Julie Walters has been honoured with an outstanding achievement award to recognise a career spanning almost four decades.
The 63-year-old actress - whose varied roles have included Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter films and a moving portrayal of the late Mo Mowlam - took the title at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards.
Julie, seen in films such as Mamma Mia! and Shirley Valentine as well as TV comedies including Dinnerladies, was presented with her award by her friend and frequent comedy partner Victoria Wood.
The star of stage and screen criticised the Government attitude towards the arts, saying she might not have made it if she was starting out as a performer now because of the lack of grants. "If I was coming out into the business now I would never get into drama school," she said.
She dedicated her award to her husband Grant Roffey - saying he was snowbound in their Sussex farm because of the freak snowfall which struck the county last night.
Other winners at the highly regarded event included the Olympic cauldron which was given the visual arts award, while BBC Two's spoof series about preparations for last summer's sporting spectacle, Twenty Twelve, was named best comedy.
Actor Tom Hiddleston - whose high-profile performances have included roles in War Horse and Avengers Assemble, playing villain Loki - took the "breakthrough" award. Latest James Bond movie Skyfall, the most successful movie at the UK box office, took the best film prize.
In a further triumph for BBC Two, the adaptation of Parade's End - starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall - took the TV drama prize. Author Hilary Mantel won the prize for literature while Jessie Ware beat St Etienne and Plan B to the pop award.
The event at London's Dorchester Hotel, hosted by Melvyn Bragg, is being screened by Sky Arts on Thursday at 9.30pm. Lord Bragg said: "2012 was a truly extraordinary year for this country, not only in sporting endeavours but across the arts.
"This list of most deserving winners is testament to the richness of artistic talent we have at work today and I am delighted that we able to celebrate and honour them as they deserve."