Helen Mirren says that Michael Parkinson just “didn’t get it" during their infamous encounter in 1975.

The Oscar-winning actress, whose new film, The Debt, has opened to critical acclaim in the US, was talking to The Observer about her life and career.

At one point she talks about that interview with Parkinson from 1975. At the time Mirren was 30 and a leading player at the RSC. But Parkinson, who introduced his guest as "sluttishly erotic" had other things on his mind. His opening gambit was the line: “You are, in quotes, a ‘serious actress’; do you find what might best be described as your equipment hinders you in that pursuit?"

Mirren’s riposte was immediate, imperious and definitive. “How dare you?,” she said, before adding: “Describe in detail what you mean by my equipment.”

"I watched it recently on the internet," the 66-year actress told The Observer. "I didn't know it was there. And actually I was really proud of myself. It was the first chat-showy thing I had done. I was incredibly nervous. I was holding that feather. And I have to say I thought I handled it well. I was always an instinctive feminist, without being overly political, just in my feelings about myself. Parkinson, of course, just didn't get it at all."

Watch Mirren put Parky in his place here.