• Dame Helen Mirren: Why I was worried about accepting my damehood

    Dame Helen Mirren has said she was worried about accepting the accolade of dame because it would probably put up a barrier. The 67-year-old actress, who voices petrifying headmistress Dean Hardcastle in upcoming Pixar film Monsters University, said she was concerned that the honour would "set her apart". She admitted to being scared of clowns, centipedes and her actor superiors when she was younger.   "There were certain actors and actresses who were quite intimidating when I was younger," she said. "They probably didn't mean to be intimidating and maybe people look at me now and think 'Oh, she's so scary'