ACTRESS Julie Walters was awarded for an illustrious career by being honoured with a Bafta fellowship at the British Academy TV Awards at London’s Theatre Royal.

Walters, 64, was presented with the night’s top award by Celia Imrie, who starred alongside her in Acorn Antiques and the Calendar Girls.

Prior to receiving the award, a montage of the best bits of Walters’ acting career was shown, which included a scene from Harry Potter where she turned into a letter and told off Rupert Grint.

Upon taking to the stage, Walters said: “Stop it, stop it! I love it. Come along, sit down as you were.”

“It’s been a long night, nearly as long as my career. What an honour, thank you.”

Walters, who lives on an organic farm in Horsham told the audience her mother had said becoming an actress would see her end up in the gutter.

She said: “She was right but what a gutter – and I shared that gutter with some of the most amazing and talented people.

To close her speech, Walters thanked BAFA and her husband Grant Roffey for their support.

She said: “Thank you BAFTA. You’ve been so generous to me over the years.”

“I just want to say a big thank-you generally to the business for giving me a fantastic 40 year ride.

“I never do this, well I do at home, but I’m going to say thank-you to my husband, Grant, for being there for me, and for allowing me my dreams.”

Previous recipients of the Fellowship include Alfred Hitchcock, Dame Judi Dench and Michael Caine.

Walter has previously won a Bafta in 2010 for her performance as politician Mo Mowlam, in Channel Four’s Mo.