Dame Helen Mirren has slammed BAFTA for the lack of diversity in this year's nominations.

Dame Helen Mirren

Dame Helen Mirren

The 74-year-old actress has urged people to continue "demanding change" after no people of colour were shortlisted for acting honours at this weekend's ceremony, and no female filmmakers were nominated for the Best Direction award.

She said: "I loved the fact that people have called out BAFTA [for it's lack of diversity].

"People should be impatient, and they should keep demanding change.

"It will come, incrementally, but it will only come if people demand it. And keep demanding it.

"Put your banner up for more roles for women -- more roles for black women, especially -- and more women directors. Keep demanding change. It's good to be impatient."

However, the 'Queen' actress warned against making nominations that look like tokenism.

She added to the Daily Mail newspaper's Baz Bamigboye: "I don't think any director or actor would want to be nominated because of the colour of their skin, or because of their gender. It's about the work, and there should be more of it."

And Helen thinks it's vital for all people to have role models in the industry.

She said: "The important thing is for other women and people of every race to have role models.

"Without the role model you just don't think it's possible -- but at least go for it. Have a go."

The British star admitted she has some black English friends who left the UK for America "to find better opportunities, because there is often a shameful lack of work here."

The 'Red' star recalled a speech previously given at the BAFTA Awards by director Sam Mendes and insisted it would be different now.

She said: "[He gave] a wonderful speech and paid tribute to all the directors who'd inspired him . . . and they were all men.

"If he was to make that speech again, I suspect he would put a woman's name on it."

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