Baftas 2014: Dame Helen Mirren criticises growing portrayal of dead women in dramas as actress to receive British Academy Fellowship

Agreeing with recent comments by playwright David Hare that there are too many dead bodies on our screens, Ms Mirren added that the majority are that of young women

Helen Mirren, who will tonight receive the Bafta fellowship, has spoken out against the extensive images of dead young women in contemporary dramas.

Agreeing with playwright David Hare’s recent remark that he “can’t stand the body count in contemporary drama”, Ms Mirren, speaking to The Observer, added: “Most of those bodies are young women“.

Ms Mirren will be handed the British film industry’s highest honour by Prince William at the Bafta Awards this evening in recognition of a career that has ranged from portraying a hard-nosed detective in TV series Prime Suspect to Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen.

She said she was “thrilled and honoured” to be receiving the award, noting: “I don't think Prince William would agree to hand me the award if he thought I had blown it in terms of performing as his grandma.”

Ms Mirren, who won a best-actress Oscar for The Queen, said she had never expected to get the fellowship, whose previous recipients include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Elizabeth Taylor and Judi Dench.

“I always imagined myself as a bit of an outsider, really, sort of the naughty girl,” she said.

Ms Mirren, 68, is no stranger to awards, but she said the prospect of making tonight’s acceptance speech was daunting.

“You think, 'My God, I've got to talk about my whole life,”' she said. “Not only my whole life - what movies mean, what movies mean to me, what they mean to all of us. And do it all in two minutes.”

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