Dame Helen Mirren has scooped an Academy Award for her role in The Queen at the glitteriest event of the year.

The 61-year-old actress now has an Oscar to proudly display next to the hoard of gongs the star has already accumulated for her performance in the royally good movie. But the weighty Oscar will No Doubt take pride of place for Dame Helen.

"All kids love to get gold stars and this is the biggest and the best gold star that I have ever had," she said.

The Calendar Girls actress used her acceptance speech to praise the British monarch by holding up her shiny award and saying: "Ladies and gentlemen - I give you, the Queen."

Helen was the bookies' favourite for Oscar success and even the host of the ceremony, comedienne Ellen Degeneres, alluded to the probability of the star leaving empty-handed saying: "No one knows who's going to win, unless you're British."

Martin Scorsese also had an incredibly successful evening, sweeping best director and best picture for crime thriller The Departed.

However it seemed that even Scorsese's run of luck couldn't get the best actor gong for Leonardo Dicaprio, the star of the movie, who predictably lost out to the Last King of Scotland actor Forest Whitaker for his portrayal of Ugandan leader Idi Amin.

In an emotional acceptance speech, Forest took the Oscar as an affirmation of his abilities. "It wasn't my reality to think I would be acting in movies so receiving this honour tonight tells me that it's possible," he gushed.

26/02/2007 08:06:16