“We are fortunate to be living in an age of Great Actresses, if that phrase is still permitted. Of so many, I particularly admire those women who are as thrilling on stage as they are on screen. We have a home-grown bevy of such goddesses of course but tonight’s recipient of the Fellowship hails from across the world, whence she has conquered the film world with a series of wondrous, indelible performances. It’s not easy to define Cate’s particular ability, her effortless gliding from classic regality to the modern everyday, from the ethereal to the hilarious. Backstage, off-screen, I cherish her intelligence, her diligence,her wit and professionalism - and her friendship.- Ian McKellen presents Cate Blanchett BFI Fellowship award