22 MAY 2007

She's been known to reduce men half her age to jelly, but when Helen Mirren met David Beckham it was the Oscar-winning actress, who went all weak at the knees. Their encounter at the Greatest Britons awards ceremony prompted the world's sexiest Dame to exclaim: "Well that was the thrill of a lifetime!".

Sashaying up the red-carpet in one of the plunge-necked gowns that so favours her, the silver screen star stopped dead in her tracks as she set eyes on the football hero. She then offered David, 32, her hand with a delighted smile. And the chivalrous sportsman, who'd flown from Spain to be recognised as a global ambassador for Britain's image, seemed equally glad to run into the iconic actress.

Afterwards 61-year-old Dame Helen - there to pick up a prize for her portrayal of the Queen - was fulsome in her praise for David's achievements. "I am absolutely speechless. What can I say? He is the best of Britain in every way."

At the ceremony the monarch she portrayed was recognised as the Greatest Living Briton, beating off tough competition from the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Baroness Thatcher and Robbie Williams.

Also at the glitzy gala to see her pal's husband honoured were Victoria's former bandmate Geri Halliwell - stunning in a close-fitting dress - These words singer Natasha Bedingfield, and pop beauty Sophie Ellis Bextor.

Photo: ©
Despite her own reputation as one of the most glamorous and talented actresses currently working in Hollywood, Dame Helen seemed spellbound when she met football icon David at the Greatest Britons awards ceremony on Monday Photo: © RexClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Victoria's ex-Spice Girls bandmate Geri was also on hand to see her friend's husband honoured Photo: © Getty Images

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