its past recipients, is a source of deep pride and a very special honour."

Jared Harris, son of late actor Richard, said: "We are delighted that she has agreed to accept this award. Dame Judi has stolen every scene she has ever been in, and stolen our hearts along the way.

"Although she hates being called a national treasure and prefers to be thought of as a jobbing actor, she is undeniably both the standard bearer and the gold standard for British actors."

Previous recipients of the gong include Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Chiwetel Ejiofor and, in 2017, Vanessa Redgrave.

The award honours an actor or actress who has contributed significantly to British films throughout their career.

The ceremony will take place in London on December 2.

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